MIAMI — Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College head football coach Clay Patterson has completed his staff for the 2017 season with the addition of four graduate assistants.
Two former Golden Norsemen, Gerald Howse and DeAndre Jennings, have accepted positions on the staff along with Jameel Smith and Sean Osnowitz.
After graduating from Troy (Alabama) State University, Howse served one season as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.
He begins his second year as running backs and tight end coach at his alma mater.
Howse, from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, started at tailback for NEO during the 2011-12 seasons.
He finished ranked seventh overall with 1,397 yards on 317 carries with 21 touchdowns while earning first team all-Southwest Junior College Football Conference honors.
Last season as running backs coach, Howse produced a unit that averaged 205.4 yards per game on the ground.
Freshman running back Darwin Thompson ranked second in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference with 1,029 yards on 150 carries and nine TDs.
Jennings, from Bixby, played tight end during the 2013-14 seasons at NEO.
During his career with the Norsemen, Jennings caught 16 passes for 155 yards and one TD.
Jennings will serve as wide receivers coach in his first year as a graduate assistant after earning a bachelors degree from Troy State.
Smith, from Norland, Ohio, will coach the Golden Norse defensive backs in his first coaching stint.
Smith, a four-year starter at Youngstown (Ohio) State from 2013-17, was an all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection at corner his senior season.
Osnowitz, from Kennesaw, Georgia, was a long snapper at both Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama (2015) and Samford University in Homewood, Alabama (2016) before serving as a graduate assistant at Georgia State University in Atlanta last year.
He will coach linebackers at NEO.
“Generally, our graduate assistant coaches stay in our program for two seasons,” Patterson said. “Then, we try to help them better their career by moving on to a higher level.
“By coming here, they receive a lot of responsibility by getting to recruit and go their own position,” Patterson said. “They don’t get that kind of opportunity at a lot of schools as a GA.
“Two of our guys, Gerald and DeAndre were at NEO during the 2012 season when we played Navarro College (lost 62-24) in the conference championship and we faced College of DuPage, Illinois, (a 42-29 loss) at the Citizens Bank Bowl in Pittsburg, Kansas,” Patterson said. “So they know what to expect as coaches coming into this program.
At Youngtown State, Smith worked under former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, who is beginning his third season with the Penguins.
“Jameel been involved in a program at Youngstown State that has a successful tradition,” Patterson said. “So he and Sean are both young, energetic coaches that bring a lot of enthusiasm to our program.
“The only thing is that now, at 36, I’m the oldest coach on the staff,” Patterson said. “While it may be unbelievable, I like it cause both our full-time coaches and our graduate assistants all push me and keep Coach Allen (offensive line coach Zach Allen) and I on our toes and the players have responded to them very positively as well.”