Charlotte 49ers head coach Brad Lambert has announced three additions to his football coaching staff.
Lambert has hired Phil Ratliff as the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, Napoleon Sykes as the linebackers coach and Joe Tereshinski, III as the inside receivers coach.
Ratliff, a 1994 Marshall graduate, has been the Thundering Herd's Tight Ends coach for the last six years. Sykes, a 2006 graduate of Wake Forest, spent the last two years at Navy, where he coached the outside linebackers and secondary. Tereshinski, a 2006 Georgia grad, spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant at Wake Forest.
Ratliff is a former all-America offensive lineman at Marshall, Sykes was a linebacker and special teams member during his three letter-winning seasons at Wake Forest while Tereshinki played quarterback at Georgia.
Ratliff joined Marshall's coaching staff after spending two years at James Madison, helping the Dukes to the 2004 NCAA Div. I-AA National Championship. Lambert was on the coaching staff at Marshall during Ratliff's playing career. A two-time all-America, Ratliff played at Marshall from 1989-92 and captained the Thundering Herd's 1992 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship team. As a coach, he then helped the Herd to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2009 and Beef O'Brady's Bowl in 2011.
"He played for us at Marshall and he was a very intense player. He will bring that intensity to the offensive line," Lambert said. "He's coached at all levels: high school, FBS, FCS. He's recruited the Charlotte area in particular for a number of years and that's very important to us. The other thing we love is he'll do a great job with the guys, handling the players and do a great job representing our university with his integrity and character and the type of guy he is."
Following his playing career, Ratliff was a student assistant at Marshall in 1993. He went on to become defensive coordinator at Lawrence County (Ky.) H.S. from 1994-99. He then coached at Spring Valley (W. Va.) H.S. from 2000-2003 before heading to James Madison.
A native of Louisa, Ky., Ratliff received his bachelor's degree in elementary education with a specialization in special education from Marshall in 1994.
A three-year letterwinner at Wake Forest, Sykes started his coaching career in the summer of 2006 as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, the Gilman School, in Baltimore but became defensive coordinator for the semi-pro Bay Atlantic Sharks (Baltimore, Md.) that fall. In 2007, Sykes was a teacher and the co-defensive coordinator at Charlotte's Mallard Creek H.S.
In 2008, he returned to Wake Forest as the offensive graduate assistant and in 2009 was the defensive graduate assistant before heading to Navy.
"We recruited Napoleon to Wake and he played linebacker and he's one of those guys - like James Adams - that sat in my office and he knows how we want the players treated. I saw him as a coach and a player and how he relates to players. He coached high school ball in Charlotte so he brings a lot to the table because of his coaching experience in Charlotte. He'll do a phenomenal job coaching our linebackers."
A former Georgia QB, Tereshinski III concentrated his coaching on tight ends this past season at Wake Forest. He was the starting quarterback at Georgia in 2006, until he suffered an ankle injury. He was a third generation Bulldog, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Joe, Sr., (Redskins) a tight end and defensive end on Georgia's 1942 and 1946 SEC Championship teams. His father, Joe, Jr. was a member of the Bulldogs 1976 SEC Championship team, alongside his uncle, Wally. Joe's brother, John was a Wake Forest tight end from 2004-07.
"Joe comes from a long line of football players - he's been around the game his whole life. I got to know him when I was at Georgia," Lambert noted. "I coached with his father and had a chance to recruit and coach his brother John. Joe's a high-character guy. (After graduation) he got into the business world - but he knows what he really wants to do. His passion really is football. He knows that and that's exciting for me. I had a chance to work with him at Wake. He has a great wealth of knowledge offensively. He played quarterback at the highest level and can bring a great perspective for our receivers from a quarterback's standpoint. He'll be a great asset to our wideouts because he knows what the quarterback's thinking. He has great contacts and relationships and knowledge in the Georgia area and he will represent Charlotte in first class manner."
Joe was a red-shirt during Georgia's 2002 SEC title season and earned playing time on special teams and as Georgia's long snapper during his freshman through junior years. He was a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll during his time with the Bulldogs.
A 2006 graduate, Tereshinski double-majored in finance and risk management.
The trio joins offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, defensive coordinator Bruce Tall and positions coach James Adams, who were hired last spring.
"One common factor that runs through these guys and the current staff," Lambert began, "is how they are going to treat the players - that's very important to us. They are high-character guys and these guys fit into that mold. They bring great intensity and are fantastic recruiters. We need guys who will go out and recruit hard. I'm real excited about the staff we have been able to assemble. We hit a home run with all these guys. We keep growing and this is the next step and we're excited that these guys have decided to join us and what we are doing at the university."
2-time all-America (offensive line)
Marshall, 2006-11: Tight Ends
James Madison, 2004-05:
Spring Valley H.S., 2000-03
Lawrence County (Ky.) H.S. 1994-99: Defensive Coordinator
Marshall, 1993: Student Assistant
Wake Forest, 2006
Navy, 2010-11: Outside linebackers (2011); Secondary (2010)
Wake Forest, 2008-09: Defensive Graduate Ass't (2009); Offensive Graduate Ass't (2008)
Mallard Creek H.S. (Charlotte, N.C.), 2007: co-Defensive Coordinator
Bay Atlantic Sharks, 2006: Defensive Coordinator
The Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.), Summer, 2006: Assistant coach
Quarterback; Special Teams; Long Snapper
Wake Forest, 2010-11: Graduate Assistant/Tight Ends