Long-time ASC defensive coordinator headed to Houston Christian

Photo courtesy Houston Christian Athletics

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Houston Christian has a new defensive coordinator after Zach Wilkerson announced his departure from Hardin-Simmons on Twitter/X. Wilkerson has spent the past 10 seasons leading one of the top defenses in NCAA Division III as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Jesse Burleson in Abilene.

“Thank you to Jesse Burleson for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Cowboy family. Thank you to Jeff Whitehead and all the coaches I worked with. Thank you to all the players I have coached,” Wilkerson said in a statement on Twitter. “While I will miss HSU, I will always be a Cowboy. I look forward to the journey ahead and the impact I can bring to Houston Christian University.”

Wilkerson’s defense was a significant reason for the Cowboys ending a long drought to claim the American Southwest Conference title outright this season. During Wilkerson's tenure, HSU won two conference titles and made six appearances in the DIII playoffs. The Cowboys lost to Trinity in each of their last two postseason appearances.

Wilkerson is the first significant addition named to new head coach Jason Bachtel’s staff at HCU. Bachtel was elevated from offensive coordinator to head coach following the departure of Braxton Harris to Campbell. The Huskies posted the first winning season in program history at 5-5 in 2023 and have signed the top-ranked high school FCS recruiting class following the early signing period, according to 247Sports.

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