The SIU football team added two new assistant coaches to its staff on Wednesday, including one with NFL experience.
Tony Carter, who served on the Detroit Lions’ staff last year as a defensive assistant, will serve as cornerbacks coach. Jami DeBerry is the new special teams coordinator in his return to the Missouri Valley Conference.
The 35-year old Carter played parts of eight seasons in the NFL with five different teams after a good college career at Florida State. He started 50 of 52 games and earned first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a junior and senior.
Carter spent time with New England and Denver, among other NFL squads, and scored a pair of touchdowns in 2012 for the Broncos. After a 65-yard fumble return in a Monday night game helped Denver erase a 24-0 halftime deficit at San Diego, Carter logged an interception return score against Carolina.
After his NFL career ended in 2016, Carter got his first coaching job two years later with the Oakland Raiders as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. Carter spent the 2019 season as a cornerbacks coach at Jacksonville University before moving to Detroit last year.
Carter was the Lions’ cornerbacks coach for a Week 16 loss to Tampa Bay after Steve Gregory was sidelined due to COVID-19 protocol.
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DeBerry is making his sixth stop in a 14-year coaching career that saw him spend 2013-16 at Indiana State in multiple roles. He was primarily a special teams coach from 2013-15 while also helping with tight ends and safeties. In 2016, he was the Sycamores’ defensive backs coach and passing game defensive coordinator.
A 2004 graduate of Western Kentucky, where he played on the 2002 Division I-AA national championship team, DeBerry has experienced two stints at his alma mater as an assistant. His latest, from 2017-18, saw him coach safeties and also serve as a co-coordinator on special teams.
DeBerry spent last year as the defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, an NCAA Division II program in southwest Virginia. The Cavaliers played just three games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new coaches join a program that went 6-4 in 2020-21, advancing to the FCS quarterfinals before a 31-28 loss at top-seeded South Dakota State. The Salukis are ranked No. 5 in HERO Sports’ FCS preseason Top 25 that was released on Thursday.
SIU returns a number of key fifth and sixth-year players from this spring, including consensus All-America wide receiver Avante Cox. Javon Williams (all-purpose running back) also got first team All-America honors from Stats Perform.
The Salukis open their fall season on Sept. 2 at Southeast Missouri State.