UWF football adds two graduate assistants to coaching staff

first_imgPENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of West Florida football team has added two graduate assistants to its coaching staff, Luke Charles and Billy VandeMerkt. Charles comes to UWF after finishing his playing career as a quarterback at UNC Pembroke, while VandeMerkt was a quarterback at Saint Joseph’s College. Both Charles and VandeMerkt were added to the coaching staff for the spring semester, and they will each begin their graduate work in the fall semester. Charles, who played for head coach Pete Shinnick at UNC Pembroke, will be the team’s offensive graduate assistant. VandeMerkt, who played for UWF defensive coordinator Cory Sanders when Sanders was at Saint Joseph’s, will be UWF’s defensive graduate assistant. Luke Charles was a two-time All-America selection while at UNC Pembroke, and he was a Harlon Hill Trophy finalist during his senior season in 2013. He finished his career as the Braves’ all-time passing leader and holds 30 other single game, season or career records at UNCP. During his senior year he passed for 3,586 yards and 33 touchdowns. Billy VandeMerkt was one of the top quarterbacks in Saint Joseph’s College history, finishing second or third in numerous offensive categories. He was an All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection during his senior season when he passed for 1,480 yards and 13 touchdowns, while also running for 291 yards with two touchdowns. The University of West Florida Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has won eight national championships, and UWF leads all schools in Gulf South Conference history with 79 league championships and 18 all-sports trophies. Football will be the 15th varsity sport at the University. UWF President Judy Bense confirmed on Sept. 4, 2013 that the team will begin playing in 2016, and the University reached an agreement for the team to play its home games at Maritime Park Stadium in downtown Pensacola starting that fall. The team will announce its first signing class on Wednesday, Feb. 4, and fans are invited to join the team in a celebration at Seville Quarter that evening at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will be able to meet the coaching staff and learn more about UWF football and the first signing class of football student-athletes. The celebration will be held in Phineas Phogg’s at Seville Quarter, and light refreshments will be provided. For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more