Derek Dooley felt like he hired one of the rising young coaches in the business and a man with a great football background in Terry Joseph prior to the 2007 season.
With the impact that Joseph had on the Bulldogs secondary during his first two years, Dooley was right. Joseph now enters his third season as the Bulldogs defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator.
Joseph, who works closely with the Bulldog cornerbacks, saw his unit play an integral role in LA Tech's successful 2008 season which included a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference and the Independence Bowl championship -- the program's first bowl victory in over 30 years.
Senior Weldon Brown posted career-highs with 75 tackles and five interceptions and culminated the season by being named the Defensive MVP of the 17-10 Independence Bowl win over Northern Illinois which included a huge fourth-quarter interception.
In all, the top three LA Tech cornerbacks Brown, Stevon Howze and Terry Carter combined for 165 tackles, eight interceptions, 18 pass break ups and numerous game-changing plays.
The Bulldog safeties who Joseph and Tech defensive coordinator Tommy Spangler work together with also had great years as Antonio Baker led the team in tackles while earning first team all-WAC and first team all-state honors. Baker enters his senior season with over 300 tackles to his name and could move into the Top 5 in Tech history with a healthy final year.
Prior to Joseph's arrival on campus, Tech ranked dead last in the country in total defense (483.33 ypg) and scoring defense (41.7 ppg) and next-to-last in rushing defense (225.38) in 2006. However, the Bulldog defense has made huge strides.
In 2008, the Tech defense allowed only 23.7 points per game, the best by a Bulldog team since 1992.It was an improvement of 18.0 points per game in the past two years. The Bulldogs also posted a 21-0 shutout over San Jose State during the season, the first shutout by a LA Tech team since 1996 (a span of 148 games). It was also the first road shutout since 1988 (a span of 225 games).
In addition to the superior work Joseph has done coaching the defensive backfield, he has done an even better job recruiting as LA Tech's 2009 recruiting class was ranked second in the conference after signing a program record nine three star recruits.
'Rivals.com ranked Joseph as the number four recruiter in the nation from a non-BCS school in 2008.
The 35-year-old brought a wealth of knowledge of Louisiana high school football with him - especially south Louisiana - after working as an assistant coach at Destrehan High School for three years and at Archbishop Shaw High School for three years.
Joseph also comes from a football coaching family as his cousin Vance Joseph is the secondary coach for the San Francisco 49ers, and another cousin, Mickey Joseph, is the wide receiver coach at Langston University in Oklahoma.
Joseph, who was a two-time GTE Academic All-American in baseball at Northwestern State in 1993 and 1995, comes to Tech after serving the 2006 season as a graduate assistant on coach Les Miles' staff at LSU.
While working under Tiger defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, Joseph helped in numerous aspects of game preparation for an LSU defensive unit that finished the season ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense (242.77 ypg), No. 3 in pass efficiency defense (92.19), No. 3 pass defense (145.69 ypg) and No. 4 in scoring defense (12.62 ppg).
He made it to the college ranks after serving as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Destrehan from 2002 through 2005. Prior to his time at Destrehan, Joseph served as the secondary coach and special teams coordinator at Archbishop Shaw from 1999 through 2002.
Joseph, who was the 1995 Southland Conference Baseball Player of the Year, spent four years in the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres minor league system. He was a member of the 1998 Southern League Champion Mobile BayBears, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres, who advanced to the World Series that season.
Joseph earned his bachelor's degree from Northwestern State in 1996. He is married to the former Amanda Gauthe, and the couple has two daughters, Taylor and Lynleigh.