Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) head football coach Scotty Walden has completed his coaching staff for the 2023 season, Thursday, with the addition of co-Offensive Coordinator Jared Kaster and assistant coaches Aaron Foster, Seth McDonald, and JaJuan Dulaney.
In addition to the new hires, Walden elevated assistant coach Jourdan McNeill to Run Game Coordinator. Last season, McNeill’s running backs posted a pair of 300-yard performances with 322 against Eastern Kentucky and 308 yards against Presbyterian, prior to that, the Govs had not rushed for 300-plus yards multiple times in a game since 2017.
With McNeill leading the room, CJ Evans Jr. and Jevon Jackson rushed for 641 and 572 yards, respectively. Evans Jr. also added six scores on the ground and Jackson found the endzone four times.
“Jourdan has been a foundation member of our staff,” said Walden. “I am blessed to work with him daily, he does an amazing job coaching our running backs and helped lead a rushing attack this year that saw an over 40 yards per game increase. Coach McNeil also has been instrumental in our recruiting efforts, helping us land the No. 2 class in the FCS in 2021 and the No. 4 signing class in the FCS this recent class of 2023.”
Kaster, who also will coach the Governors offensive line, comes to Clarksville after spending five seasons at Houston Christian. During the 2021 season, Kaster helped Christian Hood become the first offensive lineman in program history to earn First Team All-Southland honors. During the 2019 season, Kaster’s offensive line helped the Huskies rack up 462.6 yards of total offense per game, ranking 12th in the FCS and second in the Southland Conference.
Prior to his time at HCU, Kaster was an offensive line assistant and quality control coach for Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech in 2016 and 2017. Kaster also played four seasons (2012-15) at Texas Tech, where he was voted a team captain for the Red Raiders in 2015 and was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention at center three times.
“I am really excited to add Jared Kaster as our new co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach,” said Walden. “In the interview process, Jared really stood out with his ability to relate to players and his knowledge of the game. After talking for an extended period of time, it was clear he and I saw eye-to-eye on offensive philosophy. But what separated him was the common theme I got from everyone who had worked with him – his players will run through a brick wall for him. I am excited to have Coach Kaster, his wife Caitlyn, and their daughter Sadie join our family here in Stacheville!”
Rounding out the offensive staff, Dulaney will coach the APSU Govs tight ends after spending the 2022 season at Houston. Dulaney was an assistant offensive line coach and analyst for the Cougars while working directly with the group’s offensive tackles. Before his final stint at Houston, Dulaney spent time at Texas as an offensive analyst, Houston as a graduate assistant, and Texas Tech as a quality control coach.
Dulaney began his collegiate playing career as an offensive lineman at Maryland, where he played in 13 games over four seasons before transferring to Texas Tech, where he transitioned to a blocking tight end for the Red Raiders in his final season.
“I am fired up to have JaJuan coach our tight ends,” said Walden. “JaJuan has played at coached at the Power 5 level and will bring a wealth of knowledge to our offense. I think he is one of the young risers in the profession, as he has displayed an ability to recruit and coach at the Power 5 level. He has worked with some great offensive line coaches in his career and has played the position which will give our tight ends a detailed perspective of the run game. JaJuan has the ability to relate and develop relationships with his players, which is vital to our culture. I am excited to welcome JaJuan to the Governor family!”
Moving to the defense, Foster will take over as the cornerbacks’ coach after spending the past two seasons at Lenoir-Rhyne. Foster served as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the Bears, who ranked fifth at the NCAA Division II level in passing efficiency defense in 2021 (95.32) and ninth in 2022 (100.17). During his time in Hickory, North Carolina, Foster also helped the Bears rank 16th in DII in scoring defense (16.4 ppg) in 2021 and 16th in total defense (278.0 ypg) in 2022.
Before his time at Lenoir-Rhyne, Foster served as the defensive backs coach and video coordinator at Colgate and a special teams and recruiting assistant at Wake Forest. Foster played collegiately at Bowling Green State, where he appeared in 67 games over four seasons and helped the Falcons win the 2013 Mid-American Conference Championship. Foster also played professionally for the Tri-Cities Fever of the Indoor Football League after being invited to the Dallas Cowboys’ minicamp in 2014.
“Coach Foster brings a wealth of knowledge to our program,” said Walden. “He was an elite player and has been surrounded by elite coaches in his career. He comes from a highly productive defense program at Lenior-Rhyne, where he was the co-defensive coordinator. Coach Foster’s prescience and knowledge of defensive football from a holistic approach really stood out in the interview process. He will provide a great perspective for our players having coached and played defensive back at a high level. I am thrilled to welcome him and his wife Julie to our family here in Stacheville!”
Finally, after spending two seasons at South Alabama, McDonald will take over as the Governors’ linebackers coach. McDonald was a graduate assistant at South Alabama and was responsible for the Jaguars’ outside linebackers, as well as four positions on the special teams units. McDonald spent the 2020 season as a graduate assistant and assistant linebackers coach at Indiana after holding the same position at Jacksonville State in 2019 and Robert Morris in 2018.
McDonald played at Eastern Illinois, where he helped the Panthers win the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Championship and earned First Team All-OVC honors in 2016. In four seasons in Charleston, McDonald racked up 257 tackles – including 109 stops in 2016 – to go along with 10.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. In the four games he played against Austin Peay while at EIU, McDonald picked up 25 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss
“I am really excited to bring Coach McDonald into our program,” said Walden. “He is high energy all the way and a go-getter. People I know in the profession could not talk highly enough about this guy and that proved true in the interview process.”
The complete list of changes on the Governors 2023 football staff can be found below. For more offseason news and updates on Austin Peay State University football, follow along on Twitter and Instagram or be sure to check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
2023 APSU Football Staff Changes
Jared Kaster – co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Jourdan McNeill – Run-Game Coordinator/Running Backs
JaJuan Dulaney – Assistant Coach/Tight Ends
Aaron Foster – Assistant Coach/Cornerbacks
Seth McDonald – Assistant Coach/Linebackers