James Shibest

  • James
  • Shibest

  • Special Teams Coordinator &
    Tight Ends Coach
The Shibest File
Experience: 27th season, 1st at Virginia Tech
Hometown: Houston, Texas
High School: MacArthur
College: Arkansas (1987)
Playing Exp: Arkansas (1983-87)
Family: Wife – Dianna; Son – James John III, Daughter – Jordyn Grace

Coaching History
2016Virginia TechSpecial Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
2012-15MemphisSpecial Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
2008-11Ole MissSpecial Teams Coordinator
2006-07ArkansasSpecial Teams/Tight Ends
2002-05ArkansasSpecial Teams/Wide Receivers
2000-01ArkansasSpecial Teams/Tight Ends
1996-99Butler County CC (Kan.)Head Coach
1994-95Garden City CC (Kan.)Offensive Coordinator/QBs/WRs
1993Independence CC (Kan.)Defensive Backs
1992Independence CC (Kan.)Offensive Coordinator
1990-91Oklahoma StateGraduate Assistant

Bowl Games Coached (10)
2014Miami BeachMemphis
2009CottonOle Miss
2008CottonOle Miss
2006Capital OneArkansas
2002Music CityArkansas
2000Las VegasArkansas
* - Joined VT prior to bowl game

Bowl Games Played (3)

Coaching Highlights

  • Regarded as one of the nation’s top special teams coaches, enters his first season serving as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Virginia Tech.
  • Joins the Hokies after working with current Tech head coach Justin Fuente the past four seasons at Memphis.
  • Brings 25 years of coaching experience with him to Blacksburg, which includes 12 seasons working as a special teams coach in the Southeastern Conference at both Ole Miss and Arkansas.
  • His special teams units at Memphis were among the nation’s finest the past two seasons. His 2015 squad ranked seventh in the country in overall special teams efficiency via Football Outsiders, while his 2014 unit was the best in the FBS according to ESPN.
  • Helped Memphis register 19 victories during the 2014-15 seasons, including a 15-game victory streak that was highlighted by a 37-24 win over No. 13 Mississippi and a 55-48 double-OT victory in the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl against BYU.
  • Memphis kicker Jake Elliott was named the American Athletic Conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year Award with in both 2014 and 2015.
  • Elliott was one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker in 2015. Memphis was the only collegiate program to have a semifinalist for both the Ray Guy Award and the Lou Groza Award in 2014.
  • A three-time Groza Award semifinalist, Elliott connected on 76.9 percent (60 of 78) of his FGs the past three seasons under Shibest with eight makes from 50 or more yards, including a school-record 56-yard FG at South Florida (11/16/13).
  • Elliott established Memphis records in 2015 with 23 made field goals and 132 points. He connected on 82.1 percent (23 of 28) FGs and nailed all 63 of his PATs.
  • Special teams coverage units coached by Shibest haven’t allowed a kick return or punt return TD over the past five seasons. His squads ranked among the nation’s top 10 in net kickoff coverage three of the past four years.
  • Was part of a Memphis staff that guided the Tigers to a 10-win season in 2014, the first time the school had registered double-digit victories since 1938. The 2014 campaign also marked the first time Memphis had won a conference title since 1971.
  • Memphis ranked fourth among FBS squads in punt coverage in 2014, allowing opponents only a 2.77 yards per return.
  • Memphis wide receiver Keiwone Malone concluded his collegiate career with a school-record 83 punt returns for 716 yards, a figure that ranked as the fourth-highest tally in school history.
  • In 2013, Shibest coached the nation’s best punter, Tom Hornsey, who earned Ray Guy Award and honored by the American Athletic Conference as the league’s Co-Special Teams Player of the Year.
  • Hornsey ranked seventh nationally in punting in 2013, averaging 45.2 yards per punt. He also landed 46.8 percent (29 of 62) of his punts inside the 20.
  • Memphis led Conference USA in kickoff coverage with a net average of 42.6 yards in 2013.
  • Freshman tight end Alan Cross led Memphis with five TD catches in 2012 and was named to the All-Conference USA Freshman Team.
  • Spent four seasons at Ole Miss, where he coached an NCAA statistical champion, four All-SEC honorees and two freshman award winners highlighted Shibest’s special teams accomplishments.
  • Tutored the top two kick returners in Ole Miss history in Mike Wallace and Jesse Grandy.
  • In 2011, the Rebels ranked second nationally and led the SEC in punt returns with a 15.6-yard average.
  • Kicker Joshua Shene wrapped up his career at Ole Miss second in career scoring (310), field goals (57), field goal attempts (75), PATs made (139) and PATs attempted (142).
  • In his first season with the Rebels in 2008, Shibest was honored as the Special Teams Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com.
  • Shibest groomed running back Felix Jones into the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year at Arkansas in 2007. He ranked third in the nation with a 31.33-yard kickoff average with two TDs, earned a spot on the Walter Camp All-America First Team squad.  Jones was a first-round pick of Dallas in the 2008 NFL Draft.
  • Prior to his time at Ole Miss, Shibest spent eight years at his alma mater, Arkansas, from 2000-07, where he coached special teams and had stints tutoring tight ends (2000-01, 2006-07) and receivers (2002-05).
  • Enjoyed a highly successful four-year stint as head coach at Butler County (Kan.) Community College. Shibest led the Grizzlies to a four-year record of 34-10 and back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) championships in 1998 and 1999.
  • Named the NJCAA Coach of the Year both seasons, and he also earned Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1996 and 1998.
  • During his tenure at Butler County, Shibest coached 19 NJCAA All-Americans and 34 NCAA Division I signees, including Jermaine Petty who earned All-America first team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
  • Led the Grizzlies to records of 7-4 in 1996, 4-5 in 1997, 12-0 in 1998 and 11-1 in 1999.
  • Began his career as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State, coaching receivers in 1990 and running backs in 1991.
  • Started his ascent through the junior college coaching ranks as offensive coordinator at Independence (Kan.) Community College in 1992 and then coached the secondary in 1993.
  • Embarked on a two-year tenure as an assistant at Garden City (Kan.) Community College. There, he helped the Bronc Busters to a 10-1 record in 1994 and a 9-2 mark in 1995 with an offense that ranked sixth in the NJCAA.

Prominent Pupils
K Jake Elliott - 2014 & 2015 American Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Year

P Tom Hornsey - 2013 Ray Guy Award Winner, Consensus All-America selection
2013 American Athletic Conference Co-Special Teams Player of the Year

RB Felix Jones - 2007 Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Year
D1-2008 – Dallas Cowboys, Steelers (2008-13)

WR Mike Wallace - D3-2009 – Pittsburgh Steelers, Dolphins, Vikings (2009-15)

Playing Highlights

  • Prep All-American receiver at Houston’s MacArthur High School earned All-Southwest Conference honors at Arkansas in 1984 and 1986, amassing a then-school-record 1,920 receiving yards on 97 receptions, including 10 touchdowns.