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 second season serving as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Virginia Tech.
  • Joined the Hokies after working with current Tech head coach Justin Fuente at Memphis.
  • Presided over the resurgence of Tech’s special teams units in 2016 as the Hokies hearkened back to the heyday of Beamer Ball by blocking a punt and three field goals, while returning both a punt and a blocked field goal for touchdowns.
  • K Joey Slye led all ACC kickers and set a single-season Tech record for a kicker with 118 points in 2016, as he hit 20 of 27 FGs (74.1%) and converted 58 PATs.
  • Slye also set a Tech single-game record with 21 points in a 39-36 win at Pitt (10/27/16) as he tied an ACC record with six made FGs in the contest. He also led the ACC with 73 touchbacks on kickoffs.
  • Also tutored Tech’s tight ends in 2016 as Bucky Hodges thrived in a hybrid TE/WR role, setting career highs with 48 catches for 691 yards, while tying a career mark with seven TDs.
  • Brought 25 years of coaching experience with him to Blacksburg, including 12 seasons 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.
  • Memphis kicker Jake Elliott was named the American Athletic Conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year Award with in both 2014 and 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 six seasons. His squads ranked among the nation’s top 10 in net kickoff coverage three of the past five years. The Hokies ranked 12th in that department in 2016, allowing 17.9 yards per return.
  • 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.
  • 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 the Ray Guy Award and was 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.
  • Spent eight seasons as Arkansas (2000-07), where he coached special teams and had stints tutoring tight ends (2000-01, 2006-07) and receivers (2002-05).
  • Led Butler County (Kan.) Community College 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 Ricky Hall who registered 12 touchdowns for Tech in 1998-99 as a receiver and return man.
  • Led the Grizzlies to records of 7-4 in 1996, 4-5 in 1997, 12-0 in 1998 and 11-1 in 1999.
  • In two seasons at Garden City (Kan.) Community College 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.