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Coach Coughlin Discusses O-Line Depth
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Sean Coughlin is in his ninth season at Missouri State and directs the Bears' offensive line.
Coughlin came with Allen in 2006 to Missouri State from Iowa State where he worked alongside the current MSU head coach as a graduate assistant and offensive line assistant. He worked with the Bears' tight ends and fullbacks his first two years and took over offensive line coaching duties in 2008.
Over the last seven seasons, Coughlin's linemen have earned MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors 12 times with seven all-conference selections and three NFL players. David Arkin, a 2011 Dallas Cowboys fourth-round selection, is still active with the Dolphins.
In 2013, Coughlin rolled with the same starting five up front for all 12 games, and that core unit allowed just 1.33 sacks per game, which ranked 26th nationally. The Bears also allowed the fewest sacks (9) and produced second-most rushing yards (1,484) of any MVFC school in league games. Sophomore center Robert Booker (first team), RG Richard Galbierz (honorable mention) and LT Zack Cooley (honorable mention) were named to the All-MVFC squad with Booker earning AP All-America honors.
With four starters back in 2012, the Bears surrendered just 1.36 sacks per game, which ranked 22nd nationally. Coughlin also mentored AP and AFCA All-America selection Randy Richards. After tallying 56 knockdown blocks his senior season, Richards had stints with the Chargers and Buccaneers before his current assignment in the CFL.
In 2011, the Bears had four new starters up front, but found success in center Harrison Menke who played every offensive snap and freshman All-American Zack Cooley.
In 2010, standout lineman David Arkin earned consensus All-America and second-team Academic All-America honors before being picked by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Fellow 2010 graduate Jake Duron also moved to the NFL ranks by signing a free agent deal with the New York Jets and later a stint in the arena leagues.
With four seniors in the 2010 starting lineup, Coughlin's trench workers helped MSU average 425.45 yards per game, which ranked 13th in the Division I FCS ranks and second in the MVFC. MSU also tallied 214.18 yards per game on the ground which ranked 11th in the nation.
Arkin, an eventual four-time all-conference pick, also earned first-team honors in 2009.
After working four new starters into the lineup in 2007, Coughlin returned four starters to the trenches in 2008, which helped the Bears boast one of the league's top pass protection units and highest scoring offenses.
The 2001 Drake University graduate was a standout offensive lineman from his playing days. A three-time all-Pioneer Conference offensive guard at Drake, he was a first-team all-conference choice from 1998-2000 and earned All-America honors from Football Gazette his final two seasons. He was team captain in 2000.
Coughlin coached three seasons at his alma mater, working the 2001 and 2002 seasons as assistant offensive line coach and tight ends coach for the Bulldogs while mentoring two all-conference first team linemen.
He joined the Iowa State offensive staff in 2004 and spent two seasons there while pursuing his master's in higher education (2006).
The Kildeer, Ill., native earned his bachelor's degree in history from Drake in 2001. He is MSU's NFL liaison and coordinates MSU's Pro Day and summer team camps. He and his wife, Haley, have daughters Natalia and Maddie.