PEMBROKE – UNCP football head coach Pete Shinnick announced a pair of promotions on his coaching staff on Friday morning as offensive line coach Steve Saulnier was named assistant head coach while quarterbacks coach Geoff Buffum was tabbed offensive coordinator. Both coaches will resume their current positional coaching assignments as well.
Having recently completed his fourth season alongside Shinnick in Pembroke, Saulnier has mentored an offensive line that has shown consistent improvement under his tutelage. The Braves were ranked among the nation's top-10 teams in sacks allowed in each of the past two seasons, while the most recent edition of the Black and Gold boasted the country's ninth-ranked rushing offense as well.
Buffum, who joined the staff prior to the 2008 campaign, has played an integral role in constructing an offense that has averaged better than 33 points per game over the last two seasons. Quarterback Cory Smith has thrived under Buffum's instruction, completing better than 63 percent of his passing attempts while also logging 3,200 passing yards. UNCP's signal callers have tallied a 140.9 collective quarterback rating with Buffum as quarterbacks coach, including Smith who has finished 33rd or better among the nation's passing efficiency leaders over the last two seasons.
“The title changes really reflect what Steve Saulnier and Geoff Buffum have been doing for this program,” Shinnick said. “Steve has been taking on a lot of administrative duties and Geoff has really taken the lead with our offense. With that said, I wanted to make sure their titles reflected the hard work they have put in. I am excited for them both.”