NSU elevates former player, veteran assistant De’Von Lockett to assistant head coach
NATCHITOCHES — Former standout Northwestern State receiver De’Von Lockett, the longest-tenured Demons’ assistant football coach, has added the role of assistant head coach.
First-year head coach Brad Laird made the announcement of Lockett’s promotion Thursday as the Demons prepared to convene for preseason camp on July 31.
Lockett, a member of NSU’s FCS playoff teams in 2001 and 2002, has been on the Demons’ coaching staff since 2010, coaching in the secondary. Among his off-the-field responsibilities is coordinating the team’s academic responsibilities, with NSU reaching the highest levels of achievement in that area in this century. Lockett has also coordinated community service activities, highlighted by the annual Chris Waddell Day of school visits in memory of a former Demon player.
“He’s been here as a player, he’s been here as a coach, and that gives him the deepest possible appreciation for this program and this university. He also brings to the table the ability to handle a lot of responsibilities off the field, aspects very important to the process of where we want to go, and one major area in academic oversight, where obviously he’s done a very good job.
Lockett, 38, will continue coaching the Demons’ cornerbacks, and takes over the role as the program’s second-in-command in instances when Laird is unavailable.
“To have somebody by your side, when you’re not available for a particular event or situation, to step up and lead that room, we feel very comfortable with him, as a coaching staff and as a football team,” said Laird.
A 2003 graduate of NSU in psychology, Lockett has worked under head coaches Scott Stoker, Bradley Dale Peveto, Jay Thomas and Laird, while also playing for Sam Goodwin and Steve Roberts.
“This is a great opportunity and honor that I deeply appreciate,” said Lockett. “Being a former player here, spending all the time practicing with blood, sweat and tears, and then coming back as a coach, has been a very positive thing in my life. It’s been really good to me and my family.”
Lockett earned a promotion to secondary coach in 2014 after an outstanding job developing an NFL player and Super Bowl champion, Seattle’s Jeremy Lane. In 2014, NSU forced 30 turnovers as Lockett coached All-American cornerback Imoan Claiborne.
In the final game of the 2015 season, Lockett served as interim defensive coordinator in a convincing 33-17 victory over rival Stephen F. Austin. The Demons’ defense posted season bests in fewest points allowed, and fewest yards allowed (298).
Lockett was the defensive backs coach in early 2010 at Bethel University before returning to his alma mater to join the Demons staff in time for 2010 spring practice. In the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Lockett was an assistant defensive backs coach and a quality control coach at Missouri Southern, where he also assisted with special teams.
Lockett coached at Bethel in McKenzie, Tenn., from 2005-07 as a graduate assistant, coaching receivers and assisting with special teams. Lockett earned a master’s in education from Bethel in 2007.
From 2003-05, he coached football, basketball and track and field at his alma mater, Franklin Senior High School. He coached receivers and defensive backs, was special teams coordinator, head boys track coach and an assistant basketball coach.
He returned to FSHS in 2007-08 and helped coach the track team to the 2008 state indoor and outdoor championships. His college coaching career began in spring 2003 as a student assistant at NSU.
Lockett played in the National Indoor Football League in 2003-04 for the Houma Bayou Bucks after finishing as a four-year letterman for the Demons from 1999-2002, playing for three different head coaches (Sam Goodwin, Steve Roberts and Scott Stoker).
Lockett had 55 catches for 881 yards and three touchdowns as a Demon.
As a junior, with future NFL quarterback Craig Nall setting school passing records, he was third on the team with career-best totals of 31 receptions for 463 yards.He had a key 48-yard catch along with a 9-yard TD grab in the Demons’ 27-24 win at TCU.
He also competed as a horizontal jumper in track and field for NSU. At Franklin Senior High School, he was a first-team All-District receiver and defensive back, and a second-team Coaches All-State defensive back, making seven interceptions and seven pass breakups as a senior. He was also a state meet qualifier in track and field and was his team’s MVP.
Lockett and his wife ShaLawnda have a 14-year-old son, Seth, who is an active figure around the Demon football program. The Locketts also have two more sons, Dayson (5) and Paxton (3).
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