Skyhawk Football | Kevin Bannon - Offensive Coordinator
Kevin Bannon is in his fifth season as the offensive line coach, and second season as offensive coordinator after spending the 2015 campaign as the program's run game coordinator at UT Martin, his alma mater.
Under Bannon's tutelage, the Skyhawks have formed one of the best offensive lines in the Ohio Valley Conference, conceding only 65 sacks in 47 games over the past four seasons and has allowed the lowest sacks per dropbacks percentage (4.09 percent) in the OVC. In that same span, the UT Martin offensive line has helped the Skyhawks average 415.4 yards of total offense and 30.1 points per outing.
In 2016, the Skyhawk offensive line led the league in sacks per dropback percentage at 3.98 percent while boasting three All-OVC honorees on the offensive side of the ball. Offensive guard Robert Burleigh earned a spot on the first team after pacing an offensive unit which ranked 24th nationally and first in the OVC in sacks allowed per game (1.25) while center Kenneth Crenshaw and wide receiver Ben Axline garnered second-team honors.
In 2015, Bannon's offensive line paved the way for one of the nation's top offensive attacks. The Skyhawks produced three All-OVC members on offense including quarterback Jarod Neal, wide receiver Rod Wright and offensive lineman Jackson Roberts. Neal ranked amongst the nation's top quarterbacks with 3,117 yards and 30 touchdowns while Wright caught 62 passes for 963 yards and 14 touchdowns. Roberts helped anchor an offensive line which ranked first in pass efficiency (139.9) while ranking second in scoring offense (35.5 ppg), passing offense (293.5 ypg) and sacks allowed (0.91).
Bannon served as a mentor for the final two seasons in the career of Skyhawk all-time great Charles Sweeton. A Preseason All-American in 2014, Sweeton conceded only one sack in his final two seasons at left tackle, earning All-OVC accolades in both 2013 and 2014. His success earned him a free agent opportunity with the Kansas City Chiefs in May of 2015.
In his first season at UT Martin (2013), his offensive linemen allowed just 19 sacks - which ranked as the least in the OVC.
Bannon coached as an offensive line graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas, where he coached alongside Bret Bielema for two months in 2013 before returning to UT Martin. He also served two years as an offensive line graduate assistant at Marshall University under head coach Doc Holliday from 2011-12.
Prior to his stint at Marshall, Bannon was a graduate assistant for tight ends (2010) and the offensive line (2009) at UT Martin.
Bannon's coaching career followed a spectacular playing career for the Skyhawks. A two-time all-OVC selection, he appeared in 45 games over his four-year career, starting in 43. He was a key cog on an offense that produced the program's first-ever OVC championship in 2006 and was consistently atop several OVC statistical categories.
Bannon also had an impact on the UT Martin record books, as he blocked for all-time UT Martin leading rusher Don Chapman for three seasons. Chapman finished with 5,017 rushing yards, becoming just the 14th Division-I player to rush for 1,000 yards in four straight seasons (2004-07).
In 2008, Bannon graded out at 80 percent and only allowed one sack, earning All-OVC first team honors after being named to the All-OVC preseason team. He served as team captain for a team that went 8-4 and finished one last-second blocked field goal attempt shy of its second OVC crown in three years.
Bannon helped block for an offensive unit that ranked first in the OVC in 2008 in scoring offense, touchdowns and total offense. The scoring offense of 37.33 points per game ranked fourth in the nation.
Bannon started all 11 games during his junior campaign in 2007, earning All-OVC second team accolades. The Skyhawks led the OVC in scoring and total offense, scoring 40-plus points in four games.
The Skyhawks' first-ever OVC championship came in 2006, a year where Bannon started 10 games. Behind Bannon, UT Martin led the league in rushing offense and was nationally-ranked for the first time in the program's Football Championship Subdivision history.
As a true freshman in 2005, Bannon emerged strong to start in six of the last seven games - all against conference opponents. Bannon blocked for quarterback Brady Wahlberg, who graduated as UT Martin's all-time career leader in total offense (7,387 yards).
Before his playing career at UT Martin, Bannon was a two-sport athlete at Wentzville High School in Wentzville, Mo., competing in football and wrestling. He earned all-state and all-metro accolades as a senior and all-district honors as a junior. He was also a three-year All-Gateway Athletic Conference team selection.
Bannon graduated from UT Martin in 2009. He is married to the former Meagan Stricklin of Sharon, Tenn. and the two have one son, Braylon (Knox).
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