PRAIRIE VIEW – Prairie View A&M football has completed its coaching staff with a pair of new hires over the spring.
Joining the staff are Damon Nivens and Vantz Singletary. Nivens has been announced as the Panthers’ new Offensive Line Coach, while Singletary was named Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Ends Coach and Special Teams Coordinator.
Singletary brings nearly three decades of championship-winning coaching experience to the Hill, most recently coming from Tennessee State. Prior to that stop, Singletary coached the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football league following a seven-year stop at Liberty University.
“Vantz brings a wealth of experience, and he’s coached at every level of the game,” PVAMU Head Football Coach Eric Dooley said. “With the young guys we have coming in as well as some our returnees, he’s going to help hone their skills and bring something that I think we were missing last year. He’s recruited the Houston area and Texas in general very well, so it’s a pleasure to have him. Vantz is a great addition to our staff all around, not just with his football knowledge and recruiting ability, but as a person as well.”
The nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, Singletary also coached the inside linebackers of the San Francisco 49ers from 2009-10.
A native Houstonian, Singletary has overseen some of the nation’s most productive and decorated defensive lines at the FCS level, having coached a litany of all-conference and defensive player of the year honorees over his career.
“This opportunity allows my wife and me to get back home,” Singletary said. “I’ve been able to go against all the in-state schools, but until now I’ve never had the opportunity to coach in Texas and compete. I want to be able to pick up where I left off in this conference. Coach Dooley and I won back-to-back SWAC titles at Southern, and those were the first two of my career. There’s nothing like winning a championship, and it really means something, especially when you can do it in consecutive years.”
Singletary also coached at Southern for two seasons (1997-98), guiding the defensive line as the Jaguars won consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and the 1997 NCAA I-AA Black College National Championship. In all, Singletary has coached on nine conference champions in his career and expects to help create a similar winning pedigree as part of the Panthers’ football program.
“I truly believe discipline and consistency are what winners are about, and looking back on my previous stops, those two ingredients and the ability to play together were the difference,” Singletary said. “I’m hoping to instill that among the coaching staff as well.”
Nivens is no stranger to Dooley’s system, having played in it during his collegiate days at Southern. Having had the chance to work with the Panthers’ linemen during the early goings of spring football, Nivens likes what he sees so far and expects the unit to be another in a long line of dominant blocking corps he has coached in years past.
“It’s a great opportunity, and I feel blessed to be accepted into the Prairie View A&M family,” Nivens said. “I’m ready to go to work. We’ve got an older group of guys, and we did have a chance to build some continuity. Coach Dooley knows what I bring to the table, and we’re definitely going to be hungrier and more physical in the run game. We’re going to be a hard-nosed unit that has a different approach as to how we attack this year. I think we’re going to do some really good things in the future.”
Prior to Southern, Nivens plied his craft at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff from 2012-2015, working alongside Dooley as the Golden Lions’ offensive line coach during the team’s 2012 SWAC Championship-winning season.
“Damon has a ton of knowledge, especially with what we do offensively as I had the chance to coach him in this same offense at Southern,” Dooley said. “He’s tough, and he’s going to keep our linemen moving in the right direction. We had a good coach before him, but I’m confident Damon will continue to get the most out of our talent and instill an edge in our guys up front as far as mental toughness.”
The moves continue to echo the Panthers’ offseason theme of building from the trenches.
“They will bring an infusion of knowledge and competition in the trenches,” Dooley said. “I wanted to continue building our team from the inside-out, and bringing these guys on is a part of that. I’m very excited about bringing them on board.”
Courtesy: PVAMU Athletics