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Berry College Football
Berry College Football

Coaching Staff


Rich Duncan
Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator

Rich Duncan, the former head football coach at Aurora University in Illinois, was named offensive coordinator at Berry College in July 2012.

In his Berry career, Duncan has helped the Vikings to steady offensive improvement especially in 2015 where Berry had a top five passing threat in the SAA in Dale Jackson. The Vikings also had a top ten rusher in Austin Lowe and two top ten receivers in Trey Ciresi and Chris Lilly. Duncan coached six All-SAA selections in 2015 and helped the Vikings to a 7-3 record.

Duncan was the head coach at Aurora from 2005-11, leading the Spartans to the NCAA Division III national playoffs in 2008. That season, Duncan was named the Northern Athletics Conference Coach of the Year after guiding Aurora to a 9-2 overall record, including an undefeated mark in conference play.

He owns a 38-33 career record as a head coach.

Duncan, who spent the spring of 2012 as the offensive line coach at the University of St. Francis (Ill.), coached 80 all-conference players during his tenure at Aurora, including 15 who went on to become all-region selections and five who became All-Americans. Four Spartans earned academic all-region honors while being coached by Duncan.

He came to Aurora after spending four seasons as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Loras College, where he coached seven All-Conference linemen.

Duncan served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1997 and 1998, before moving to the other side of the ball as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach the following two seasons. He coached a total of 12 All-Conference players at UWP, including seven on the offensive side of the ball.

Duncan was also the head baseball coach at Wisconsin-Platteville.

Prior to his stint at UWP, Duncan was the offensive line coach and special teams coordinator, as well as an assistant athletics director, at Capital University from 1995-97 and the offensive line coach at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell from 1992-95.

He began his coaching career as an intern at Manchester College in 1991, where he served as the team's offensive line coach and was also an assistant baseball coach.

Duncan earned a bachelor's degree from Bethany College in 1990 and a master's degree from Loras College in 2006.

Duncan is the father of two children: Molly and Jake.

Nate Masters
Assistant Coach/Defensive Coordinator

Nate Masters was named Berry's defensive backs coach in July, 2012 and added the defensive coordinator role for the 2014 season.

Masters' defense led the SAA in nearly every defensive category in 2015 including interceptions (15), points per game (17.1), yards per game (333.3), rushing yards per game (116.9) and were tied for first in sacks (27). Masters coached ten All-SAA defensive selections including a conference-best three first-team players. He also helped Berry land its first All-Region selection in Mamadou Soumahoro.

Masters was an all-conference defensive back as a student-athlete at LaGrange College where he served with Berry head coach Tony Kunczewski from 2009-11. Masters also serves as the strength and conditioning coach for Berry's athletics department.

Masters spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as LaGrange's running backs coach and was also in charge of the Panthers' kickoff unit and assisted with special teams. In 2009, Masters served as LaGrange's videographer. As a student-athlete, Masters earned All-St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors as a senior in 2008. He was a captain and three-year starter for the Panthers, transferring to LaGrange from Maryville College in 2005 and took part in the inaugural season of LaGrange football in 2006.

Along with his individual accolades, Masters helped LaGrange put together a 9-2 overall record en route to a SLIAC title and an appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs. It marked the third fastest trip to national playoffs in NCAA Division III history.

That season, Masters was an integral part of a defensive unit that ranked fifth in the nation in pass defense, sixth in tackles for loss, 15th in quarterback sacks and 18th in total defense.

Masters earned a bachelor's degree in history in 2009 and a master's degree in teaching in 2012--both from LaGrange College. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Masters and his wife, Stephanie, reside in Rome.

Tyson Beacham
Assistant Coach/Quarterbacks

Tyson Beacham was hired as the quarterbacks coach at Berry College in April, 2014.

Under Beacham, Vikings' quarterback Dale Jackson was an SAA Honorable Mention and the No. 2 passing threat in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) in 2014, tossing for 2,083 yards and 20 TDs. Jackson continued his success into 2015, where he was a top five passing threat and helped the Vikings to a 7-3 record.

Beacham was a member of the Birmingham-Southern College football team from 2009 until 2013. He started one game as quarterback during the 2012 season, when the Panthers won the first-ever SAA Conference Championship.

As a senior, Beacham started all nine games at quarterback and was voted a permanent team captain by his teammates for the 2013 season. At the end of the year, he received the Racehorse Award (offensive MVP) from the coaching staff.

Off the field, he was a member of the SAA academic honor roll in 2012. Beacham earned a bachelor's degree in educational services from Birmingham-Southern College.

Beacham is from Athens, Ga. where he attended Athens Christian School.

Ossie Buchannon
Assistant Coach/Wide Receivers/Special Teams

Ossie Buchannon III joined the Berry College football staff in May, 2013 and serves as the wide receivers' coach and added special teams duties for the 2014 season.

Under Buchannon, Vikings' receiver Chris Lilly has had one of the most stellar careers in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). Buchannon coached Lilly to three first-team All-SAA selections, and he has been a top ten receiving threat in the conference since his freshman year. Including Lilly, Buchannon has placed five student-athletes on the All-SAA teams in his career.

Buchannon spent four seasons on the staff at Sewanee, also a member of the SAA. He mentored five all-conference defensive backs for the Tigers.

A graduate of Samford University, Buchannon was a four-year letter winner (2001-05) as a wide receiver. He left as third all-time in receptions, was a team captain and the offensive MVP as a senior. Buchannon spent one year playing professionally with the Birmingham Steeldogs of the Arena2 league.

"We are so pleased to have Ossie on our coaching staff," said Head Coach Tony Kunczewski. "He is a very good teacher and comes highly recommended from the Sewanee staff. His coaching experiences at Sewanee--and his playing experience at Samford--have prepared him well for this opportunity. Ossie will make a big impact on offense for us."

Zack Smith
Assistant Coach/Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator

Zackry Smith was hired as an assistant football coach at Berry College in March, 2015.

In his first year with the Vikings, Smith's defensive line helped Berry lead the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) in sacks (27), rushing yards per game (116.9) and interceptions (15). He also coached three All-SAA defensive lineman including All-Region selection Mamadou Soumahoro.

Smith arrives after spending eight years as a part of the Shorter University football program as a player, a graduate assistant coach and as an assistant coach.

"Zack was exactly what we were looking for in an assistant coach," said Berry College Head Football Coach Tony Kunczewski. "He coaches with great energy, he's passionate about what he does and he really impressed us as a teacher. We have a lot of respect for how the football program was built at Shorter, and Zack left a strong mark there. We anticipate that he will make a positive difference at Berry."

A native of Newnan, Ga., Smith coached the defensive line at Shorter the past two years after serving as the Hawks' outside linebackers coach for the two previous seasons (2010-11).

Smith began his college playing career at Presbyterian College from 2002-04, where he was a two-year starter and was named the defensive freshman of the year.

In 2006, Smith transferred to Shorter, but saw his time on the field come to an end due to a career-ending injury. He then transitioned to coaching as a student assistant while completing his bachelor's degree in public relations. Smith served as a student assistant coach along the defensive line, and later completed his master's degree while a graduate assistant coach.

Alex Kops
Assistant Coach/Safeties

Alex Kops was named Safeties Coach at Berry heading into the 2016 season.

A native of Woodstock, Ga., Kops had a solid career as a football student-athlete at fellow Southern Athletic Association (SAA) member Sewanee: The University of the South. He served as a captain on the team in his senior year and was a three-time All-SAA selection.

Kops led the Tigers in tackling during his sophomore and junior seasons en route to 212 career tackles and 14 tackles for loss playing at defensive back and linebacker.

Kops graduated from Sewanee with a bachelor of arts in international global studies, and also served as the marketing intern at Digital Media Solutions in Clearwater, Fla.

Carsten Boehm
Assistant Coach

Carsten Boehm (16C) was named Berry’s H-Backs coach heading into the 2016 season.

A native of Rome, Ga., Boehm graduated from Berry in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in management. He brings extensive knowledge of Berry’s pro spread offense having played for the Vikings for three season as a fullback.

Boehm saw action in 16 games during his career, helping the Vikings to a program-best 7-3 record in 2015. He was also a Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Academic Honor Roll honoree during his final year. Boehm was also active in Berry’s student work program, serving as the student supervisor of the Cage Center.

Devante Jones
Assistant Coach/Running Backs

Devante Jones was named Running Backs Coach for Berry heading into the 2016 season.

A native of Cairo, Ga., Jones brings a solid rushing career and Southern Athletic Association (SAA) knowledge to the Vikings. Jones graduated from fellow SAA member Sewanee: The University of the South in May of 2016 with a bachelor of science degree in computer science, and he also served as a captain on the Tigers' football team.

During his junior and senior years, Jones was the top running back for the Tigers where he racked up 1,487 career rushing yards and 11 TDs. Jones earned an All-SAA selection in 2014 and also served as a personal trainer at Sewanee, where he assisted clients on strength and conditioning, including members of the football team.