TROY, AL (WTVY) Former Trojan standout Jordan Lesley makes his return to Troy as an assistant coach, football head coach Neal Brown announced Friday. Lesley, who has spent the last three seasons as the defensive coordinator at East Mississippi Community College, will coach on the defensive side of the ball at Troy.
“We are excited to welcome Jordan back to Troy,” Brown said. “His track record as a defensive coach is outstanding with a pair of national championships, numerous All-Americans and top-ranked defenses. Jordan has been a defensive coordinator at three different junior colleges and has proven himself as a top-level recruiter. He loves Troy and coaches the game with a lot of energy.”
To say that Lesley’s defenses at East Mississippi were dominant would be an understatement as the Lions won a pair of NJCAA National Championships during his tenure and twice held opponents to under 10 points per game over the course of a season.
Over his three years as defensive coordinator, East Mississippi allowed an average of just 10.3 points and 232.1 yards per game as the Lions posted a combined 32-1 record with national titles in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the Lions tallied 149 quarterback sacks and 57 interceptions in his three seasons.
In his first season at East Mississippi, the Lions recorded an NJCAA-best 67 sacks and finished second nationally with 30 interceptions and by allowing just 9.8 points per game. The 2013 squad held opponents to just 144.3 passing yards and 74.2 rushing yards per game, while scoring eight touchdowns as a defensive unit.
In 2014, East Mississippi’s defensive unit topped the NJCAA by allowing an average of only 7.6 points per game and ranked third with 58 sacks and 21 interceptions. The Lions posted five shutouts for the second consecutive year and went the entire nine-game regular season without allowing a rushing touchdown.
East Mississippi held opponents to just 58.5 rushing yards and 139.6 passing yards, while scoring 10 defensive touchdowns. Even more impressive, the Lions recorded 133 tackles for loss (11.1 per game), 58 sacks (4.8 per game), 21 interceptions (1.8 per game), and 14 forced fumbles.
The top three tacklers from that team – William Lloyd, Justin Lucas and Demetrius Cain – signed with Troy prior to the 2015 season and all played key roles in the Trojans impressive defensive turnaround in their first season with the Trojans.
In his final season at East Mississippi, the Lions held opponents to just 295.6 yards and 14.8 points per game. In nine games, East Mississippi allowed just five rushing touchdowns and recorded 24 sacks.
Heading into the 2016 National Signing Day, 25 East Mississippi defensive players under Lesley signed National Letters of Intent with four-year schools including Lorenzo Phillips (Florida State), Jarran Reed (Alabama), D.J. Pettway (Alabama), D.J. Jones (Ole Miss) and Christian Russell (Ole Miss).
Lesley joined the East Mississippi staff after six seasons at a pair of nationally prominent junior colleges. He spent the 2010 and 2012 seasons as the defensive line coach at Northwest Mississippi Community College around a pair of stints at Kilgore College, where he was the defensive coordinator in 2011 and the linebackers coach from 2007-09.
During his two seasons at Northwest Mississippi, Lesley was instrumental in helping guide the Rangers to an 8-2 record in 2012 and a 9-1 mark in 2010. The 2012 NWCC squad claimed the school’s first bowl victory in 20 years and earned a No. 9 NJCAA final ranking. The 2010 Northwest team posted an undefeated regular season on the way to finishing with a No. 6 national ranking. Lesley’s two seasons at Northwest helped produce four NJCAA All-Region 23 players on defense.
Lesley helped lead Kilgore to the 2007 Southwest Junior College Football Conference Championship en route to an appearance in the Heart of Texas Bowl. During his four seasons at Kilgore, Lesley helped direct the Rangers to three consecutive playoff appearances while helping tutor 11 players that went on to sign at four-year schools, including six NJCAA All-Americans.
He began his coaching career at Troy as a graduate assistant on the 2006 Sun Belt Conference championship team. The Trojans won seven of their last eight games that season, including a 41-17 victory over Rice in the New Orleans Bowl.
Lesley was a versatile player for the Trojans and was a key part of teams that successfully made the transition to the FBS ranks. A two-year starter at tight end, Lesley helped lead Troy to the 2004 Silicon Valley Bowl and was named a team captain.
A native of Fulton, Miss., Lesley was a three-time all-district performer at Itawamba Agricultural High School. He was selected to the 1999 Class 4A All-State Second Team as a senior.