Feb. 10, 2009
Columbia, Mo. – Josh Henson has joined the University of Missouri football coaching staff as its newest assistant coach, and will serve as co-offensive line coach, as announced today by MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel. A former standout offensive lineman at Oklahoma State, Henson spent the last four years as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana State University, where he developed the reputation as being a tremendous on-field teacher of the game, while leading the charge for LSU’s recruiting efforts that ranked among the top 10 in the nation four times – including a 2009 class recently ranked as No. 2 in the nation according to Rivals.com.
Henson will share co-offensive line coach duties with Bruce Walker, who has served as MU’s co-offensive line coach since 2001. As part of other staff realignments, Pinkel announced that Andy Hill will now serve as receivers coach, which encompasses all wide receivers and tight ends. Additionally, former Tiger player Brandon Barnes will be receivers graduate assistant coach.
“I am very excited to join Coach Pinkel’s staff and work with this program which is really well-respected nationally,” said Henson. “Missouri’s staff has a reputation of doing things in a first-class manner, and the strides they’ve made over the years makes this a very attractive place to be. I’m grateful for the opportunity and pleased to be back in Big 12 country,” he said.
Henson is no stranger to the Big 12 Conference, as he spent 10 years as a player and coach at Oklahoma State, prior to his most recent successful stint as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at LSU. He replaces former Tiger coach Dave Christensen, who was the first assistant to leave Pinkel’s staff since coming to MU in 2001. Christensen was named the head coach at Wyoming this past December.
In 2007, Henson’s coaching efforts helped LSU sophomore tight end Richard Dickson put together one of the most productive seasons at the position in school history. Dickson turned in the third-highest single-season reception total by a Tiger tight end in school history, and he capped the 2007 season by catching a pair of touchdown passes in LSU’s 38-24 win over Ohio State in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game.
The Tiger tight ends played a key role as LSU’s offense set a total of 10 school records in 2007, including points in a season and total yards in a season. Following the 2007 season, LSU tight end Keith Zinger was selected in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
As LSU's recruiting coordinator, Henson's abilities made an immediate impact on the Tiger roster as LSU had the nation's No. 2-ranked signing class in 2007 after a consensus top 6 national rating in 2006. For his efforts, Henson was ranked as one of college football's top 25 recruiters in 2006 and 2007 by Rivals.com.
“Josh is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff,” said Pinkel. “He has a proven track record at the highest level and he is someone who has great character and passion for the game of football. I think he will be a very good fit to help us as we’re working hard to continue to develop our program at Mizzou,” he said.
At Oklahoma State, Henson was instrumental in the development of Billy Bajema, who was a three-year starter for the Cowboys. As a senior in 2004, Bajema was one of the top tight ends in the country, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors. Bajema was picked in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
Henson also played a vital role in OSU's offensive development as the Cowboys ranked among the top 15 scoring teams in the nation for three consecutive years. The Cowboys averaged over 34 points per game from 2002-04, which included 35.9 points per game in 2003 and 34.5 points a game in 2004.
As Oklahoma State's recruiting coordinator, Henson played a key role in OSU's 2003 signing class being ranked No. 15 in the nation by Rivals.com. A year earlier, Rivals.com rated the Cowboy class as the 26th-best in the country.
As a player, Henson was a four-year letterwinner with 40 career starts for Oklahoma State from 1993-97. He was a starter on the offensive line as well as team captain for Oklahoma State's 8-4 team in 1997, a squad that played in the Alamo Bowl against Purdue. He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a senior in addition to being an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick as a junior. Off the field, Henson was named the recipient of the L.L. Boger Award as a senior, an honor that recognizes a student-athlete's achievement both on the field and in the classroom.
Henson graduated from Oklahoma State with a bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1998. Upon graduation, he went straight into coaching, serving as a high school football coach in Kingfisher, Okla. In one season at Kingfisher, he helped guide the Yellowjackets to the state semifinals.
Henson returned to Oklahoma State as a graduate assistant in July of 1999, spending one year with the Cowboy offensive line before taking a full-time position with OSU as tight ends coach in 2001.
Henson, 33, is a native of Tuttle, Okla. He and his wife Shauna have a 6-year old son, Will, and a 2-year old daughter, Kate. Henson lists golf, fishing and hunting as his hobbies in his spare time.