'Young rising star' named UTPB head football coach

‘Young rising star’ named UTPB head football coach

Kris McCullough has been named the second head coach of the UT Permian Basin Football program’s young history, succeeding Justin Carrigan, who has become deputy athletic director at the university.

UTPB Sports Information Director Tom Perpetua described McCullough as “one of the young rising starts in the world of Division II football.” He comes to the Falcons after a season as head coach at East Central University in Ada, Okl., where he led the Tigers to a 9-3 record in the Great American Conference and a win over Texas A&M-Kingsville in the Fun Town RV Heritage Bowl.

In the wake of that success, McCullough was the lone Division II coach to be selected to the American Football Coaches Assocation 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute.

Before becoming head coach at East Central, he started as the program’s special team coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2018, as its offensive coordinator in 2020 and as its assistant coach in 2021. McCullough is credited with helping to revive a program that was 3-8 prior to his promotion, and has been 19-7 since, according to Perpetua.

“What Kris has done in a short amount of time in charge of a football program is quite remarkable,” said Todd Dooley, vice president for UTPB Athletics.  “Throughout the entire search process Kris’ charisma and vision stood out in a very competitive group of candidates.  He checks all the boxes in what we are looking for in our pursuit of comprehensive excellence.”

Previous to East Central, McCullough served in coaching roles at Fairmont State, Old Dominion and at his alma mater, Henderson State.

McCullough said he “enjoyed every second spent in Ada” and that he’s elated about the opportunity to lead the UTPB program, which launched just nine years ago under Carrigan’s leadership.

“My wife Hannah and I can’t wait to arrive in the Permian Basin to get started and meet all the great folks in West Texas as we level up UTPB Football,” he said. “Falcons Up!”