Off. Coordinator / QB
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Bennett Swygert completed his fifth season as offensive coordinator and seventh season at Newberry College in 2016.
In his five years as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, Newberry has made the NCAA playoffs for the second (2013), third (2015), and fourth (2016) times in program history. In 2016, the Wolves' offense set school records for points (436), total yards (5,462), and single-game total offense (729 vs. Lenoir-Rhyne). Newberry also set a South Atlantic Conference record with 39 first downs in the game against the Bears.
Swygert coached a pair of quarterbacks in 2017 that totaled over 1,000 yards of total offense, with Greg Ruff accounting for 1,326 and Nick Jones chipping in 1,146. Ruff exploded onto the scene as a freshman, tossing 11 touchdowns without an interception while finishing the season as the Wolves' second-leading rusher.
Markell Castle ended the season tied for 10th in school history with 756 receiving yards in 2017 and added four more 100-yard receiving games to his career total. The junior was 15th in Division II with 19.4 yards per catch and was second in the league with nine touchdown catches. Senior center Dakota Mozingo was named the SAC Scholar-Athlete and earned first-team recognition in Super Region 2, the SAC, and the ECAC. Offensive lineman Tyler Anderson joined Castle on the all-SAC second team.
The unit had nine total all-SAC selections in 2016, including six first-teamers and at least one player at each position. Newberry receivers had eight games of 100+ yards, seven receivers with at least two scoring receptions, and three receivers total at least 600 yards on the season. The offense finished the regular season leading Division II in completion percentage (.699), fifth in first downs (285), ninth in third down conversions (.497), 15th in passing offense (302.9), 19th in passing efficiency (107.04), and 25th in total offense (464.0).
Quarterback Raleigh Yeldell was named the 2016 SAC Offensive Player of the Year and Newberry's first-ever finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy after leading the nation with a .703 completion percentage and ranking inside the top 21 nationally in eight other categories. He led the SAC in every major passing category and was the top rushing quarterback in several others. He set school records for single-season total offense (3,418), passing yardage, (3,087), and completions (260).
Prior to 2016, Swygert coached two different quarterbacks that earned 2nd team all-SAC honors, WT Murden in 2013 and Raleigh Yeldell in 2015. Yeldell was also named to Don Hansen’s 3rd team All Region in 2015. In 2013, two offensive players were named to Daktronics 1st team all Super Region, WR Corey Washington and OL Jamal Ellis. The ECAC named running back Romelo Doctor the offensive player of the year in 2015. Doctor’s award came following a season in which he recorded 1,235 rushing yards and finished second all time in Newberry College for single season rushing. In 2015, the Wolves’ offense had a ball carrier hit the 100 rushing yard mark in a game twelve times, a school record.
He served as running backs coach in his first two seasons and coached John Gadson to a first team All-SAC season in 2011 prior to being named offensive coordinator. Also in 2011, Newberry running backs helped set the school record for the most rushing yards in a game versus Tusculum with 493 yards.
He began coaching at Fort Dorchester High School under Steve LaPrad. There he coached a North/South All-Star quarterback in 2008. Swygert was on the Summerville HS state championship team in 1998 and was an all-state, All-American and Shrine Bowl quarterback in 2000.
As a college player, he was the starting quarterback at Western Carolina in 2004 and 2006
Swygert is married to Newberry College director of spirit and head cheerleading coach Lindsey Swygert and is the son of 2012 Newberry Athletic Hall of Fame inductee and current defensive volunteer assistant Dennis Swygert.