Zach Wilkerson is in his sixth season as the defensive coordinator for the Hardin-Simmons football team. He also is in charge of the linebackers.
The Cowboys have improved consistently under Wilkerson and last year allowed just 301.7 yards per game and 21.2 points per contest. Eriq Mitchell and Dedrick Strambler were named first-team all-ASC at linebacker, becoming the 25th player in his first five years to be named first or second-team all-ASC. Chris Miller was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press. He has coached a first-team all-ASC linebacker for three of the last four seasons.
In 2017, the Cowboys allowed just 311.6 yards and 13.9 points per game. HSU had seven games where the opponent scored one touchdown or less and allowed just 17 defensive touchdowns, which was the fewest in school history.
In 2016, HSU was second in the league in scoring defense last season allowing 22 points per contest and were third in yards allowed at 357.7 yards per contest.
Cory Ward was an All-American a year ago and was also a Gagliardi Trophy finalist and the ASC defensive player of the year. Ward and Josh White became the first two Cowboys since 1999 to have 100 tackles each in a season. Ward, White and Matthew Hawkins all earned all-conference honors.
In 2015, the Cowboys led the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 17.4 points per game. The Cowboys had 10 players on defense earn all-ASC accolades last year and four were on the first team.
He helped the Cowboys improve dramatically on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 18.7 points per game fewer than the year before he arrived in 2014.
Wilkerson came to HSU from Mississippi College, where he spent one season as the defensive coordinator.
Prior to MC, he had been a defensive backs and special teams coach at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
He was a defensive backs and linebackers coach for seven seasons at Southwest Baptist University. His final four years he was the defensive coordinator.
Wilkerson played and later coached at Kansas Wesleyan. He is a native of Keller, Texas and has a bachelor’s of arts in history and a master’s in education both from Kansas Wesleyan.
He and his wife Brittny were married in August of 2006 and have two young sons, Paxton and Knox.