CHARLESTON, SC – Charleston Southern head football coach Autry Denson has announced three new assistant coaches to his staff starting in the 2022 season. Zack Johnson, Travis Palmer and Manrey Saint-Amour will join the Buccaneers for the next country.
“It’s no secret that God blesses us beyond what we deserve and that’s exactly the case when it comes to our football ministry thanks to the additions of Zack Johnson, Manrey Saint-Amour and the promotion. of Travis Palmer,” Denson said. “They are all phenomenal coaches, teachers and, above all, men of character and integrity. I am delighted to see them use their gifts to mentor our young men on and off the pitch.
ZACK JOHNSON: ASSISTANT COACH, SPECIAL TEAMS
The former Buccaneers linebacker returns to his alma mater to lead the special teams charge after spending the past three seasons at Savannah State. He started with the Tigers as safety coach/special teams coordinator for the 2019 and 2020 seasons before moving to linebacker coach while maintaining his role as special teams coordinator for the 2021 campaign. The Tigers posted a 16-6 record in his three seasons on the sidelines, which included a six-game winning streak midway through the 2021 season and a four-game winning streak through the end of 2019. Savannah State earned the Top 10 regional ranking in 2021.
Savannah State was ranked third nationally in blocked punts, while Nyem Bozeman led the nation in punt return touchdowns. He was a member of the defensive staff who helped guide the Tigers to three top-10 national rankings, including first down defense (sixth), total defense (seventh) and passing yards allowed (10th).
Johnson, a native of Boiling Springs, South Carolina, entered the coaching ranks in 2016 as a senior trainee with Coastal Carolina defensive backs while completing his master’s degree. After one season in that role, he remained on the Chanticleers staff as a graduate assistant working with defensive backs for the 2017 and 2018 campaigns. CCU posted a combined 18-18 record in those three years, which included a transition from FCS Big South to FBS Sun Belt.
Johnson joined the Charleston Southern program in 2012, starting all 11 games in his first season and finishing second on the team with 55 tackles, including 32 solo saves. He made his Citadel debut with seven tackles, one for loss and a forced fumble. His career-high 10 tackles came in a home win over VMI in mid-October, a month after he made eight saves and a tackle for loss at Illinois. As a sophomore in 2013, he had 15 tackles in 12 games, including four in a triumph at Campbell. His 2014 junior season saw him finish the year as one of eight Bucs to start all 12 games, recording 48 tackles, including seven for losses. He had two sacks, including 0.5 at Vanderbilt, while contributing a season-high eight saves against Presbyterian. He capped his career in 2015 with 48 tackles, including eight for loss and several in contests at Troy and Presbyterian. His only sack was against the Trojans, as he also forced fumbles at the Citadel and in a rematch later in the year at home with rivals Crosstown.
Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree from Charleston Southern in business administration and management in December 2014 and completed his MBA from the institution a year later, in December 2015. He added a master’s degree in instructional technology from Coastal Carolina in December 2018.
TRAVIS PALMER: ASSISTANT COACH, TIGHT ENDS
Another familiar face in the Bucs program, Palmer was promoted to full-time tight ends coach from his previous role the past three years as a CSU offensive/tight ends trainee. He first joined the staff at Charleston Southern in the summer of 2019 as an intern, working with the offensive line his first season before sliding to tight ends starting in 2020. He was in charge of film distribution XOS opponents and scout team preparation, among other functions.
The Orlando, Fla. product joined Charleston Southern after serving as a graduate assistant at Florida State under head coach Willie Taggert in 2018. The Seminoles earned a home win over the No. No. 22 Boston College, as well as ACC triumphs at Louisville and against Wake Forest.
Palmer’s breakthrough into the coaching world came in 2015 when he began a three-year tenure as junior varsity offensive coordinator and varsity quarterbacks coach at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Florida. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Ernie Sims Big Hits 7v7 all-star team in 2016.
His college journey began at Stetson in 2012, in redshirt, before transferring to Adrian College, where he attended school from 2013 to 2015. He then returned to the Sunshine State at Florida State, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in sports management.
MANREY SAINT-AMOUR: ASSISTANT COACH, OFFENSIVE LINE
Saint-Amour, who has ties to both Savannah State and Florida State but recently worked at Alabama, is CSU’s new offensive line coach. He joins the staff after serving as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban and Doug Marrone with the Crimson Tide, helping the program finish as an FBS National Finalist in 2021.
He began his graduate assistant roles in 2020 at Florida State under head coach Mike Norvell and offensive line coach Alex Atkins. He worked closely with Atkins and the offensive line in their first season in Tallahassee and also helped set up the scout team’s defense during practices.
In 2019, Saint-Amour was the full-time offensive line coach at Savannah State, on the same staff as Johnson, as they helped guide the Tigers to a 7-3 record, their first winning season. in 20 years. He was the team’s chaplain in addition to leading the team’s community outreach program.
His first foray into the coaching world came in 2017 as a graduate offensive line and tight ends assistant at Concordia in Michigan. He helped the Cardinals to the first playoff victory in school history in 2017 after a 9-2 campaign before going 10-3 the following fall, which saw him lead a pair of NAIA Mideast League first team members on the offensive line. In 2019, he was promoted to full-time strength coach before accepting the position at Savannah State.
Saint-Amour, a native of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, played collegiately at Georgia Southern where he was a 2014 Rimington Trophy watchlist nominee and started 36 career games for the Eagles, suiting three conference champions (2011 , 2012 Southern; 2014, Sun Belt) and a pair of FCS semi-finalists. As a Georgia Southern center and member of the program who rose from the FCS level to the FBS level during his career, he earned All-Southern Conference Freshman Team honors (2011), Applause Second-Team All-Southern Conference (2013) and Sun Belt Conference First-Team All-Awards (2014).
He has served as the team’s representative on the team’s board of directors and student-athlete advisory council, while also being a leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes program.
Off the court, he racked up numerous hors with the Boys and Girls Club, raised funds for FCA, participated in mission trips to Haiti, Mexico, and China, and participated with Unashamed Campus Ministries, organizing new ways for people to engage with Christ on Campus.
He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgia Southern in 2015 and added a master’s degree in student personal administration from Concordia in 2019. He is also working on an additional master’s degree in international relations from Florida State.
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