Bill Khayat | Brevard College

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Team: Brevard College
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Head Coach / Offensive Coor.
Hometown: Camden, New Jersey

Biography

The hiring of Bill Khayat ushered in an era of unprecedented success in the annals of Brevard College football, transforming the Tornados from perennial also-rans to present-day power players. As a first-time head coach, as well as the offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, he took over a program in late January of 2017 that had only one winning season in its entire NCAA history. Saddled with a returning roster of 17 players at the start of spring practice and with not much hope to even field a team, he achieved extraordinary success against challenging odds. The Tornados, in just his third season, posted an .800 winning percentage along with a bowl invitation and victory. At the completion of his fourth season and another .800 winning percentage, the Tornados are now the reigning USA South Western Division Co-Champions, garnering a national ranking of 15 from D3 In the Huddle. A 2021 training camp roster of 143 reflects the exponential interest in Brevard, fueled by this remarkable upward trajectory and rewriting of the record books.

2020 – The Covid-delayed season moved to the spring of 2021. Always a keen judge of his players’ talents, Khayat had converted last season’s starting quarterback to a tight end/H-back who subsequently scored three touchdowns in a conference game and was named D3.com’s Tight End of the Week. Injury necessitated a change to this newly revamped offense in the second game of the season and now featured a third-string freshman quarterback who in his first two games was awarded consecutive Offensive Rookie of the Week honors. Another injury at the position forced a change yet again. Undaunted, the Tornados finished the schedule without a loss and tallied 44 points in the last conference game. In the two games played at home, Khayat called an offense that scored 71 points to 17 against conference opponents, and with a consecutive .800 winning percentage produced the first back-to-back winning seasons in school history. Brevard’s win/loss record since November of 2018 stands at 14-3.

Accolades both in conference and nationally continued in historic numbers in all phases of game, including a D3 Football.com All-American and All-Region selection and ten Team of the Week honorees. Ten players were also named to the USA South Conference Football All-West Division along with the two-time USA South Offensive Rookie of the Week, a Defensive Rookie of the Week, and a Defensive Player of the week. Exceptional academic recognition was awarded as well. Twelve players were named USA South Academic All-Conference, two to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, and three to the prestigious National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society.

In their first year of eligibility to contend for the conference title and statistically dominant in their division, the Tornados were eliminated from play by a controversial last-minute decision in which a coin toss decided the participating team. Nonetheless, Brevard posted more wins overall at the final tally than the eventual titleholder, and the number 15 ranking by D3 In the Huddle was 10 places higher than the conference winner. A dominating defense ranked tenth nationally. Named Co-Champions of the USA South Western Division, it was the first postseason title in Brevard history.

2019 – In three short seasons, Khayat not only took a program that had languished in the loser’s column for a decade to the winner’s column but also to the realization of a dream held by all teams—an invitation to play in a bowl game—and better yet, deliver a victory.

Picked to finish sixth in the USA South preseason poll, the Tornados finished in second place after posting a historic record-setting season. Their 8-2 finish was the most single-season wins in the NCAA era. An .800 winning percentage was best in history. Most conference wins and wins on the road were posted as well.

As in previous seasons, players excelled in all phases of the game with six chosen as USA South Players of the Week, five selected for conference post-season honors, and four selected to D3 Football.com’s National Team of the Week. Nineteen interceptions tied for third in all of NCAA Division III and set a school record as did 23 turnovers, 105 points allowed, and 11.7 points-per-game allowed. The four touchdowns scored on defense tied for the lead in the USA South.

The season finale featured a berth in the ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Bowl versus Carnegie Mellon. Play against CMU’s long-established and successful program was dominant in all phases. Offense, defense, and special teams all contributed touchdowns. Nine sacks and a 262-25 rushing advantage highlighted the convincing 42-28 victory.

His student-athletes completed over 600 hours of community service and 40% of his roster were named to the Dean’s List/Honor Roll—all accomplished while earning the best record of any team sport in Brevard College history.

2018 – Continued building process with a returning squad of sixty-six percent freshmen and six seniors. Once again, despite the youth, multiple school records were set in every phase of the game. The same held true for conference play. In their first year of eligibility for post-season accolades, Brevard lead in receiving touchdowns, sacks, tackles, passing defense, fumble recoveries, return yardage, and blocked punts. Six players represented in at least one position—offense, defense, and special teams—on the USA South All-Conference team. 

He created and called an explosive offense that helped the freshman quarterback break 2017 school records, set new ones, and be named USA South Conference Offensive Rookie of the Year. Conference records included ranking first in passing touchdowns and total completions and second in passing yards per game, completions percentage, and average yards per game.

Converted QB-to-wide receiver broke his own 2017 records and in just two seasons became Brevard’s NCAA-era career record holder for receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and average yards per game. He also garnered a first place in conference ranking for receiving touchdowns.  

Fans witnessed games featuring the most single-game receptions in history, most passing touchdowns in a single game, and experienced the best home record in Brevard’s NCAA-era history. USA South ranked team first in in passing touchdowns, passing first downs, and second in completions and time of possession.

2017 – Despite a late start taking over a team with only one winning season in the previous 10, coupled with a returning squad of just 24 players (reduced to 17 by spring training) only 6 of whom were seniors, Khayat was able to hire top-notch assistants and together they recruited and filled a competitive roster. Even though freshmen made up seventy-five percent of the team, multiple individual and team school records were set in every phase of the game—offense, defense, and special teams. The six seniors who chose to remain on the team experienced winning more games in their final season than they had experienced in their careers to date.

Khayat’s expertise in evaluating talent and its optimal use prompted his changing the roles of the team’s two former quarterbacks, one becoming a record setting tight end and the other a record setting wide receiver. Some of these single season records actually eclipsed the career records of former players assigned to similar positions. 

As offensive coordinator, he installed an offense implemented by a junior transfer quarterback protected by an all-freshmen offensive line. This pro-style approach finished among the top five in program history in seven major team categories including ranking first in passing yards and first quarter points, second in fourth quarter points and fourth in total points, first downs, total offense yards and red zone scores.

Though not eligible for conference recognition due to reclassification, individual players—quarterback, tight end, wide receiver, linebackers, and kicker—posted first or second place numbers in all phases of the game. The 2017 unit also became the first in Brevard’s NCAA program history to post not only a winning record on the road but also the first back-to-back road victories since the 2010 season. They also claimed victory over all their in-state conference opponents. 2017 also saw the Tornados, for just the second time in their history, post two fifty-plus points in downing their opponents.

At his hiring Khayat was described variously by Brevard President, David Joyce, and Athletic Director, Juan Mascaro, as having vision, energy, and charisma for the game of football, a hands-on coach with a real commitment to academic and athletic success, someone who knows how to build a winning program, and has the drive to make Brevard College a Division III powerhouse. By any measure, Coach Khayat, in his first stint at the helm of a college program, validated those assessments. The four ensuing seasons are also a testament to Khayat’s delivering on his own promise to produce a squad of prepared, productive players who would establish a legacy of excellence for the Brevard College Football Tornados.

BACKGROUND

Bill Khayat hails from a football family. His father, Eddie Khayat, a member of the Tulane Hall of Fame and a thirty-five-year veteran of the NFL, ten as a player and twenty-five as a coach, was the starting defensive tackle for the 1960 World Champion Philadelphia Eagles. He was subsequently named the team’s head coach in 1971. His uncle, Robert Khayat, a member of the Ole Miss Hall of Fame and the Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Mississippi, was a Pro Bowl kicker for the Washington Redskins and the recipient of the NFL’s Alumni Achievement Award and the National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award. Both are also members of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

PLAYING CAREER

Khayat, a First Team All-State tight end from York Catholic High School (York, Pa.), had his jersey retired in 1991, and he was later inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame. He went on to have a record setting career at Duke University where he became the first tight end in 25 years to lead the Blue Devils in receiving. As a junior, he was an Honorable Mention All-America choice. Other honors included: Duke’s Outstanding Receiver Award, two-time All-ACC (Second Team), First Team All-Carolina, Academic All-ACC, and the Iron Dukes Academic All-Star team. He also set records for receptions and yardage in the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl. Khayat followed up his college career with stints at the Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, and NFL Europe’s Barcelona Dragons.

COACHING CAREER

Khayat began his coaching career as the tight ends coach at Tennessee State University. During two separate turns at TSU (2000–2003, 2013–2015), his coaching achievements included: two All-America and four All-OVC tight ends, an All-America/Walter Payton Award finalist and All-OVC running back, two All-OVC offensive linemen, and one All-OVC kick returner.

Khayat’s NFL coaching experience includes three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (2004–2006) as offensive quality control coach and assistant offensive line coach where he was part of an offense that led the NFL in passing yards and one that produced the NFL’s leading receiver. From 2007 to 2009, he served as the offensive quality control coach and assistant tight ends coach for the Washington Redskins, whose tight end was named to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2009.

Khayat went on to coach two seasons in the United Football League as the tight ends coach and assistant offensive line coach for the Sacramento Mountain Lions where he coached two players to NFL rosters. His last stop before Brevard was Scottsdale Community College where he coached running backs and was a special teams assistant.

Over the course of his career, he has been invited to coach in six prestigious college all-star games, including offensive coordinator roles in the Players All-Star Classic and the East West Shrine Game, as well as back-to-back duties as tight ends coach in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  Most recently, he was named head coach of the Tropic Bowl where he also assumed the multiple roles of offensive coordinator, quarterback coach, and tight ends coach. A second invitation for head coaching duties at the Tropic Bowl was extended at the same time as his hiring. It was an offer he chose to decline. His energy and expertise would be focused solely on charting a winning course for the Brevard College Football Tornados. 

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