Jason Houghtaling | Wagner College

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Team: Wagner College
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Head Coach

Biography

Former Wagner associate head coach/offensive coordinator Jason Houghtaling (hO - Tail- Ling), was elevated to head football coach on November 25, 2014 and enters his fifth season at the helm of the Seahawk program in 2019.

In his previous four seasons as head coach, Houghtaling has developed 22 All-Northeast Conference (NEC) selections, including 11 First-Team choices, headlined by 2018 NEC Defensive and ECAC Player of the Year, LB Cam Gill, as well as RB Ryan Fulse, who finished second nationally with 1,784 rushing yards.

In his four seasons on Grymes Hill, Houghtaling is 15-29 (11-14 NEC), highlighted by a 6-5 season in 2016, which included a 4-2 mark in the Northeast Conference (NEC). That season, the Seahawks had the distinction of being the only NEC team to defeat eventual NEC Champion Saint Francis U.

Under Houghtaling's tutelage, offensive lineman Greg Senat developed into a sixth-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft when he went in the sixth round to the Baltimore Ravens, becoming just the third Seahawk in program history to be drafted by the NFL.

Houghtaling took over for Walt Hameline, who served in the dual role as Seahawk athletic director and head football coach for 34 years, before announcing that he is stepping down from his role as head coach. Hameline will remain as Wagner’s athletic director.

Prior to his appointment as head coach, Houghtaling spent seven seasons on the Wagner sidelines, serving as offensive coordinator during Wagner’s 2012 and 2014 Northeast Conference (NEC) title runs, while in-between, spending the 2013 season as offensive coordinator at Cornell

In his last three seasons as Wagner’s offensive coordinator, the Seahawks have amassed a 16-6 NEC record with league titles in two of the last three seasons. The Green & White staged a dramatic 23-20 come-from-behind victory at Bryant, marching 65 yards in the waning minutes for the game-winning touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 7-4 record, a 5-1 NEC mark, and a share of the 2014 NEC title.

The 2014 Seahawk offense followed a similar formula to the 2012 Seahawks, finishing the regular season ranked No. 4 nationally in time of possession (33:02), while not committing a single turnover in the last three games of the season.

When he returned to Grymes Hill in the capacity of associate head coach/offensive coordinator in January, 2014, this marked Houghtaling’s third stint at Wagner. Known as ‘Hoss’ to his players and fellow coaches, Houghtaling was a Seahawk assistant coach from 2006-2009, before becoming head coach at Hudson Valley Community College in 2010. Following one season as head coach of the Vikings, he returned to Wagner as offensive coordinator in 2011, where he spent two seasons, including the 2012 NEC Championship campaign.

During Wagner’s 9-4 NEC Championship season of 2012, that saw the Seahawks become the first team in NEC history to win an NCAA FCS Playoff game and rank in the Top 25 of both final national polls, Houghtaling tutored the Seahawks’ record-setting quarterback, Nick Doscher, as he evolved into one of the all-time great quarterbacks to ever compete at Wagner and in the NEC.

Doscher operated Houghtaling’s offensive system with precision, finishing his career ranked No. 1 in Seahawk history, and No. 2 in NEC history, with 8,404 yards of total offense. His 6,100 passing yards are also No. 1 on the Wagner all-time list and No. 9 on the all-time NEC list. As a senior in 2012, Doscher fashioned a passer rating of 133.9, with 13 touchdown passes and just one interception, ending his career with a remarkable 221 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.

Led by Doscher, and star running back Dominique Williams, who is now a member of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad, the 2012 Seahawks were one of the nation’s most balanced units, ranking No. 1 nationally with the fewest turnovers (6) in all of FCS football.

During the 2013 season as offensive coordinator at Cornell, Houghtaling coached quarterback Jeff Mathews, who led the Ivy League in attempts, completions and passing yards, before signing a free agent contract with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Following the 2013 season, Mathews, who is currently a member of the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts, was named to the College Sports Journal FCS All-America Team and received the additional honor of participating in the East–West Shrine Game, serving as captain of the East squad.

During his first season as a collegiate offensive coordinator (2011), Houghtaling directed the talented Williams to impressive numbers. Williams ranked among the national leaders by rushing for 121.6 yards per game and 14 total touchdowns, while posting eight 100-yard games in 11 contests. The following season, Williams was a 2012 College Sports Journal All-American, in addition to earning First-Team All-NEC honors.
 
“Wagner is a special place for both my family and I, so it’s truly an honor to be selected to continue to build this program,” said Houghtaling. “I thank Coach Hameline and Wagner College President Dr. Guarasci for entrusting me with this position and can’t wait to lead this program, coach our current players,  and attract even more elite student-athletes in the coming years.”
 
When he first arrived at Wagner in 2006, Houghtaling served as running backs coach, before heading the Seahawk offensive lines from 2007-2009.

With an emphasis on New York State and Florida, Houghtaling has been the lead recruiter for a host of student-athletes who have gone on to enjoy outstanding careers on Grymes Hill. The list of top Wagner student-athletes that Houghtaling has recruited include New Jerseyan Dominique Williams, New York State natives Quintin Anderson, Tyrone Collins, Chazz Legette, Stefan Gage, Patrick Gibbons, and Sidiq Soulemana, as well as Floridians Keith Hernandez, Frantz Placide and Otis Wright. In 2010, his one season as head coach at Troy, NY-based Hudson Valley, he tutored two All-Conference performers.

Houghtaling began his collegiate coaching career at prep powerhouse Milford Academy in Berlin, NY, where he helped lead the Falcons to a 20-3 mark as defensive coordinator, while also serving as defensive line and strength and conditioning coach. A 2004 graduate of the University of Binghamton with a degree in History, Houghtaling earned a Masters in Education from Wagner in 2009. He originally attended Lafayette, where he was a defensive lineman for the Leopards, before injuries cut short his playing career and he transferred to Binghamton.

A native of Windsor, NY, Houghtaling got his start in coaching at his high school alma mater, Windsor Central High School, where he spent two seasons working with the Black Knights’ offensive line and linebackers under the head coach he played for, Dan Hodack.

Houghtaling and his wife Mary are the proud parents of two daughters, Abbie and Emma.

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