Welcome to the eleventh annual Catamount Football "100 days to Football Kickoff Countdown". During the countdown, we'll highlight the player whose number corresponds to that day in the countdown. To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff Saturday.
Since the official 2021 Catamount Football Roster has not yet been published, we'll use the 2021 Catamount Football Preseason Roster for jersey numbers until the new roster is posted, at which point we'll switch to the official roster for the remainder of the countdown.
It's now 73 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Saturday, September 4th, 2021, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field, Cullowhee, NC.
Since no player is currently assigned #73, we'll highlight an assistant coach:
TITLE Assistant Coach / Defensive Coordinator
Justin Hinds joined the Western Carolina football coaching staff during the spring of 2021 as the Catamounts' defensive coordinator. Hinds comes to Cullowhee after most recently serving two seasons as the defensive line coach at Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
Hinds mentored All-MAC selections along the defensive line in 2020, including Troy Hairston II and Mohamed Diallo. Hairston, who also earned All-America honorable mention from Phil Steele and was also dubbed the MAC co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, led the MAC with 5.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Diallo ranked second with 9.5 TFLs in 2020.
Combined, Hinds' defensive line unit racked up 18 sacks in 2020, the second-highest total in the MAC, and helped produce a league-best eight interceptions by the Chippewa defense.
In 2019, Hinds was part of head coach Jim McElwain's staff that engineered a remarkable turnaround, taking a program that won one game in '18 to an 8-6 finish, a Mid-American Conference West Division title, and a berth in the New Mexico Bowl.
Hinds led a Chippewa defensive front that featured two All-MAC honorees, Sean Adesanya, who was named to the all-conference first team, and Robi Stuart, who earned a spot on the third team. In addition, CMU ranked second in the league in 2019 in total defense.
Before moving to Central Michigan, Hinds was the defensive line coach in 2018 at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. The Leopards finished among the top 25 teams in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in takeaways with 23, and they were second in the Patriot League with 15 interceptions.
Hinds helped cultivate similar success at Valdosta State, where he served as the defensive line coach under current WCU head coach Kerwin Bell. The Blazers program regularly ranked among the top teams in both the Gulf South Conference and NCAA Division II in interceptions, turnovers gained, first downs allowed, and third-down defense.
Hinds earned a bachelor of science degree from Rowan (N.J.) and a master's degree from Wagner (N.Y.) College where he coached the defensive line and outside linebackers in 2012-13. Hinds was a two-time All-New Jersey Athletic Conference defensive lineman during a four-year career at Rowan and then served as a graduate assistant on McElwain's staff at Florida in 2015 after coaching the 2014 season as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State.