Matt Underwood | Assistant Head Coach
Director of Recruiting / Slotbacks and Wide Receivers Coach
Matt Underwood will be in his sixth season as an assistant coach at Harding and his third as assistant head coach, director of recruiting and slot backs and wide receivers coach. He has also coached quarterbacks and fullbacks.
In 2018, Harding's offense rushed for 4,093 yards and 50 TD. The Bisons ranked second nationally with 341.1 rushing yards per game and ranked third in passing efficiency (170.51).
The 2017 season saw Harding rank second nationally with 341.9 rushing yards per game. Slot back Zach Shelley earned All-GAC, becoming only the third Harding running back ever to earn three or more all-conference honors. Harding's slot backs averaged 8.4 yards per rush in 2017, Shelley graduated as the NCAA active career leader in yards per rush (8.5), and Grant Kimberlin averaged 9.8 yards per carry and had five 100-yard games.
Underwood helped direct Division II's top rushing offense in 2016, guiding Harding to 362.8 rushing yards per game. The Bisons set a school record with 61 rushing TD. Quarterback Park Parish received Great American Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors, fullback Michael Latu and offensive tackle Gavin De Los Santos received All-America awards, and Shelley earned first-team All-GAC.
In his first season, Harding ranked second in NCAA Division II in rushing offense and 26th in total offense. The team set Harding's single-season record for touchdowns and had the second-ranked passing efficiency in NCAA II. Fullback Romo Westbrook earned All-America, and fullback Alapeti Magalei was second-team All-GAC.
In 2015, Harding's offense led the GAC, ranked second in NCAA II and fourth in the entire NCAA in rushing offense. HU quarterback Park Parish earned first-team All-GAC and set the Harding record for rushing touchdowns in a season. Fullback Michael Latu earned second-team All-GAC.
Harding reached the 2014 NCAA Division II Playoffs in his first season, and in 2016 advanced to the Division II national quarterfinals.
Underwood came back to Harding after spending four seasons as the head coach at Jackson (Tennessee) Christian School. He led the team to two Tennessee Division II state playoff berths. Underwood coached Drae Bowles, a U.S. Army All-American who was a four-star recruit that signed with the University of Tennessee, and Noah Chandler, who played baseball at Harding and had 3,751 total yards and 38 touchdowns in his senior season as a quarterback under Underwood.
Before his time at Jackson Christian, Underwood was the offensive coordinator at Memphis (Tennessee) Harding Academy from 2004-09. Harding Academy reached the state championship in 2008 and the state semifinals in 2004 and 2006. Underwood coached Marlon Brown, currently a wide receiver with the Chicago Bears and a former Parade All-American who played collegiately at Georgia.
Underwood played quarterback and special teams for the Harding football team from 1998-2002. He was a team captain on the 2002 team that finished 9-2.
Underwood is a native of Searcy, Arkansas, graduated from Harding Academy in 1998 and earned his B.A. in social science from Harding University in 2003.
Underwood is married to the former Liz Lee of Memphis, Tennessee. The couple have two children--Ellie and Thomas.
Chris Hill | Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks and Fullbacks Coach
Chris Hill will be in his third season as Harding's offensive coordinator in 2018. He will also coach quarterbacks and fullbacks.
In Hill's first two seasons as offensive coordinator, Harding's offense led the GAC and ranked second in Division II in rushing yards per game. The Bisons have rushed for rushed for 9,221 yards and 103 touchdowns in 27 games under Hill. In his two seasons, fullback Cole Chancey has earned two All-GAC honors and Don Hansen first-team All-American honors.
Harding has reached the NCAA Divsion II Playoffs in both of Hill's seasons with the Bisons, reaching the national semifinal in 2017.
PRIOR TO HARDING
Hill came to Harding from Wynne (Ark.) High School where he led the Yellowjackets to a 62-15 record in six seasons. His other recent head coaching stops included Parkway High School in Bossier Parish, Louisiana (2010-11), Ashdown High School (2008-10), Van Buren High School (2006-2008) and Morrilton High School (2003-06).
Hill was a running back at Harding from 1987-90 and gained 1,937 all-purpose yards and scored 13 touchdowns in 38 games. He earned second-team All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference honors in 1988 as a sophomore.
Hill earned his bachelor's degree in physical education at Harding in 1991 and completed a master's in educational leadership through Harding in 2005.
Hill and his wife, Elaine, have been married 22 years. The couple has two daughters, Tristen and Jaden, both students at Harding.
Kevin Chism | Offensive Line
Kevin Chism will be in his eighth season as Harding’s offensive line coach and his 10th season with the program in 2019.
In 2018, Chism coached senior center Bryce Bray, who earned the Rimington Award as the top center in NCAA Division II and the Willie Roaf Award as the top offensive lineman in Arkansas.
Harding’s offensive line has had 17 players receive All-Great American Conference honors in his seven seasons as position coach, including three (Bryce Bray, Keith Pledger and Heath Pledger) in the 2018 season.
Chism’s offensive line has helped pave the way for Harding to place in the top five in rushing offense in NCAA Division II in each of his seven seasons as a position coach. In 2016, Harding had the nation's top rushing offense with 362.8 yards per game. In 2018, Harding was second at 341.1 yards per game. The Bisons have led the GAC in rushing in each of Chism's seven seasons as offensive line coach.
Chism, a native of Springfield, Missouri, has coached in 11 Harding postseason games, including the 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 NCAA Division II Playoffs and the 2013 Live United Texarkana Bowl.
A defensive end at Harding from 1998-2000, Chism recorded 54 tackles, including 13.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in a three-year career.
Chism earned his BA in business administration from Harding in 2001 and his MBA in business administration in 2015.
Chism is married to the former Jennifer Greene of Spring, Texas. The couple have five children--Alexis, Aaron, Eli, Ben and Emma.
Kenny Wheaton | Offensive Consultant
Bio Coming Soon!
Jaren Nickleson | Graduate Assistant (Wide Receivers)
Bio Coming Soon!
Bryce Bray | Graduate Assistant (Offensive Line)
Bio Coming Soon!