Stan Hixon continued to make his mark as an outstanding receivers coach last year as the Tigers, despite the loss of All-America wideout Josh Reed, assembled one of the SEC’s top receiving corps in 2002.
In his third season with the Tigers in 2002, Hixon developed first-time wideout Devery Henderson into one of the SEC’s top receiving threats, while Michael Clayton continued to emerge as one of the league’s top all-around wide receivers. Clayton earned Second Team All-SEC honors in 2002, while Henderson was named the league’s player of the week after racking up 201 receiving yards, including the 75-yard last second TD dubbed the “Bluegrass Miracle”, in LSU’s 33-30 win over Kentucky.
In 2001, Hixon coached All-America and Biletnikoff recipient Josh Reed to the most dominant season for a receiver in SEC history. Reed re-wrote both the LSU and SEC record books as he caught a school-record 94 passes for an SEC-record 1,740 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2001 regular season. Reed capped his three-year LSU career with then an SEC record 3,001 receiving yards on 167 receptions. In all, Reed, who originally signed with LSU as a running back, set or tied 14 school, SEC or Sugar Bowl records in 2001. Reed was drafted in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft after deciding to forego his senior season at LSU.
In his first year with the Tigers, Hixon helped develop Reed into a star in the SEC. Reed ranked first in the SEC and sixth nationally with 102.5 yards receiving a contest.
For the year, Reed caught 65 passes for 1,127 yards and 10 touchdowns, the second highest total in school history. Reed did all of this despite playing his first full season at wide receiver after shifting from his original position of tailback during the 1999 season. For his efforts, Reed was a consensus First Team All-SEC selection.
Hixon’s success coaching wide receivers should not come as a surprise as he developed some of the most prolific receivers in Georgia Tech history from 1995-1999.
Hixon, who joined LSU in December of 1999, coached All-Atlantic Coast Conference receivers Kelly Campbell and Dez White at Georgia Tech in 1999. Campbell in 1999 was No. 2 in the ACC and 12th nationally in receiving yards per game (100.5) and he set school records for receptions (69), receiving yards (1,105) and touchdowns (10).
Campbell earned First-Team All-ACC honors and White was named Second-Team All-ACC as they formed the most prolific receiving tandem in Georgia Tech history.
Prior to the emergence of Campbell and White, Hixon tutored the receiving duo of Harvey Middleton, who rewrote Tech’s receiving records at the time, and Derrick Steagall, who ranks as one of the Yellow Jackets’ career leaders.
Hixon went to Georgia Tech in 1995 after serving as running back coach and assistant head coach at Wake Forest for two seasons. While at Wake Forest, Hixon tutored the leading rusher in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Jon Leach, who became the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Deamon Deacons in almost two decades.
He also served as receivers coach at South Carolina from 1989-92, producing All-American wideouts Robert Brooks and Eddie Miller, both of whom later played in the NFL.
He coached at Appalachian State from 1983-88, helping the Mountaineers capture consecutive Southern Conference titles in 1986 and 1987, after he served as running backs coach at Morehead State from 1980-82 and tight ends coach at Richmond in 1980.
Hixon, a native of Lakeland, Fla., played at Iowa State. He led the Cyclones in receiving his junior and senior seasons and played in the 1977 Peach Bowl and the 1978 Hall of Fame Bowl. Hixon earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1979. He earned a master’s degree at Morehead State in 1984.
Hixon and his wife Rebecca have one son, Drew, and two daughters, Adele and Avis. Drew is a member of the football team at Tennessee State.
The Hixon File
Year at LSU: Third (appointed Dec. 28, 1999)
Birthdate: June 24, 1957 at Lakeland, Florida
Children: Drew, Adele, Avis
High School: Lakeland Senior
College: Iowa State ’79
Postgraduate: Morehead State ’84
1980 Richmond (tight ends) (January to June 1980)
1980-82 Morehead State (running backs)
1983-88 Appalachian State (wide receivers)
1989-92 South Carolina (wide receivers)
1993-94 Wake Forest (running backs/assistant head coach)
1995-99 Georgia Tech (wide receivers)
2000- LSU (assoc. head coach/wide receivers)