Curtis Walker, Camp Director and Head Football Coach at Catawba

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Curtis Walker became the Head Football Coach at Catawba in December of 2012.  He returned to his alma mater after spending one season as the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Western Carolina University.  Prior to his year in Cullowhee, Walker spent 10 years as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Coastal Carolina University.

In 2015, Walker was named the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year after guiding Catawba to its first SAC Championship since 2007 and a spot in the NCAA II Playoffs.  The Indians went 9-3 and claimed the outright SAC title with a 6-1 mark, finishing the regular season with seven straight wins.

During Walker's 10 seasons in Conway, the Chanticleers had four players on the defensive side garner All-America accolades, while players within his defense earned a combined 44 All-Big South accolades as the Chanticleers captured three straight Big South Conference titles (2004-06).  Coastal also won the league championship in 2010.

Under Walker, Coastal led the league in pass defense in 2006, '07 and `08.  On the strength of 18 interceptions in `07, the Chanticleers ranked sixth nationally in turnover margin (1.36).  In 2006, Coastal's defense tied for the national lead with 19 interceptions. Walker's defense led the nation in pass efficiency defense and contributed to the top turnover margin in the country, setting a Big South record at plus 22. Coastal twice led the nation in interceptions, getting 19 in 2006 and 27 in 2004.

Walker was a four-year starter and three-time All-American linebacker for Catawba in 1989-92, graduating in 1992 with a degree in sociology.  He was inducted into the Catawba Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame in 2008.  Walker was Catawba’s team most valuable player in 1991 and served as team captain in 1992.

Walker still holds the Catawba single game record for tackles with 25 stops against Wofford in 1991.  He also still owns the all-time single season record for fumble recoveries with six, also set in 1991.  Walker earned All-America honors his final three seasons, including first team accolades as a senior in 1992. 

Following graduation from Catawba and a two-year coaching period at Salisbury High School, Walker joined the staff at Catawba in 1995.  He coached the linebackers and began coordinating all recruiting in 1997.  Walker was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2001 and the Indians were ranked first in Division II in scoring defense and 15th in total defense.

At Catawba, Walker was a part of three South Atlantic Conference championships (1996, 2000 and 2001) and three NCAA playoff appearances (1999, 2000 and 2001).  The Indians were a combined 22-3 in 2000-01, a lot of the success due to a suffocating defense. Catawba allowed just 13.5 points per game during those 25 games.

A native of Burlington, NC, Walker was a two-time football all-conference performer at Graham High School, prior to graduating in 1988.  He was the Mid-State Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1987.

Walker and his wife, Sheka, have two sons; Jalon (11) and Curtis II (9).

Kevin Brown, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach

Kevin Brown began his second stint as an assistant coach with the Catawba football program in 2012.  He previously served on the staff of his alma mater from 1997-2001.  Prior to his return he was an assistant coach for 10 years at Coastal Carolina University.  Brown serves as offensive coordinator and coach the quarterbacks.

Offensively in 2013, Catawba led the conference in red-zone efficiency, scoring on 89% of its possessions inside the opponent 20-yard-line.  Under Brown, Danny O'Brien set school records for completions and completions percentage.  O'Brien went on to sign professionally with the Ottawa REDBLACKS of the Canadian Football League.

At Coastal, Brown served his first seven years as the passing game coordinator and worked with the quarterback.  In 2009, he took over as the offensive coordinator while continuing to coach quarterbacks.  In 2010, Coastal ranked 29th nationally in passing and 21st in scoring offense.

From 2003-06, Brown worked with Tyler Thigpen, who made history for the program becoming the school’s first-ever NFL draft choice.  Under Brown’s tutelage, Thigpen ranked second in the nation in total offense and fourth in passing yards in 2006, while also setting a Big South record for rushing yards by a quarterback.  Thigpen went on to start 11 of 14 games he played for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008, throwing for more than 2,600 yards and 18 touchdowns while also leading the NFL quarterbacks in rushing.

In his first tenure as a coach at Catawba, Brown helped lead the program to three NCAA Division II Playoff appearances, including a 12-2 record in 2001 and a berth in the NCAA semifinals.  Brown served as the quarterbacks coach.  In his final season, he groomed then freshman Luke Samples to become Catawba’s all-time leading passer.

As a player for the Indians, Brown was the 1996 South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year after leading Catawba to a 9-2 record and the No. 4 ranking in NCAA Division II.  A four-year starter at quarterback, Brown graduated as the #2 passer in school history with a career high of 53 touchdown passes.  He earned a  bachelor’s in physical education in 1998.

A three-sport letterwinner at Berkeley High School, Brown was named All-Conference and the team’s Most Valuable Player in football.  He also earned All-Conference honors in baseball and lettered in basketball.  Brown is a native of Moncks Corner, SC.

Nygel Pearson, Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator

Nygel Pearson joined the Catawba Football Staff as an assistant coach in the spring of 2017. He comes to the Catawba Indians after a six-year stint at South Carolina State University. Pearson will coach the offensive line and serve as the running game coordinator.

While at South Carolina State, Pearson served as offensive line coach, while also coaching tight ends and fullbacks and worked with special teams. For six games in 2015, he was the play caller and co-offensive coordinator as the team enjoyed a 5-1 record during that span. The Bulldogs won two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships during his tenure.

Pearson coached sixth-round NFL draft pick, Temarrick Hemmingway, who was a three-time all-conference performer. He also mentored Tristan Bellamy, who was named the MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2013. His 2016 offensive line unit allowed just 11 sacks and featured four all-conference picks. 

In addition to his coaching duties, Pearson oversaw all aspects of the Video Department, worked as the liaison for the department with financial aid, housing and marketing. 

Prior to joining the coaching staff at his alma mater, Pearson was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Fairfield-Central High School. In 2012, Fairfield-Central went 12-2 and won a regional championship. The Griffins averaged 33.3 points a game while putting up nearly 400 yards of total offense.

Pearson was an All-MEAC lineman during a standout career at South Carolina State, graduating in in 2008 with a degree in physical education. He earned a master’s in secondary education from SCSU in 2014.  He was a semifinalist for the Draddy Award, one of the top academic honors for collegiate football players.

As a prep star at Darlington High School, Pearson earned all-region, all-state and all-zone performer. He played in the North-South All-Star Game. 

Pearson is married to the former Majoria Addison and the couple has one son, Grayson.

Radell Lockhart, Defensive Line/Equipment Coordinator

Radell Lockhart became an assistant coach at his alma mater in 2005. A 2001 Catawba graduate, Lockhart earned a degree in recreation. His duties are to coach the defense line and serve as equipment coordinator. 

At Catawba, Lockhart earned South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2000. He was also named to three All-America teams as he recorded 10 sacks and 31 stops for losses. Lockhart holds the school record with 103 tackles for loss and had 27 sacks.

Lockhart played professionally over four year, including stints with the New York Giants,New York Jets and San Diego Chargers. He played three seasons in NFL Europe, two with the Scottish Claymores and one with the Frankfurt Galaxy. He helped the Galaxy to an appearance in the 2004 World Bowl.

Lockhart was a three-year starter at Independence High School in Charlotte, NC.

Jordan Smith, Wide Receivers

Jordan Smith joined the coaching staff at Catawba College after the 2012 season.  He came to Catawba after a year as an offensive assistant at Western Carolina University.

Prior to his stint at WCU, Smith spent three years as an undergraduate assistant coach at Appalachian State.  Among his job duties at ASU, Smith worked with offensive game film breakdown and analysis, as well as signaling in plays on game days.

A native of Lumberton, NC, Smith played four years of high school football at Lumberton High before attending Appalachian State.  He graduated from ASU in 2011 with a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education with a concentration in psychology.

Corey Ready, Outside Wide Receivers

Corey Ready started as an assistant coach with the Catawba football program in 2009. He is a 2006 Catawba graduate with a degree in sports management. Ready coaches the outside wide receivers.

At Catawba, Ready was a three-time All-South Atlantic Conference selection at wide receiver. He set school marks for receptions and receiving yards in a career, finishing with 190 catches for 2,976 yards. In 2003, he established school marks with 70 receptions for 1,043 yards, earning all-region honors.

Ready, a native of Aiken, SC, resides in Concord with Patrice Brown. They have a daughter, Meliyah (6).

Mark Weycker, Recruiting Coordinator/Tight Ends

Mark Weycker joined the Catawba Football Staff in 2013.  He previously served as the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at West Iredell High School, serving the community for twenty six years.  He is the recruiting coordinator and coaches the tight ends.

Weycker’s career at West Iredell was highlighted by ten consecutive playoff appearances, five Shrine Bowl selections, seven East/West All-Star selections, and thirteen county or conference players of the year.

An East/West All-Star coach in 1996, Weycker was named Coach of the Week by the NFL Carolina Panthers in 2010.  Weycker also had assistant coaching stops at Forest Hills High School, playing for the 3A State Championship in 1985, and at Sun Valley High School.  He started his coaching career with the Douglas School System serving Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

Weycker was recognized by the NCHSAA twice receiving the Homer Thompson Memorial “8 Who Make A Difference” Award in 2011 and in 2007 with a Region 7 Coaching Award.  He also served a four-year term on the North Carolina Coaches Association Board of Directors.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Weycker earned a degree in physical education.  His family includes a daughter, Lindsey, and grandson, Davis.

Ahmaad Smith, Safeties

Ahmaad Smith joined the Catawba College football program as an assistant coach in 2015. He came to Catawba from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia where he spent three years as a defensive back coach. At Catawba, Smith is coaching the safeties.

While at Hampden-Sydney, a NCAA Division III member, Smith coached seven All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference defensive backs and one All-American. His secondary helped the Tigers rank 11th nationally in pass defense efficiency in 2013 and lead the ODAC in that category in 2013 and 2014.  

In 2017, Smith was a NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy Participant and worked with the Minnesota Vikings with the Bill Walsh Minority Internship. Smith coached a pair of all-conference defensive backs in Case Woodard and Cris Page with Woodard earning All-America honors. In 2015, he helped coach a Catawba defense that ranked 11th nationally in pass defense and 23rd in pass defense efficiency. He also coached a pair of All-SAC defensive backs.  

In 2013, Smith was a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association Division III Assistant Coach of the Year Award, finishing as the runner-up. In 2015, Coach Smith was awarded The Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Internship (Tennessee Titans) working with the defensive backs. In 2016, he served an internship with the Calgrary Stampederes of the CFL. 

Prior to coaching at Hampden-Sydney, Smith’s coaching career came on the heels of a seven-year professional career that included a stop on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad in 2006, four years in the Canadian Football League (British Colombia, Toronto, Winnipeg) and a two-year stint in the Arena Football League (Iowa, Pittsburgh). Smith’s article, “Coaching Football: Beyond the Xs and Os,” was published in the Nov./Dec. 2014 issue of This is the AFCA. Smith played defensive back at Tennessee State, where he earned his B.B.A in business information systems in 2006.

Smith is an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Committee Member.

Michael Bonuccelli, Outside Linebackers

Michael Bonuccelli joined the Catawba Football staff at the start of the 2015 season. Prior to Catawba, Bonucelli served as an assistant at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C. 

In 2015, Bonucelli mentored a unit that produced 16.5 sacks, 35.5 tackles for loss, four fourced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Both outside linebackers, Kyle Kitchens and Jamal Lackey, received all-conference honors, while Kitchens went on to garner All-America accolades.

At Gonzaga, Bonuccelli helped the Eagles to the DCIAA City Championship in 2014 and a USA Today national ranking of fifth in the country. Over five years, two as an offensive line coach and three as defensive line coach, he mentored four All-Americans, 23 NCAA I BCS/FCS players and numerous college players. In 2013, four of his defensive linemen earned All-WCAC honors while playing a 3-4 scheme.

Bonuccelli attended West Virginia Wesleyan out of Gonzaga High School. He played offensive and defensive line for the Bobcats, who claimed WVIAC Championships in 2002 and 2003. He earned an Associate’s Degree in in criminal justice from Anne Arundel Community College then earned a BS in criminal justice and a minor in political science from Maryland in 2014.

While earning his associate’s degree, Bonuccelli helped coach at DeMatha Catholic High School. During his time there, DeMatha ranked 14th in the nation and won a WCAC Championship. Bonuccelli returned to playing in 2006 at Frostburg State.  He played two seasons on the defensive line.

In high school, at Gonzaga, Bonuccelli earned first team All-WCAC honors and was the recipient of the Joe Kozik Award for being the most impactful leader both on and off the field in 2001.

Bonuccelli, wife Shaina, and son, Luca, reside in Denver, N.C. Bonuccelli is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Marks Catholic Church in Huntersville, N.C.

Marco Butler, Cornerbacks

Marco Butler joined the Catawba Football Staff in the summer of 2017. He comes to Catawba with 16 years of coaching experience, most recently at Independence High School, where he was defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator. At Catawba, Butler will coach the cornerbacks coach. 

Butler began his coaching career at Fayetteville State University in 2001 and was on staff for a pair of conference championships teams and three NCAA II playoff squads. In 2005, he joined the staff at Norfolk State University.

At Norfolk State, Butler served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator until 2013. In 2011, Norfolk State claimed the MEAC Championship and earned the school’s first berth in the FCS Playoffs with a defense that ranked second in the nation in total defense and fourth in scoring defense.

Butler’s 2013 secondary ranked seventh in the nation in pass defense. The Spartan defense ranked second overall with 19 interceptions and third with 33 total takeaways. Butler moved to Hampton University for the 2014 season where he was the defensive backs coach and serves as the interim defensive coordinator.

In addition to his 15 years of collegiate coaching experience, Butler has served NFL Coaching Fellowships with the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. He attended the NCAA-NFL Coaching Academy in Orlando, Fla., in 2011. Butler has coached five players who have been signed in the NFL, including Don Carey, a 2009 NFL Draftee by the Cleveland Browns.

Butler played receiver and defensive back at Western Carolina, graduating in 2000 with a degree in sports management and a minor in marketing. He and his wife, Shauna, have two children, a daughter, Eva, and a son, Marco.

Bob Lancaster, Special Team Coordinator

Bob Lancaster returns to Catawba after previously serving as an assistant with the program from 1998 to 2012. He will coordinate the specials teams which he also did from 2001 to 2007, while also coaching running backs and tight ends.

From 2013 to 2015, Lancaster served as the defensive coordinator at Jay M. Robinson High School. He began coaching at North Mecklenburg High School in 1996 and served as offensive coordinator. In 2015, Lancaster also interned as linebacker coach for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Lancaster previously spent nearly two decades from 1991 to 2005 helping coach in the CFL preseason for both the Edmonton Eskimos and Hamilton TigerCats. He also spent one season in NFL Europe as an assistant with the Rhein Fire in 2008.

Lancaster served two seasons as Catawba's defensive coordinator before his departure after the 2012 campaign. In 2011, the defensive unit led the SAC in scoring defense, sacks and tackles for loss.

A 1994 graduate of the University of Alberta, Lancaster earned a degree in business education. While at Alberta, he quarterbacked the squad and helped Alberta to the Canada West Championship Game.

Lancaster is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan. He has a daughter, Alexis.

Tim Pangburn, Tight Ends

Tim Pangburn is entering his second season as an assistant coach with the Catawba Football Program. He will be coaching the tight ends and assist offensive line coach Nigel Pearson.

Pangburn has served the offensive staff in operations, recruiting, video input and as social media coordinator. A 2015 graduate of Catawba, Pangburn earned a degree in physical education.

At Catawba, Pangburn was a three-year starter for the Indians, helping the squad to a conference championship in his senior season. He is a native of Salisbury and graduated from West Rowan High School in 2010.