EMPORIA (KSNT) – Hornet All-American linebacker Jace McDown is taking his skills from the field to the coaching staff.

Head coach Garin Higgins announced Thursday that McDown will be joining the coaching staff as the linebackers coach. McDown will also assist with the strength and conditioning program.

“Jace was able to come back during the spring and was a graduate assistant, and by the time spring was over I knew I had my guy,” Higgins said. “For as young as Jace is, he also has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of our defense. Not only did he play in the system for four years, but with his redshirt and COVID year, he has been a part of it for six years.”

McDown is Emporia State football’s only three-time Academic All-American and was the leading tackler in the MIAA for the past three seasons.