Alma Mater: Catawba '92
Office Phone: (704) 637-4724
Follow Me on Twitter @CoachCJWalker
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).
Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator
Alma Mater: SC State '08
Office Phone: (704) 637-4722
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. In 2017, the Catawba offensive line fielded two all-conference performers in Quinzavious Sands and Brandon Floyd.
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.
Alma Mater: Illinois '03
Office Phone: (704) 645-4503
Dustin Ward has been hired as Offensive Coordinator for the Catawba Football Program, announced by Head Coach Curtis Walker. Ward comes to Catawba after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at VMI.
While at VMI, Ward mentored Al Cobb, the school’s all-time leading passer. In 2015, Cobb finished 11th in the nation in total yards. Prior to his stint at VMI, Ward served on the staffs at Concord University from 2011-14 and at DePauw University from 2007-10 as offensive coordinator.
Concord posted a 25-12 during Ward’s tenure and twice won conference championships and twice made the NCAA II Playoffs. In 2014, the Mountain Lions won the regional title and advanced to the national semifinals.
Ward coached 32 all-conference performers at Concord, had six all-region selections with five All-Americans. Concord averaged 42.4 points in 2014, which ranked 10th in the nation as he groomed Brian Novak to a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award. Novak threw for 3,730 yards with 33 touchdowns and a 172.33 efficiency, which ranked second in the nation. Novak would surpass Ward’s previous signal caller, Zach Grossi, as the school’s all-time leading passer.
DePauw garnered its first two appearances in the NCAA playoffs during Ward’s time with the Tigers. Compiling a 32-9 record, DePauw won a pair of Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference titles. He coached Spud Dick, the school’s all-time leading passer and a top four finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, completing 71.3% of his passes and averaging 320.8 yards a game to stand eighth in the nation.
Ward had begun his coaching career at DePauw in 2004 as running backs coach as the Tigers set the school’s all-time rushing record. He served as a recruiting assistant at Indiana in 2005 and as an assistant at Saint Joseph’s College in 2006, helping them to a conference title.
Ward was a four-year letterwinner at Illinois where he graduated in 2003. As quarterback for the Fighting Illini, Ward threw for 1,946 yards and 12 touchdowns in 22 career games. He was a two-time winner of the Chancellor’s Award.
Def. Line/Equipment Coordinator/Pro Liason
Alma Mater: Catawba '01
Office Phone: (704) 637-4479
Radell Lockhart became an assistant coach at his alma mater in 2006. A 2001 Catawba graduate, Lockhart earned a degree in recreation. His duties are to coach the defense line and serve as equipment coordinator and pro liason.
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
Lockhart played professionally over five years, 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, a native of Charlotte, N.C., resides in Salisbury with Leslie Dent. They have a daughter, Penelope.
Wide Receivers/Academic & Video Coord.
Alma Mater: Appalachian State '11
Office Phone: (704) 637-4733
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. He coaches the inside wide receivers and serves as the academic and video coordinator.
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.
Outside Wide Receivers
Alma Mater: Catawba '06
Office Phone: (704) 645-4511
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).
Recruiting Coordinator/Running Backs
Alma Mater: Wisconsin-LaCrosse
Office Phone: (704) 637-4492
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 running backs.
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. Weycker resides in Salisbury with his wife, Dale. They have four daughters and six grandchildren.
Alma Mater: Western Carolina '00
Office Phone: (704) 645-4507
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.
Alma Mater: Maryland '14
Office Phone: (704) 637-4492
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.
Alma Mater: Catawba '15
Office Phone: (704) 637-4492
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.