The 2015 Wake Forest football team opened training camp with a morning session on August 6.
Kevin Higgins is in his third season on the Wake Forest football staff after joining head coach Dave Clawson in December 2013. Higgins, who spent nine seasons as the head coach of The Citadel, serves as the assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and the coach of Wake Forest’s wide receivers.
“Kevin has a wealth of football knowledge gained as a head coach and also through his experience in the NFL as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. He has been a great addition to our staff,” said head coach Dave Clawson.
In his two seasons at Wake Forest, Higgins has helped two of his proteges earn spots in NFL training camps. Matt James was with the New Orleans Saints in 2015 and K.J. Brent has earned a spot with the Oakland Raiders in 2016.
In 2015, Higgins mentored a young group of receivers into a cohesive unit. Wake Forest’s freshmen accounted for 131 receptions, tied for the national high during the regular season. True freshmen Chuck Wade and Tabari Hines each broke the school record for receptions by a true freshman.
Higgins compiled a 99-83-1 record in 16 years as a head coach. He was the head coach for seven seasons at Lehigh from 1994-2000, leading the Mountain Hawks to a 56-25-1 record and three appearances in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
In his final three seasons at Lehigh, Higgins posted a 34-4 record and won or shared three consecutive Patriot League titles. He led the Mountain Hawks to undefeated regular seasons in 1998 and 2000. Higgins was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 1995, 1998 and 2000.
In nine seasons at The Citadel, Higgins broke or tied over 110 school records. In 2012, he led the Bulldogs to a 7-4 record and was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year. Higgins took The Citadel to a top 10 national ranking in 2012, the first time the school had been ranked in the top 10 in 20 years. He ranks third all-time in wins at The Citadel.
A native of Emerson, N.J., Higgins began his collegiate coaching career in 1981 as an assistant at Gettysburg. After four years he became an assistant at Richmond before joining Lehigh as an assistant in 1988. After six seasons he was elevated to head coach and led Lehigh from 1994 through 2000.
In 2000, Higgins helped Lehigh record its second undefeated regular season (11-0) in three years and its third-straight league title. The team ended the season 12-1 after falling to Delaware in the quarterfinals of the Division I-AA playoffs. In 1999, Lehigh was 10-1 and earned an at-large postseason bid after being co-Patriot League champions and ranked 14th nationally. He also was named GTE Regional Coach of the Year in 1999.
The previous season, Lehigh completed its first undefeated regular season (11-0) under Higgins, and defeated third-ranked Richmond in the opening round of the playoffs before losing to Massachusetts, which went on to win the national championship.
Higgins became the quarterbacks coach for the Detroit Lions in 2001 and was responsible for the tutoring and developing of Detroit’s first-round draft pick, quarterback Joey Harrington.
During his fourth season with the Lions he assumed the position of wide receivers coach and was responsible for the development of one of the most exciting trios of wideouts in the NFL: Az-Zahir Hakim, Charles Rogers and Roy Williams. Higgins coached Williams to the Lions’ single season records for a rookie in receptions (54), receiving yards (817) and touchdowns (8) before joining The Citadel.
Clawson and Higgins were both assistant coaches at Lehigh in 1993. When Higgins was promoted to head coach for the 1994 season, he elevated Clawson to offensive coordinator from running backs coach.
A 1977 graduate of West Chester, Higgins earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education while playing free safety and being named the team’s most valuable defensive back his senior season. He went on to receive his master’s degree in physical education from East Stroudsburg in 1981.
Higgins and his wife, Kay, have three children: son Tim (wife Sarah), and daughters Meaghan (husband Jason Helms) and Katie Rose.
The Kevin Higgins File
December 1, 1955
Tim, Meaghan, Katie Rose
West Chester, 1977
B.S. in Health & Physical Education
West Chester (1973-76) ... Was a free safety ... Named most valuable defensive back as a senior.