CSU’s Denson adds three assistants to coaching staff for 2022
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern head football coach Autry Denson has announced three new assistant coaches to his staff beginning with the 2022 season. Joining the Buccaneers for the upcoming campaign will be Zack Johnson, Travis Palmer and Manrey Saint-Amour.
“It is not a secret that God blesses us beyond what we deserve and that is exactly the case in regard to our football ministry through the additions of Zack Johnson, Manrey Saint-Amour and the promotion of Travis Palmer,” Denson said. “They all are phenomenal coaches, teachers, and most importantly men of high character and integrity. I am excited to watch them use their gifts to mentor our young men both on and off the field.”
ZACK JOHNSON: ASSISTANT COACH, SPECIAL TEAMS
Former Buccaneers linebacker returns to his alma mater to lead the special teams charge after spending the last-three seasons at Savannah State. He started with the Tigers as their Safeties Coach/Special Team Coordinator for the 2019 and 2020 seasons before moving onto the Linebackers Coach position while maintaining his role as Special Teams Coordinator for the 2021 campaign. The Tigers posted a 16-6 record during his three seasons on the sidelines, which included a six-game win streak in the middle of the 2021 season and four-game win streak to end 2019. Savannah State earned regional Top 10 rankings in 2021.
Savannah State was ranked as high as third nationally in blocked punts, while Nyem Bozeman led the country in punt return touchdowns. He was a member of the defensive staff that helped guide the Tigers to three national Top-10 rankings, including first downs defense (sixth), total defense (seventh) and passing yards allowed (10th).
Johnson, a Boiling Springs, South Carolina, native broke into the coaching ranks in 2016 as a senior intern with the defensive backs at Coastal Carolina, while completing his master’s degree. After one season in that role, he remained on staff with the Chanticleers as their graduate assistant working with the defensive backs for the 2017 and 2018 campaigns. CCU posted a combined 18-18 record during those three years, which included a transition from the FCS Big South to the FBS Sun Belt.
Johnson joined the Charleston Southern program in 2012, starting all 11 games in his first season and finishing second on the squad with 55 tackles, including 32 solo stops. He debuted at The Citadel with seven tackles, one for loss and a forced fumble. His career-high 10 tackles came in a mid-October home win over VMI, a month after having eight stops and a tackle for loss at Illinois. As a sophomore in 2013, he collected 15 tackles in 12 games, including four in a triumph at Campbell. His junior season of 2014 saw him end the year as one of eight Bucs to start all 12 games, registering 48 tackles, including seven for loss. He had two sacks, including 0.5 at Vanderbilt, while contributing a season-high eight stops against Presbyterian. He capped his career in 2015 with 48 tackles, including eight for loss with multiple in contests at Troy and at Presbyterian. His lone sack was against the Trojans, while he also forced fumbles at The Citadel and in a rematch later in the year at home with the crosstown rival.
Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree from Charleston Southern in business administration and management in December 2014 and completed his MBA from the institution a year later, in December 2015. He added a master’s degree in in instructional technology from Coastal Carolina in December 2018.
TRAVIS PALMER: ASSISTANT COACH, TIGHT ENDS
Another familiar face to the Bucs program, Palmer earned the promotion to full-time tight ends coach from his previous role the last-three years as CSU’s offensive intern/tight ends. He originally joined the Charleston Southern staff in the Summer 2019 as an intern, working with the offensive line his first season before sliding over to tight ends beginning in 2020. He has been responsible for XOS opponent film breakdown and scout team preparation among other duties.
The Orlando, Florida, product joined Charleston Southern after serving as a graduate assistant role at Florida State under head coach Willie Taggert in 2018. The Seminoles earned a home victory over No. 22 Boston College, as well as, ACC triumphs at Louisville and against Wake Forest.
Palmer’s break into the coaching world came in 2015 when he began a three-year stint as the Junior Varsity Offensive Coordinator and Varsity Quarterbacks Coach at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Florida. He also was an Offensive Coordinator at the Ernie Sims Big Hits 7v7 All-Star Team in 2016.
His collegiate journey began at Stetson in 2012, redshirting, before transferring to Adrian College, where he attended school from 2013-15. He then moved back to the Sunshine State at Florida State, where he completed his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, both in sports management.
MANREY SAINT-AMOUR: ASSISTANT COACH, OFFENSIVE LINE
Saint-Amour, who holds ties to both Savannah State and Florida State, but most recently worked at Alabama, is the new CSU offensive line coach. He comes to the staff after serving as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban and Doug Marrone with the Crimson Tide, helping the program finish as the FBS national runner-up in 2021.
He began his graduate-assistant roles in 2020 at Florida State under head coach Mike Norvell and offensive line coach Alex Atkins. He worked closely with Atkins and the offensive line in their first season in Tallahassee and also helped prepare the scout team defense during practices.
In 2019, Saint-Amour was the full-time offensive line coach at Savannah State, serving on the same staff as Johnson, as they helped guide the Tigers to a 7-3 record, their first winning season in 20 years. He was the team chaplain in addition to leading up the team’s community outreach program.
His first foray into the coaching world came in 2017 as an offensive line/tight ends graduate assistant at Concordia in Michigan. He helped the Cardinals capture the first playoff win in school history in 2017 following a 9-2 campaign before they improved to 10-3 the next fall, which saw him coaching a pair of NAIA Mideast League First Teamers on the offensive line. In 2019, he earned a promotion to a full-time strength coach before accepting the position at Savannah State.
Saint-Amour, a native of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, played collegiately at Georgia Southern where he was a 2014 Rimington Trophy Watch List nominee and started 36 career games for the Eagles, suiting up for three conference champions (2011, 2012 Southern; 2014, Sun Belt) and a pair of FCS semifinalists. As a center for Georgia Southern and a member of the program that transitioned from the FCS to FBS level during his career, he earned All-Southern Conference Freshman Team honors (2011), All-Southern Conference Second Team plaudits (2013) and All-Sun Belt Conference First Team accolades (2014).
He served as the team’s representative on the Team Leadership Board and with the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, while also a leader with the program’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Off the field, he has accumulated numerous hors with the Boys and Girls Club, raised funds for FCA, served on mission trips to Haiti, Mexico and China, and participated with Unashamed Campus Ministries, organizing new ways for people to get involved with Christ on campus.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgia Southern in 2015 and added a master’s degree in student personal administration from Concordia in 2019. He’s also been working on an additional master’s in international relations from Florida State.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.