Tate is in his first season as the defensive line coach at Cal in 2014. The 16-year coaching veteran has spent the last two seasons working under first-year Golden Bear defensive coordinator Art Kaufman at Cincinnati and Texas Tech. He also worked on the same coaching staff with Kaufman for two seasons at East Carolina from 2003-04.
“Fred Tate came highly recommended from Art Kaufman,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “The two have had an excellent relationship in the past. They are on the same page and speak the language, which is invaluable. Fred did an excellent job this spring developing our defensive line. He is a very effective teacher and a great communicator with a clear teaching method that our players really enjoy.”
“I’m excited to be at Cal on a great staff put together by Sonny and to be reunited with Art,” Tate said. “Art and I have had a tremendous amount of success working together, and I’m looking forward to replicating that and improving upon it at Cal. I hit the ground running last spring and look to keep right on moving this fall.”
Tate’s most recent stint with Kaufman was in 2013 as the defensive tackles coach for a Cincinnati team that finished 9-4 overall and played in the Belk Bowl. Cincinnati’s defense was one of the best in the country a year ago, ranking in the top 10 nationally in both rushing defense (6th, 104.5 ypg) and total defense (9th, 315.6 ypg). Cincinnati was also among the top 30 in 10 of the 11 primary defensive categories tracked in the national stats, including 14th in scoring defense (21.0 ppg), third-down conversion percentage defense (33.1%) and first downs defense (230); 23rd in sacks (2.69 spg) and red-zone defense (76.5%); 25th in team passing efficiency defense (116.75); 26th in tackles for loss (6.80 tflpg); and 29th in passing yards allowed (211.2 ypg).
Cincinnati defensive lineman Jordan Stepp earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors in the inaugural season of the league while fellow defensive lineman Silverberry Mouhon was a second-team selection. Mouhon (9.5) and Stepp (6.0) were first and second on the club in sacks, with Mouhon ranking third in the league in sacks per game (0.73 spg).
Tate also worked on Kaufman’s defensive staff at Texas Tech in 2012, inheriting a 2011 unit that ranked 114th nationally in total defense (485.58 ypg) and improving them to 38th (367.31 ypg) while ranking second in the Big 12 Conference. Texas Tech was keyed by a pass defense that led the league and ranked 15th in the country (192.00 ypg). The Red Raiders finished 8-5 overall and were victorious over Minnesota at the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2012, leading the team with 14.0 tackles for loss, co-leading the squad with 6.0 sacks and ranking third on the club with 56 tackles. He tallied 10.5 TFL’s during Big 12 play to rank third in the league.
In addition to his three previous tenures with Kaufman, Tate has been on coaching staffs at Marshall (2010-11), Tennessee-Chattanooga (2008-09), Southern Miss (2005-06), Middle Tennessee (2002), Southwest Texas State (2001), East Mississippi Community College (2000), Jacksonville State (1998-99) and East Central Community College (1997).
Marshall was victorious in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl over Florida International in Tate’s final season with the Thundering Herd when he coached the defensive line for a defense that ranked first in Conference USA and fifth nationally with an average of 7.85 tackles for loss per game. Marshall’s defense was also among the nation’s top 20 in fumbles recovered (T14th, 15), fourth-down efficiency (19th, 38.89) and turnovers gained (T19th, 29). Defensive end Vinny Curry was a first-team All-American and the 2011 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year as well as a first-team all-league choice. Curry capped his career playing under Tate in 2011 with 77 tackles, 22.0 tackles for loss (-110 yards) and 11.0 sacks (-69 yards). His per-game totals for tackles for loss (1.69 tflpg) and sacks (.85 spg) both ranked second in the league, and were fourth and tied for seventh nationally. Curry was selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and has played 20 games off the bench for the club over the last two seasons (2012-13).
In his first season with the Thundering Herd in 2010, Tate coached the safeties and saw two of his pupils, Donald Brown and Omar Brown, earn honorable mention All-Conference USA selections.
During his two campaigns at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tate mentored Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Southern Conference selection Josh Beard, who tied for the national lead in the Football College Subdivision (FCS) and equaled a school record with 12.0 sacks.
Tate coached on bowl staffs during each of his two seasons at Southern Miss with the Golden Eagles finishing with winning records each campaign. Southern Miss was 7-5 in 2005 and defeated Arkansas State in the New Orleans Bowl with defensive lineman Tom Johnson earning first-team All-Conference USA honors. USM finished 9-5 in 2006 and claimed the Conference USA East Division title, played Houston in the Conference USA Championship Game and defeated Ohio University in the GMAC Bowl.
Prior to his two seasons as an outside linebackers and special teams coach on the same staff as Kaufman at East Carolina from 2003-04, Tate served as the defensive line coach at Middle Tennessee in 2002 and Southwest Texas State in 2001, where he guided Clenton Ballard to first-team All-America status (American Football Coaches Association). Ballard spent time on NFL rosters with the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers.
Tate’s coaching career began in 1997 at East Central Community College in Mississippi where he coached tight ends and wide receivers. He moved to Jacksonville State in 1998 and served as the defensive line and special teams coach for two seasons with his 1998 squad posting a 7-4 overall record. While with the Gamecocks, he mentored future NFL player Mark Word who spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns. The 2000 season saw him return to the junior college level, coaching the defensive line, and punting and kicking teams at East Mississippi Community College.
A native of Hattiesburg, Miss., Tate enlisted in the United States Army upon graduation in 1986 from North Forrest High School in his hometown. Following his time in the military service, Tate started his collegiate football career with two seasons at East Central Community College, where he was a JC Gridwire All-America selection as a 1994 sophomore and voted the Most Valuable Offensive Player of the National Junior College All-Star Game.
He continued his playing career at Southern Mississippi, where he was a defensive lineman in 1995 and 1996 for a Golden Eagles’ team that was a charter member of Conference USA and won the league’s first football championship with a 4-1 league mark in his second and final season while finishing with an 8-3 overall record that included a victory over Georgia and a seven-game winning streak.
Tate earned his bachelor’s degree in human performance from Southern Miss in 1997.
Fred Tate File
Bowl History (5 Games)
*Season in which bowl game was played