Football Coaching Staff
Fred Tate
Defensive Line
Coach Info:
Position: Defensive Line
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
High School: North Forrest HS
Alma Mater: Southern Miss
Graduating Year: 1997
Major: Human Performance
Experience: 2 Years

Twitter: @calcoachtate | @calfootball
Instagram: cal_football

Fred Tate is in his second season as the defensive line coach at Cal and his fourth campaign working for defensive coordinator Art Kaufman in 2015 with stops at Texas Tech and Cincinnati in the two seasons prior to the duo’s arrival at Cal prior to the 2014 campaign. The 17-year coaching veteran 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 when we hired him and he has lived up to those expectations,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “Our defensive line has improved by leaps and bounds under Fred . 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 on a great staff here at Cal,” Tate said. “Art and I have had a tremendous amount of success working together, and we hope to keep improving and develop a championship level defense at Cal.”

The contributions of the 2015 Cal defense have helped the Golden Bears post a 7-5 regular-season mark to secure a winning record and a spot in postseason play for the first time since 2011 at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. A bowl victory would give Cal its first eight-win season since the 2009 team was 8-5 with only 17 squads since the beginning of Cal football in 1882-83 winning either nine or 10.

Cal's defensive line under Tate played a significant role in Cal's improved defense in 2015 with the Bears one of the nation's top teams in categories related to caused turnovers all season. Cal is tied for 21st in the nation in defensive touchdowns (3), tied 22nd in turnovers gained (24), tied for 27th in interceptions (14) and tied for 28th in fumbles recovered (10). Cal ranks tied for second in the Pac-12 in fumbles recovered, third in turnovers gained, and tied for third in defensive touchdowns and interceptions. All of those numbers are improvements from 2014.

The Bears also went from allowing 39.8 points per game to rank 120th nationally in 2014 to its current 30.3 points per game allowed and a ranking of tied for 88th in 2015. Cal has also put up significantly better numbers than a season ago in sacks (2015 – 2.25; 2014 – 1.33 spg), team passing efficiency defense (2015 – 134.51; 2014 – 154.54), tackles for loss (2015 – 5.3; 2014 – 4.6) and total defense (2015 – 455.3; 2014 – 511.8).

The emergence of honrable mention All-Pac-12 selection defensive end Kyle Kragen has also been a huge part of the team's defensive improvement. Kragen has recorded career highs of 65 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss (-39 yards) and 6.0 sacks (-32 yards), leading the team in tackles for loss and sacks while ranking second behind in tackles with the most by a Cal defensive lineman since Tyson Alualu also had 65 in 2009. Kragen was added to the midseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award honoring the nation’s top defensive end.

Tate has also been instrumental in the development of depth on the defensive line at the position that played three-deep at most positions on a regular basis in 2015.

Several Cal players had their best collegiate seasons under Tate in his first season at Cal in 2014 most notably defensive tackles Mustafa Jalil and Austin Clark that were major factors in the team’s one-year improvement of 48 spots and 44 yards per game in rush defense to No. 38 nationally (144.6 ypg).

Jalil was one of only two defensive players to start all 12 games and registered career highs with 35 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss (-12 yards), 1.5 sacks (-8 yards) and two quarterback hurries which were the first of his collegiate career. He even became the first Cal player to be credited with individual points on a safety (rule change in 2014) when he tackled USC running back Justin Davis in the end zone of a game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Jalil was a third-team preseason All-Pac-12 choice heading into his 2015 senior season.

A previously often-injured Clark earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors as a sixth-year senior in his first campaign under Tate as he played in 11 games with 10 starts and contributed 22 of his 23 career tackles, as well as his lone 1.0 tackle for loss (-1 yard) and one quarterback hurry. Clark also earned Cal’s Joe Roth Award given to the player who best exemplifies courage, sportsmanship and attitude.

Prior to his arrival at Cal he spent the 2013 season with Kaufman as the defensive tackles coach for a Cincinnati team that finished 9-4 overall and played in the Belk Bowl. Cincinnati’s 2013 defense was one of the best in the country, 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 tackles for loss during Big 12 play to rank third in the league. He is now a member of the Detroit Lions practice squad after spending the 2014 campaign on the practice squad of the New York Jets.

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), while 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 in his second season under Tate in 2011 with huge numbers when he recorded 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 is in his fourth campaign with the club in 2015.

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. Omar Brown played in the NFL for two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 and 2013.

During his two campaigns at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tate mentored 2009 third-team AP All-American, 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-American status. Ballard spent time on NFL rosters with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2002) and San Diego Chargers (2004).

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 (1999) and Cleveland Browns (2001-03). The 2000 season saw Tate 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 his 1986 graduation from North Forrest High School in his hometown. Following his military service, Tate started his collegiate football career with two seasons at East Central Community College, where he was a JC Gridwire All-American 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 conference 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
 October 31, 1968
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
High School: North Forrest HS
College: Southern Miss, 1997, Bachelor's in Human Performance
Family: Single

Coaching History
Season: School – Position

1997: East Central Community College – Tight Ends/Wide Receivers
1998: Jacksonville State – Defensive Line/Special Teams
1999: Jacksonville State – Defensive Line/Special Teams
2000: East Mississippi Community College – Defensive Line/Punting and Kicking
2001: Southwest Texas State – Defensive Line
2002: Middle Tennessee – Defensive Line
2003: East Carolina – Defensive Line
2004: East Carolina – Defensive Line
2005: Southern Miss – Defensive Tackles/Outside Linebackers
2006: Southern Miss – Defensive Tackles/Outside Linebackers
Tennessee-Chattanooga – Defensive Line
2009: Tennessee-Chattanooga – Defensive Line
2010: Marshall – Safeties
2011: Marshall – Defensive Line
2012: Texas Tech – Defensive Line
2013: Cincinnati – Defensive Line
2014: Cal – Defensive Line
2015: Cal – Defensive Line

Bowl History (6 Games)
*Season: Team – Bowl
 Southern Miss – New Orleans Bowl
 Southern Miss – GMAC Bowl
 Marshall – Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl
 Texas Tech – Meineke Car Care Bowl
 Cincinnati – Belk Bowl
2015: Cal – Armed Forces Bowl
*Season in which bowl/playoff was played

Last Updated
December 9, 2015