Sirmans Named Spartan Running Backs Coach
Feb. 9, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Ben Sirmans, who served as an assistant coach at Kent State for the last five years, has been named running backs coach at Michigan State, Spartan third-year coach John L. Smith announced Wednesday, Feb. 9. Sirmans replaces Reggie Mitchell, who resigned Dec. 22 to accept a similar position at Illinois.
The 34-year-old Sirmans comes to Michigan State following five seasons at Kent State where he served as running backs coach under Dean Pees (2000-03) and Doug Martin (2004).
In 2004, the Golden Flashes ranked fifth in the Mid-American Conference and No. 26 in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 30.5 points per game. It also marked the second-highest scoring average in school history.
Kent State topped the 30-point mark a school-record eight times in 2003, including the last six games in a row.
In 2002, Kent State finished third in the MAC and No. 13 in the NCAA in rushing offense, averaging 214.9 yards per game.
In 2001, the Golden Flashes ranked second in the league and No. 15 nationally in rushing offense, averaging 215.9 yards per game.
"After talking with several candidates at the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Convention, I decided to bring Ben Sirmans to campus for a formal interview," Coach Smith said. "I've been very impressed by Ben throughout the search. He emerged as the No. 1 candidate and I'm happy to have him on the coaching staff.
"Ben has worked his way up through the coaching ranks because he has a great work ethic. He's ready to hit the ground running."
"I'm very excited about having the opportunity to coach at Michigan State, with its rich football tradition," Sirmans said. "The pieces are beginning to come together for John L. Smith, and I believe he's attracting the kind of talent it takes to compete for a Big Ten championship.
"The transition should be a smooth one for me because Kent State ran the spread offense the last two years. We utilized a lot of three- and four-receiver sets at Kent State, running zone plays inside and options outside, so I do anticipate a lot of carry-over."
Sirmans previously spent four years as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under Jack Cosgrove at Maine (1996-99). He also worked closely with the Black Bears' special teams. In 1999, Maine finished sixth in NCAA I-AA in punt returns with its 14.7-yard average.
Prior to joining the Maine coaching staff, Sirmans worked for three years as assistant head coach at Barringer High School (1993-95) in Newark, N.J., where he also served as offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator.
A native of East Orange, N.J., Sirmans won four letters as a running back at Maine where he played for current Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz from 1990-92. As a senior, he rushed for 1,214 yards and 10 touchdowns while earning All-Yankee Conference and All-New England honors.
Sirmans graduated from Maine in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in physical education, health and recreation.
He is married to the former Tia Thompson of Akron, Ohio.
at the official