|Position:||Linebackers Coach/Special Teams Coordinator|
|High School:||Palm Bay/Wyoming Seminary|
|Alma Mater:||Lafayette College|
Recruiting Areas – Georgia, Florida (Panhandle, Jacksonville, Miami)
Justin Stovall begins his fourth season at Columbia University in the dual role as the Lions’ linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. He began his current appointment in March 2015.
Stovall’s special teams unit was dominant and served as a driving force in leading Columbia to an 8-2 overall record and a second place finish in the Ivy League with a 5-2 record, the program’s most successful campaign in 21 seasons. Columbia set a school-record and ranked No. 2 in the nation with eight blocked kicks on the year and also ranked among national leaders in a variety of statistics including punt return defense (4th, 3.33 yards per return), kickoff returns (11th at 24.18 yards per return), kickoff return defense (19th at 17.63 yards per return) and net punting (13th). The Lions also led the Ivy League in four of those statistics. Two special teams contributors earned All-Ivy League honors including two conference leaders in their respective areas: punter Parker Thome (First Team) and kickoff returner Will Allen (Honorable Mention).
Columbia’s linebackers entered the 2017 season as the squad’s youngest and most inexperienced position group, but that label changed quickly as a variety of players stepped up to produce. Led by Stovall, the deep and talented group consisting of Ivy League honorable mention pick Michael Murphy (42 tackles, team-best 6.0 tackles for loss and 2 FR), Sean White (48 tackles, 2 INT), Jalen Williams (32 tackles), Justin Woodley (19 tackles, 2 INT), Jacob Young (18 tackles), Cal Falkenhayn (18 tackles), Parker Tobia (11 tackles) and Cameren Carter (six tackles) developed into a team strength.
In 2016, Columbia placed three linebackers among the Ivy League’s top-15 tacklers including First Team All-Ivy League selection and Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year candidate Gianmarco Rea, who led the league and ranked among the nation’s top-15 tacklers with 108. On special teams, Columbia players led the Ivy League in both field goals and punting as placekicker Oren Milstein (12-13 on field goals) earned unanimous First Team All-Ivy League honors and punter Nizialek (44.8 yards per punt) garnered Second Team All-Ivy League accolades. In addition, Columbia led the Ivy League in net punting average (37.66) and kickoff return yardage (21.1 yards per return).
In his first season at Columbia in 2015, two linebackers ranked among the Ivy League’s top-20 tacklers as Christian Conway and Keith Brady both totaled 57 tackles on the year. Stovall also tutored a punter to All-Ivy League honors, as Cameron Nizialek was the second best punter in the conference with a 42.8-yard average, while also converting 8-for-14 field goals.
Stovall arrived at Columbia after spending the 2014 season in the same capacity at Valparaiso. The Crusaders finished the season ranked first in the conference in punt return average (14.9 yds), kickoff return average (21.8 yds), blocked kicks (six) and special teams touchdowns (three). Valpo's kickoff return unit paved the way for Jarrett Morgan, as a freshman, to lead the FCS in kickoff return average (34.9 yds).
Before his one season at Valparaiso, Stovall served as the Outside Linebackers Coach at Lehigh during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The Mountain Hawks finished 10-1 with a nine-game win streak in 2012 and compiled an 8-3 record in 2013.
In 2011, Stovall served as a defensive assistant at Villanova, where he assisted the defensive and special teams coordinators in all areas, organized the scout team offense and special teams and worked with all aspects of film.
Prior to Villanova, Stovall coached linebackers at Franklin and Marshall College for three seasons (2009-11) while assisting the defensive coordinator. He assisted in the development of the linebackers and helped implement defensive game plans. Stovall was then promoted to Special Teams Coordinator in April of 2011, developing and implementing punt return schemes while working with the specialists. He also had extensive recruiting responsibilities.
A four-year letterwinner and three-time Patriot League Champion at Lafayette College from 2003-06, Stovall helped lead the Leopards to league titles and FCS Playoff berths in each of his final three seasons. A senior captain in 2006, Stovall saw action in 46 of 47 career games at both linebacker and on special teams.
A Melbourne, Fla. native, Stovall graduated from Lafayette in 2007 with an impressive 3.23 grade point average as an Economics and Business major. He is married to his wife Jessica. The couple has a son Luke Robert.
JUSTIN STOVALL FILE
Birthdate: March 19, 1984
Hometown: Melbourne, Fla.
Family: Wife Jessica, son Luke Robert.
Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Business, Lafayette College, 2007
Linebackers Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, Columbia University, 2015-current
Linebackers Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, Valparaiso University, 2013-15
Outside Linebackers Coach, Lehigh University, 2012-13
Defensive Graduate Assistant, Villanova University, 2011-12
Linebackers Coach, Franklin & Marshall College, 2009-11
Four-year letterwinner as a linebacker at Lafayette College (2003-06) … Guided the Leopards to three Patriot League championships and FCS Playoff berths in 2004, 2005 and 2006 … Named senior co-captain in 2006 … Saw action in 46 of 47 career games as both a linebacker and on special teams … Four-year career totals include 129 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception … During his senior year, ranked second on the squad with 73 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one interception and 1.0 sack … Played a season at Wyoming Seminary, where he recorded 65 tackles and five sacks on defense and rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 162 yards on offense as a fullback … Led his high school team, Palm Bay to the 2000 Florida Class 6A state championship.