For three seasons Scott Symons has been the architect of the UWG Wolves’ defense. That period of time has seen UWG win 31 games, two NCAA Division II Super Region 2 titles, and a GSC crown.
Defense has been a cornerstone of that success. It’s no wonder that new head coach David Dean was eager to retain Symons as the architect of his defense in 2017.
Defensive numbers were stellar for the Wolves a year ago. UWG led the Gulf South Conference in total defense, surrendering but a fraction over 300 yards per game. Beyond those impressive numbers, the Wolves were second in the league in three other, key defensive categories in 2016: scoring defense, rush defense, and pass defense.
Six UWG defenders last year earned All-Gulf South Conference honors. Leading the charge was a pair of defensive All-Americans: end Dylan Donahue and cornerback Marcus Sayles. Also, Donahue was named Gulf South Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Beyond those accolades, Donahue and fellow end Alex Armah made history as the first two UWG players ever to be taken in the National Football League Draft. Also, Sayles signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills. They join Oakland Raiders linebacker Tyrell Adams, a standout of Symons’ first defensive unit at in 2014, to give UWG a strong presence in the NFL.
Symons this season begins his fourth season as UWG’s defensive coordinator and safeties’ coach. He came to West Georgia following a season as defensive coordinator at former GSC rival Arkansas Tech. That stint followed a year on the staff of current Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn at Division I Arkansas State, and a season on the staff at Harding. Earlier in his career, Symons also coached at the prep level, working at Saint Dominic High in the St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon, Mo.
On the field, Symons enjoyed an outstanding playing career as an outside linebacker for the Division II Lindenwood (Mo.) Lions. While at the St. Louis area school he earned his bachelor’s degree in History.
Symons is married to the former Kristin Heinekin from Columbia, Ill. The couple has two children; daughter Peyton is four, and son Hudson turns two this fall.