Michael Slater returns for his third season of coaching the Rice defensive line.
In his first two seasons, Slater's defensive front wall has juggled multiple challenges to become a major factor in the improved performance of the Owls' defense, which has been a major factor in their ascent to the C-USA Championship.
In 2013, Slater guided sophomore Christian Covington to an All-CUSA campaign, the first by an Owl sophomore defensive lineman since the return to two-platoon football. Even with the loss to starter Stuart Mouchantaf at the midpoint of the year, the Owls' defensive front cut nearly a yard from opponents average per carry (4.9 to 4.1) and provided additional defensive production blocking three field goals and one extra point.
In his first two seasons at the helm of the Rice defensive front, Slater's group has combined for 38 of the Owls 48 sacks, forced 12 fumbles and recovered six.
No stranger to the Rice campus, Slater served for three seasons at Rice as a defensive graduate assistant, earning a Master's of Liberal Studies degree during his tenure while working with the defensive line. After his graduation in the spring of 2011, Slater spent one season as the Defensive Line coach at Angelo State before returning to Rice.
Slater coached at the high school level in the Houston area for 12 years, first at Alief Hastings for five seasons and most recently at Alief Taylor for seven years. He coached the defensive line and also coordinated special teams. As the defensive line coach at Taylor, he coached future Owl and current Chicago Bear Cheta Ozougwu.
He began his coaching career while attending Southwest Texas State (now Texas State), where he served as a student assistant coach in 1993 before graduating with a degree in Agriculture/Animal Science.