Images from the Owls' overtime loss to Marshall
Michael Slater returns for his fourth season of coaching the Rice defensive line. In his first three seasons, Slater has seen his defensive front become a disruptive force that has been instrumental in the Owls unprecedented success, overcoming multiple challenges thanks to the ability of his reserves to step into productive roles.
This past April, Slater saw Christian Covington selected by the Houston Texans, becoming the third Owls defensive line product to be drafted in his combined tenure on South Main. As a GA at Rice from 2008-10, Slater mentored future pros Cheta Ozougwu and Scott Solomon. In addition, 2014 senior Zach Patt earned an invitation to the Arizona Cardinals rookie camp.
In 2015, Slater welcomes back All C-USA Freshman selection Graysen Schantz in addition to Stuart Mouchantaf, who combined with Covington in 2013 on the interior before he was forced to sit out last season while recuperating from an injury. Those two are joined by senior Ross Winship as the most experienced members of the front wall.
Slater's front wall led the charge in 2014 as Rice set a school record with 39 sacks, and Patt set a single-game mark with five vs. FIU. In his first three seasons at the helm of the Rice defensive front, Slater's group has combined for 72 of the Owls 87 sacks, forced 19 fumbles and recovered 10.
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 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.
Slater has one son, Kyle.
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