Texas native Scott Vestal was named Rice’s new safeties coach on January 18, 2017, after spending the 2016 season at Maryland where he was a Defensive Assistant/Quality Control and worked with the Terrapin safeties as Maryland advanced to the Quick Lane Bowl against Boston College.
Prior to joining the staff at Maryland, he spent three seasons with the Kansas Jayhawks , the last two as the safeties coach. Vestal, who also worked closely with the Jayhawk special teams, spent the 2012 season as the assistant director of football operations for KU.
Under Vestal’s guidance, KU safety Isaiah Johnson was named the 2013 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year after finishing his sophomore season with five interceptions, which ranked second in the conference. Johnson also finished second on the KU defense with 73 tackles. Additionally, Johnson picked up honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from the conference coaches.
Vestal joined the Kansas program from the University of Florida. He was the quality control coach for defense for the Gators in 2011 and served in the same role at Texas during the 2010 season.
Prior to his work with the Longhorns, Vestal was a graduate assistant at Louisiana Tech, North Texas and SMU. Overall, Vestal spent four years at SMU, including a year as an assistant to the Director of Football Operations in 2003 before becoming the video graduate assistant in 2004. He also spent one year coaching in the Texas high school ranks, serving as an assistant coach at Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas.
He played safety at Arlington Lamar High School. Vestal earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in history from Texas A&M in 2003 and a master’s degree in liberal arts at SMU.