PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The University of West Florida has hired former Argonaut offensive coordinator Kaleb Nobles as the second head football coach in program history. The news was announced by University President Dr. Martha Saunders and Athletics Director Dave Scott on Tuesday.
“We are super excited to announce Kaleb Nobles as our head coach and welcome him and his wife Katy back to Pensacola and the UWF family,” said Scott. “He spent four seasons as a player and member of the coaching staff under Pete Shinnick and understands the culture and values that helped create the foundation the program.”
An alumnus of the university, Nobles said he is excited for the opportunity.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be the next head football coach at the University of West Florida,” said Nobles. “My wife and I are true Argos as we are both UWF graduates, and I look forward to continuing the legacy of Building Champions For Life.”
Nobles has spent the past two seasons at Clemson University where he had the role of Offensive Player Development under head coach Dabo Swinney. He assisted with the quarterbacks and wide receivers, all game preparation and planning, along with various gameday duties. In 2021, Clemson went 10-3 with a Cheez-It Bowl victory followed by an 11-2 record in 2022. The Tigers won the ACC Championship while earning a berth in the Orange Bowl against Tennessee set for Dec. 30.
“I am so happy for Kaleb Nobles. He was born to be a football coach and equipped to be a head coach,” said Sweeney. “One of the main reasons I went and hired him from West Florida is I knew he would come in and really make us better. He has a high aptitude for the game, he’s passionate about it and is a great communicator. Having the opportunity to work with him these past two years has been really fun to see him up close to see how knowledgeable he is, how detailed he is, how good he is with people and what a great communicator he is. His knowledge of West Florida and his understanding of the scope of that job is exciting. I’m really happy for him and proud of him, and I don’t have any doubt that he will continue the great success and great tradition at the University of West Florida.”
Nobles spent three seasons on Pete Shinnick’s Argonaut’s staff from 2017-20 as the quarterbacks coach for the Argonauts and was named the Co-Offensive Coordinator in May of 2020. He also served as the Director of Football Operations for two-plus years.
“Kaleb Nobles is UWF Football,” said Shinnick. “First starting quarterback, a graduate assistant, quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and now Head Coach. I could not be happier for Kaleb and Katy as they come back to UWF. His love and passion for his players is evident and he will be a great leader of Argo Football.”
Nobles mentored some of the best signal callers in UWF history. In 2019, Austin Reed was named the National Freshman of the Year after he threw for 4,089 yards and 272.6 yards per game to rank 13th nationally. He also completed 57 percent of his passes and tossed 40 touchdowns while rushing for six more.
The 2019 quarterback group established program records with a 56.8 completion percentage, a 148.6 pass efficiency rating, 14.6 yards per completion and 411.9 yards of total offense per game.
In 2018, the Argonauts completed 55.2 percent of their pass attempts, tying the school record at the time. The group averaged 229 yards passing and had 23 touchdowns.
Nobles worked daily with a quartet of QBs during the historic 2017 season that culminated with a run to the national championship game. Mike Beaudry finished with 3,215 yards through the air and 29 touchdowns while being named the Gulf South Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year.
As a student-athlete, Nobles spent four seasons at Valdosta State from 2012-15, appearing in 23 games with six starts as a freshman and sophomore. He threw for 2,009 yards and 19 touchdowns as a Blazer.
In 2016, he transferred to UWF and helped provide immediate leadership and focus to the upstart program. He led the Argonauts to a 5-6 overall record and threw for 3,058 yards with 28 touchdowns. He also established a school record that still stands with 277.3 passing yards per game.
He had six games with at least 30 yards passing, including a 503 yard, six touchdown performance in the win over Missouri State in the inaugural home game on Sept. 10, 2016. That passing mark ranks tenth all-time in GSC single-game history. He was also a GSC All-Academic selection that season.
Nobles has coaching in his blood, following in the footsteps of his late father, Buddy. The elder Nobles spent more than 30 years as a high school coach in Florida and Georgia. His Irwin County (Ga.) High School team won the Georgia Class A title in 2019, nine days before the Argos won the national championship.
Nobles, who was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and attended high school in Fitzgerald, Ga., earned his bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Valdosta State in Dec. 2015 and added a master’s in Health Leisure and Sport Science from UWF in Dec. 2017.
He and his wife, Katy, a former UW women’s volleyball student-athlete and Argo alumnus – were married in June 2021.
“This is an exciting time to welcome back an alumnus who has lived and breathed UWF Football,” said Scott. “Kaleb is poised to take the foundation that he helped lay and continue the success for many years. There is not a better time to be an Argo Football fan.”