Cameron Norcross joined the Commodores in 2016 as the team’s offensive line coach. He enters his fourth year with the program.
In 2018, Norcross’ offensive front led by seniors Justin Skule and Bruno Reagan and sophomore Devin Cochran, opened holes for running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who rushed for 1,244 yards and 12 touchdowns. Vaughn’s rush total was the second highest in team history. The unit also ranked among the most productive in modern Vanderbilt history, averaging 411.2 total yards, the most by a Commodore offense since 1974.
Norcross’ offensive line also blocked effectively in 2016-17, helping running back Ralph Webb set multiple team records, including 4,173 career rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns.
Norcross has helped two Vanderbilt graduates move on to the next level in Skule and 2016 grad Will Holden. Skule, a three-year starter under Norcross, was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Holden was a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and has started with the Arizona Cardinals.
Norcross came to Nashville after serving four years at Fresno State and a 11-year stint at his alma mater, the University of Nevada. As a Fresno State staffer, Norcross helped the Bulldogs to a 29-23 overall record and three bowl appearances. Norcross’ tenure at Fresno State featured an 11-2 campaign in 2013 that ended with the No. 21 Bulldogs facing Southern California in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Norcross’ lines were the backbone of a potent offensive attack at Fresno State. From 2012-14, the unit helped Fresno to put up 500 or more yards of offense 18 times. The offense also tallied at least 40 points in 18 games.
The line led Fresno State in 2013 to one of its best seasons in program history, as the Bulldogs tied the school record for wins and captured the Mountain West championship. With Norcross’ aid, the Bulldog offense established nearly 20 school records during the season, including new marks for total offense and points. The Fresno State line also allowed just 11 sacks in 13 games, ranking No. 7 in the NCAA. Remarkably, the Bulldogs threw 675 passes in 2013, nearly 250 more attempts than any of the six teams ranked ahead of the ‘Dogs.
Norcross has mentored All-America and all-conference linemen at Fresno State. In 2014, senior Alex Fifita earned second team All-Mountain West honors. Another pupil, senior tackle Justin Northern, became the sixth Academic All-America in Fresno State history.
Left tackle Austin Wentworth received first-team all-conference accolades in 2012 and 2013 while also picking up honorable mention All-America accolades from Sports Illustrated his senior year. Guard Cody Wichmann was an honorable mention All-MW pick in 2013 and a second-team honoree in 2014 while Richard Helepiko earned the same distinction in 2012. Wichmann and Wentworth both went on to the NFL after their days as Bulldogs. Wentworth played in seven games for Minnesota Vikings in 2014 after signing as an undrafted free agent. Wichmann contributed as a rookie after getting drafted by St. Louis in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Durability has been an important ingredient in the success of Norcross’ offensive lines. Fifita, Northern, Wentworth and Wichmann started more than 35 games during their `Dog careers, topped by Wichmann’s 50 career starts from 2011-14. Norcross’ 2014 front five also enjoyed the rare achievement of starting every game together as a unit.
Before joining the Fresno State staff, Norcross served at Nevada, helping his alma mater to seven consecutive bowl appearances from 2005-11. A three-year letterman on the Wolf Pack offensive line (1997-99), Norcross was an All-Big West selection in 1998.
Norcross started at Nevada as a graduate assistant under coach Chris Tormey in 2001-02. In 2003, he was hired on full time as the tight ends and co-offensive line coach. Wolf Pack Hall of Fame Head Coach Ault returned to the program as head coach in 2004, keeping Norcross on his staff in the same role all the way up until 2010 when he was promoted to the run-game coordinator and offensive line coach.
Norcross played an important role in the development of Ault’s innovative Pistol Offense since its inception in 2005.
Nevada led the nation in rushing in 2009, a year in which the Wolf Pack became the first team in NCAA history to have three 1,000-yard rushers in the same season. Under the direction of Norcross in 2010, the Wolf Pack ranked third nationally in rushing and fourth in total offense. The 2010 squad was paced by running back Vai Taua, who finished seventh in the nation in rushing, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became the first quarterback in NCAA history to rush for over 1,000 yards three straight years.
In nine seasons coaching offensive linemen at Nevada, Norcross mentored eight players to first-team all-conference honors and another eight to second-team accolades.
Prior to joining Tim DeRuyter’s staff at Fresno State in 2012, the two had previously worked together at Nevada in 2005 and 2006 when DeRuyter was the co-defensive coordinator for the Wolf Pack. Over those two seasons, DeRuyter and Norcross helped lead Nevada to a 17-8 record, a share of the 2005 WAC Championship and two bowl appearances.
A native of Ely, Nev., Norcross holds a bachelor’s degree from Nevada in management. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters, Kylie and Madison, and one son, Jacob.
Norcross’s Coaching Career
2016-19 – Vanderbilt – Offensive Line
2012-15 – Fresno State – Offensive Line
2010-11 – Nevada – Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line
2003-09 – Nevada – Tight Ends/Co-Offensive Line
2001-02 – Nevada – Offensive Graduate Assistant