McKenzie Joins Vanderbilt Football Staff

Norval McKenzie returns to Vanderbilt as run game coordinator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt head football coach Clark Lea announced Tuesday that Norval McKenzie will serve as the program’s run game coordinator and running backs coach.

A Vanderbilt graduate and Commodore running back from 2001-04, McKenzie spent the past two seasons at Louisville. McKenzie guided Louisville running back Javian Hawkins to a record-breaking freshman season in 2019, and a team-high 822 rushing yards and squad-best seven rushing touchdowns in 2020.

Hawkins, a second team All-ACC selection in 2019, earned Freshman All-America honors after setting the school running back record with 1,525 ground yards. In 2019, Hawkins registered eight 100-yard games and finished eighth nationally in rushing yards.

Before joining the Louisville staff, McKenzie, a 2018 Broyles Award nominee, spent the previous three seasons as the running backs coach at Arkansas State. Before his stint at Arkansas State, McKenzie spent five seasons at Furman, serving as the running backs coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator.

Following his graduation from Vanderbilt, McKenzie began his coaching career at Hiram (Ga.) High School, where he worked for two seasons before returning to Vandy as a graduate assistant coach for the 2008-09 campaigns. During the 2010 season, he served as an assistant recruiting coordinator and aided with player development.

The 2008 season was highlighted by Vanderbilt posting its first winning season (7-6) since 1982 with a 16-14 victory over Boston College in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl – the program’s first bowl victory since 1955.

McKenzie, a rare triple major, earned an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt in secondary education, political science and American history in 2005. He completed his master’s degree in education at Vanderbilt in 2010.

Lea also announced Ryan Bellerose as an assistant strength coach. He spent the 2018-19 seasons at South Carolina as the associate director of strength and conditioning and interim director in 2019 before working with Carolina Panthers for the 2020 campaign as an assistant on the human performance staff.

Bellerose arrived at South Carolina in 2015 as a strength and conditioning intern. While working his way up with the Gamecocks, he served as a part-time assistant with the athletic training staff and as a football nutrition intern before becoming a strength and conditioning graduate assistant in January 2018.

A native of Hudson, New Hampshire, Bellerose graduated from Plymouth State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He was a three-year starter on the offensive line, a two-time captain and an Academic All-American for the Panthers. He was also a recipient of the John C. Foley Senior Leadership Awards for his performance in the classroom, in the community and on the field.

In addition, Lea announced Fahd Jindani has been retained as an assistant strength coach. Both Bellerose and Jindani will be under the direction of Brandon Hourigan, who Lea added as the director of football strength and conditioning.