Southern Utah Thunderbirds Add Three New Faces To Coaching Staff

Jan 5, 2023, 4:52 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 4:25 pm

Southern Utah head coach DeLane Fitzgerald (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)...

Southern Utah head coach DeLane Fitzgerald (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Southern Utah Thunderbirds have announced three new additions to Coach DeLane Fitzgerald’s coaching staff for the upcoming year.

The new faces for the Thunderbirds are Tye Hiatt, Ryan Payne, and Brandon Perkins.

Tye Hiatt will be the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Ryan Payne will be the new offensive line coach, and Brandon Perkins is set to be the cornerbacks coach.

Coach Tye Hiatt

Coach Hiatt has served as the head coach of the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds for the past two seasons. The Greyhounds were 7-15 in that span.

In Hiatt’s first season at ENMU, he coached several student-athletes who would later earn post-season awards.

Prior to his time with the Greyhounds, he spent three years as the offensive coordinator at NCAA Division II Shepherd University.

In 2019, Hiatt’s offense helped Shepherd attain a 10-3 record and a playoff appearance in the team’s first season in the PSAC. The team was the statistical champion in passing yards per game (347.0), third in completion percentage (.703), fifth in first down offense (324), and sixth in total offense (507.0).

Coach Ryan Payne

Payne comes to Southern Utah after a one-year stint as the offensive line coach at Idaho State University.

Payne was an offensive line graduate assistant at Oregon State for three years from 2018-2021. In 2021, he was a Joe Moore Award Finalist and helped coach an offensive line that rushed for the third most yards in OSU history (2,760).

Payne also has Tight End and Fullback coaching experience. He was a starting offensive lineman for three years at Dickinson State. He was named a captain and an academic all-league honoree in that time.

Coach Brandon Perkins

Coach Perkins spent the last two seasons as a defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator for Adams State University.

Perkins played two seasons for Western New Mexico in 2013 and 2014 after transferring in from Pima CC. As a defensive back, Perkins recorded 152 tackles, 14 TFL’s, three sacks, four forced fumbles, 46 pass break-ups and five picks in his playing career.

Perkins started coaching at his alma mater in 2015 and served as the defensive backs coach.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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