James Joseph begins his fourth season as a member of the Samford coaching staff. Joseph coaches the Bulldogs’ running backs.
In each of his first three seasons, Joseph has worked with one of the top running backs in the Southern Conference. In 2012, junior Fabian Truss rushed for 1,063 yards, finishing sixth in the SoCon. In 2011, Truss ranked third in the league in rushing despite missing the last couple of games due to injury.
In his first season at Samford in 2010, Joseph coached Samford’s all-time leading rusher Chris Evans for his senior season. For the 2010 season, Evans rushed for 1,106 yards, becoming the only player in Samford history to rush for over 1,000 yards in four-straight seasons.
Joseph came to Samford in 2010 after spending the past three seasons as the running backs coach at the University of Memphis. Under Joseph’s guidance, running back Curtis Steele ranked seventh in the nation in rushing yards per game, 10th in scoring and 14th in scoring touchdowns. Steele left Memphis ranking third in career rushing, second in 100-yard games and second in 300-yard games.
In 2007 and 2008 at Memphis, Joseph’s running backs lost a total of three fumbles, ranking third in the nation in 2007 and fifth in 2008. Memphis ranked 23rd in total offense in 2007 and 26th in 2008.
"I consider it an honor to work with Coach Sullivan," James said. "He is one of the good guys in coaching and you always like to be around good people. I am just blessed to be here."
From 2004 to 2007, Joseph served as the walk-on coordinator and running backs coach at Troy University. In his time at Troy, the Trojans competed in three-straight bowl games and won the first Division I-FBS conference championship in the program’s history. He also coached the school’s all-time leading rusher in DeWhitt Betterson.
Prior to getting into college coaching, Joseph coached at Auburn High School. Joseph served as assistant head football coach and special teams’ coordinator. He was also head junior varsity baseball coach and assistant varsity basketball coach at Auburn High School.
Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University, played running back for the Tigers from 1986 to 1990. In his playing career at Auburn, the Tigers played in four bowl games and won three Southeastern Conference championships. Joseph was named Honorable Mention All-SEC and he currently ranks eighth on Auburn’s all-time rushing list.
After finishing his playing career at Auburn, Joseph played several years in the National Football League. Joseph played with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1991 to 1994 and with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1995.
With the Eagles, he played on offense and special teams. He led the team in rushing as a rookie in 1991, and he led the team in tackles on special teams in 1992. Joseph was named Special Teams Co-Captain in 1994.
Joseph graduated from Auburn in 1997 with a B.S. in Family and Childhood Development.