Arkansas Tech University Director of Athletics Steve Mullins announced on Wednesday, March 6, that Bo Atterberry, who had been named the Wonder Boys' head football coach in December, has resigned due to health reasons. Kyle Shipp, who recently rejoined the Arkansas Tech program as offensive coordinator, has been elevated to head coach.
Shipp's promotion is pending formal approval by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees.
"We appreciate the effort and enthusiasm that Coach Atterberry brought to our program," said Mullins. "We wish him nothing but the best. We are excited and looking forward to Coach Shipp as our next head football coach."
A three-year letterwinner at Arkansas Tech, Shipp was a part of the Wonder Boys' 2004 NCAA Division II Playoffs team. He later coached as a student assistant and graduate assistant at Tech before spending two years at Arkansas State as a graduate assistant. He has both his bachelor's and master's degree from Arkansas Tech.
Shipp will be the first ATU alumnus to serve as Wonder Boys head football coach since Leon Anderson held the position from 1976-79.
He returned to Russellville after spending the previous five seasons at the University of Arkansas-Monticello, where he served as offensive coordinator.
Shipp's UAM offenses continually improved over his time in Monticello, with the 2018 Boll Weevil squad averaging 398.6 yards per game --- the second-highest mark in the Great American Conference. Two Boll Weevils made all-conference as UAM posted its first winning season since 2008.
Two of Shipp's UAM offenses averaged over 400 yards per game, and in 2017, current Arizona Cardinals wideout Jalen Tolliver was named GAC offensive player of the year. During his time at UAM, Shipp mentored 11 All-Great American Conference players.
During his first stint in Russellville, Shipp helped the Wonder Boys offense average 30 points and 400 yards of total offense per game during the 2012 season that featured former Montreal Alouettes quarterback Tanner Marsh, and his kickoff return team of 2011 led the NCAA Division II in returns for touchdowns. He also coached a pair of all-conference receivers during the past three seasons in Russellville under coaches Steve Mullins and Raymond Monica.
Prior to returning to Arkansas Tech in 2011, Shipp served two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Arkansas State University under Steve Roberts. With the Red Wolves, Shipp helped coach an offense that set nine school records during the 2010 season, and aided the team to a No. 2 Sun Belt Conference rank in total offense (4,841 yards).
"I want to thank Coach Mullins and (President) Dr. Robin Bowen for their belief in me," said Shipp. "This is truly one of the top Division II programs in the country, and as an alumnus and a former player, this means the world to me. Leading this program is a big responsibility, and I do not take that lightly."
A native of Morrilton, Shipp is married to the former Krystal Carr of Russellville. The couple has a daughter, Emily.
This news release was prepared by the ATU Office of Athletic Communications.