Thweatt was most recently the head coach at Division II Virginia State, where he led the Trojans to a 6-4 record and a third-place finish in the CIAA Northern Division in his lone season with the team.
Prior to VSU, Thweatt, who will work under new defensive coordinator Bob Trott, spent eight seasons at Richmond (2007-14), where he coached the inside linebackers
Thweatt was a two-year captain for the Cavaliers and started 47 games in his collegiate career (1996-00), a school record for most starts by linebacker. As a senior, the linebacker was a Football News Honorable Mention All-American. Thweatt was a four-time All-ACC selection, as he was named to the Second Team as a junior and senior while holding Honorable Mention status as a freshman and sophomore. His 387 career tackles ranks third all-time for the Cavaliers.
“Byron previously worked with Coach Trott at Richmond, so he brings an understanding of our scheme and the defense we want to run at JMU,” Houston said. “He has a great reputation in the state as a recruiter and has the experience of being a head coach that will help our coaching staff.”
Houston also announced the hires of Donnie Kirkpatrick as offensive coordinator and JMU alum and former long-time Virginia Tech assistant Bryan Stinespring as the tight end coach and running game coordinator.