Entering his 19th season as head coach of the Rams is Monte Cater, a 1971 graduate of Millikin University. Cater was appointed the program's 12th head coach on February 9, 1987 and served as Shepherd's director of athletics from 1993-2004. Shepherd's all-time winningest football coach, Cater boasts a 118-67-1 (.637) record in 18 seasons as head coach of the Rams, and an overall record of 149-90-2 (.622) in 23 years as a head coach.
Cater's .622 winning percentage and 149 victories both rank among the top totals in the NCAA II coaching ranks among active coaches. He is tied for second place on the all-time WVIAC coaching victories list with his 118-67-1 mark at Shepherd and is tied for first place on the all-time WVIAC coaching titles list (8).
Cater wasted little time establishing himself as a winner at Shepherd as he led the Rams to a tie for the WVIAC title in 1988.
The 1990 season was Cater's first with a senior class that he recruited and the results were visible in the win-loss column.
A 6-3-1 record in 1990 earned the Rams a second-place finish in the WVIAC and served as a prelude to a two-year run of domination through the conference. Cater led the 1991 team to an 8-3 record and the school's first NAIA Playoff appearance since 1986. Although the Rams fell in the first round of the playoffs, they had established themselves as the team to beat in the WVIAC and finished the season ranked sixth nationally.
The 1992 season proved to be one of Cater's best as head coach of the Rams as Shepherd compiled a 9-3 overall record, which included their second straight 7-0 mark in the WVIAC.
The 1992 post-season brought another chapter to the rich history of Ram football as they won their first-ever NAIA playoff game with a 6-3 win at playoff-nemesis Carson-Newman to advance to the national semifinals for the first time in school history. For his efforts, Cater was tabbed the WVIAC Coach-of-the-Year in 1991 and 1992.
In 1997 Cater earned WVIAC Coach-of-the-Year honors leading the Rams to a 9-1 mark and a share of the WVIAC title. The Rams earned their first-ever NCAA Division II ranking, and set a new school record for scoring with 340 points.
In 1998 Cater again earned WVIAC Coach-of-the-Year honors in leading Shepherd a 10-2 mark as WVIAC champions. Shepherd made its first appearance in the NCAA II Playoffs and upset Indiana (PA), 9-6 in the first round, before falling to Slippery Rock, 31-20 in the quarterfinals.
Cater earned WVIAC Coach-of-the-Year honors for the third consecutive season in 1999 as the Shepherd posted a 9-2 mark and returned to the NCAA II Playoffs.
Cater's 2000 squad posted a 7-3 mark with the three losses coming by a total of 12 points. Dalevon Smith, who led the NCAA II in rushing, and James Rooths both earned First Team All-America honors.
The Rams used a 6-0 start en route to an 8-2 record in 2001.
Cater led the Rams to a 7-3 mark in 2002. Shepherd finished just a win shy of the WVIAC title.
The Rams rebounded from a 0-3 start in 2004 with a 7-0 run in conference play to gain their eighth conference title under Cater. Shepherd recorded a perfect league mark for the fifth time in the Cater era. Cater gained WVIAC Coach-of-the-Year honors for a record sixth time.
In his 18 seasons at Shepherd, Cater has coached 199 WVIAC All-Stars and 29 All-Americans.
Prior to coming to Shepherd, Cater was the primary architect in reviving the Lakeland College program in Sheboygan, WI. In six seasons as the head coach at Lakeland, Cater transformed the program into a winner as the team won three conference titles in his last four seasons, while he garnered Coach-of-the-Year honors twice during that time.
Cater began his collegiate coaching career as an offensive line coach at his alma mater, where he would also serve as co-offensive coordinator. During his stay at Millikin, the Big Blue posted a record of 28-8. He has also served as the head coach at Assumption High School (Assumption, IL) and as an assistant coach at both Sparta and Mater Dei High Schools in Illinois before moving up to the college ranks.
Cater was selected as a member of the NCAA Division II Football Committee in 2005. One of eight members on the national committee, Cater will serve as co-chair of the Northeast Regional Committee. A member of the AFCA Board of Coaches, which conducts the NCAA II Football Poll, Cater earned his B.A. in physical education from Millikin in 1971, before moving to SIU-Carbondale, where he earned his master's in physical education as well.
Cater and his wife, Bonnie, reside in nearby Martinsburg, with their daughter, Taylor, and son, Logan.
Entering his first season as quarterbacks/wide receivers coach at Shepherd is Joel Gordon, who came to Shepherd after coaching at North Carolina Wesleyan College under former Ram coach Jack Ginn.
A 2003 graduate of Shepherd, Gordon was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Rams. He led Shepherd to the WVIAC title and an NCAA II Playoff appearance in 1999. A three-year team captain, Gordon holds Shepherd career records for passing yards (7,236), completions (522), pass attempts (977), and touchdowns (66). He also hold Ram career total offense marks for most attempts (1,177), most yards (7,677) and touchdowns responsible for (70).
Gordon spent a season in 2003 with the Richmond Speed, of the Arena Football League 2.
Gordon resides in Martinsburg.
In his seventh year as the Ram defensive coordinator is Bob Haley, an eight-year veteran of the Shepherd coaching staff. Haley replaced current WVU assistant coach Jeff Casteel, who played under Haley at California (PA). He brings over 20 years of coaching experience to the program.
In 2004 the Rams led the league in scoring defense (16.2 average) en route to a 7-0 WVIAC mark as conference champions.
In 2002 Haley's defense was ranked 27th in scoring defense (17.6) and 33rd in pass efficiency defense (104.6).
In 2001 Haley helped lead a Shepherd defense that was ranked 11th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (89.67), 20th in rushing defense (106.2), and 21st in the nation in scoring defense (16.7). The Rams posted one shutout and held four other teams to 14 points or less.
In 2000 the Ram defense was ranked 17th in the nation in scoring defense (17.1), 22nd in pass efficiency defense, and 23rd in rushing defense (122.3).
In 1999 Haley returned to the Shepherd coaching staff after a one-year hiatus and helped lead a Ram defense that was ranked fourth in the nation in rushing defense (64.7), sixth in total defense (236.7), seventh in scoring defense (12.5), eighth in pass efficiency defense (83.8), and tied for eighth in turnover margin (1.30). As defensive backs coach for the Rams in 1997, Haley helped lead Shepherd to the WVIAC crown.
Haley was an assistant coach for 14 years at California (PA), including the final 10 as the defensive coordinator.
At California, Haley coached 12 players to All-Conference status during his final four years and helped the team to 1984 PSAC Championship. In the 1984 PSAC title game against Bloomsburg, Haley's unit held the Huskies to just 33 yards passing and minus 18 yards rushing in the second half of a 21-14 victory.
Prior to coming to Shepherd in 1997, Haley was the defensive coordinator for four years at Ringgold (PA) High School.
Haley was a two-year starter in the secondary at the University of Maryland and also earned a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Haley earned his master's degree while coaching at California and helped the Vulcans defeat Shepherd 15-14 in 1982, 13-6 in 1983, and 34-21 in 1986.
Haley, and his wife, Denise, reside in Hagerstown, Maryland, with their daughter, Hannah.
Entering his sixth season as offensive coordinator and seventh as the offensive line coach at Shepherd is Ernie McCook, who came to Shepherd after serving as the offensive line coach at Frostburg State University.
In 2004 McCook's offense led the WVIAC in scoring offense with a 32.0 average. The Ram offensive line yielded a league-low 11 sacks in 10 games.
In 2001 McCook helped the Rams finish 17th in the nation in scoring offense (36.8).
In 2000 Shepherd running back Dalevon Smith led all NCAA II rushers with a 166.1 per game average.
In 1999 McCook helped Shepherd finish fifth in the nation in scoring offense (40.2), eighth in rushing offense (277.4), and ninth in total offense (453.3).
While coaching at Frostburg, McCook was responsible for the run game coordination and off-season strength and conditioning, while also serving as an instructor in the school's physical education department.
A 1992 graduate of Wesley College, McCook coached high school football at Beall High School and South River High School in Maryland. In 1991 McCook spent one season at Susquehanna University, where he helped lead the Crusaders to the semifinals of the NCAA III Playoffs.
McCook returned to coach at his alma mater from 1992-1997. After serving as defensive line coach in 1991-92, McCook shifted to the offensive line coach from 1993-97. McCook helped lead the Wolverines to the Southeast ECAC championship in 1993. While at Wesley, McCook's offensive line helped pave the way for record-setting running back Brandon Steinham, a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy.
McCook was an offensive lineman and long snapper at Wesley, where he earned a B.S. degree in physical education.
McCook earned a master's degree in sport science-sports management from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama, in 1999.
McCook, and his wife, Beth, reside in Hagerstown, Maryland, with their son, Michael, and daughters, Molly and Madison.
Entering his third season with the Rams and second season as linebackers coach at Shepherd is Shawn Rohrer.
Rohrer served as inside linebackers coach at Slippery Rock University from 2000-02.
Prior to coaching at Slippery Rock, Rorher had stints as inside linebackers/special teams coach at California (PA) University and at Brownsville (PA) High School as co-defensive coordinator and linebacker/running backs coach.
A 1998 graduate of Slippery Rock, Rohrer was a four-year starter at linebacker for The Rock. A two-time All-Northeast Region selection, Rohrer gained All-America honors as a team captain in 1997. He also helped lead Slippery Rock to the PSAC title in 1997.
Rohrer and his wife, Kim, reside in Hedgesville.
Entering his third season on the staff at Shepherd is Josh Kline.
Kline, a 2003 Shepherd graduate, will work with the Ram defensive line.
Kline played for the Rams as a defensive lineman from 1999-2002.
He was a member of the 1999 WVIAC champion team and served as a team captain as a senior in 2002.
Kline is pursuing a graduate degree in curriculum and instruction in physical education.
Kline and his wife, Kim, also a 2003 Shepherd graduate, reside in Boonsboro, Maryland.
Entering his second season as tight ends coach at Shepherd is David Carr, who came to Shepherd after coaching at Shenandoah University.
Carr, a 2005 graduate of Shepherd, coached the centers and guards for the Hornets in 2003.
Carr was assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Montgomery College in 2002. He also served as the acting head coach for a six week period.
Carr also served as offensive line coach at George Mason University from 1999-2001. He also has four years of high school coaching experience.
Carr and his wife, Tina, reside in Shepherdstown with their son, Matthew, and daughter, Brittany.
Entering his second season as an assistant coach at Shepherd is Daryl Hayes, who came to Shepherd after serving as head coach at St. James School in Maryland.
Hayes coached for six years as an assistant at South Hagerstown High School. He also served as an assistant at Hedgesville High School for two years.
Hayes played one year at West Liberty as a defensive lineman in 1991.
Hayes graduated with a bachelor's degree from Shepherd in 1995 and earned his master's degree from West Virginia University in 1997.
Hayes and his wife, Ronda, reside in Martinsburg with their sons, Nate and Josh.