Justin Gaines is entering his second season with the Mean Green as the cornerbacks coach.
North Texas cornerbacks had two interceptions for touchdowns in 2011. Royce Hill and Steven Ford had their interception returns on consecutive plays against Florida Atlantic. It was the first interception return for a touchdown by a North Texas cornerback since 2007.
Gaines oversaw the development of true freshman Freddie Warner at the cornerback position as he made two starts and saw action in seven games. Warner is the first true freshman since 2008 to start at the cornerback spot for North Texas.
Gaines is a well-respected recruiter who was a defensive secondary coach at Montana State for four seasons from 2007-10. He was instrumental in developing the state of Texas as a recruiting hotbed for Montana State, helping sign 18 players from the state in the last three years.
Four of his signees from Texas were starters for Montana State this season, as the Bobcats won the Big Sky Conference regular season championship and qualified for the FCS playoffs.
Three of those players earned Big Sky postseason all-conference recognition, including conference offensive MVP Denarius McGhee, a quarterback from Euless Trinity High School.
Gaines coached defensive backs at Midwestern State from 2004-06 and at Texas A&M-Commerce from 2002-03. He was an All-America defensive back at the University of Montana, where he was a four-year letterman from 1995-98.
The former University of Montana standout coached defensive backs at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, TX, from 2004-06. The two years prior to that, Gaines held the same position at Texas A&M-Commerce (2002-03). He also served as academic coordinator for each of those school's football programs.
Gaines began his college coaching career at Texas Lutheran in 2000. Gaines earned All-Big Sky and Second Team All-America honors in 1997, and graduated with a BA in history in 2000.