Wide Receivers Coach
Gunnard Twyner, a three-time All-Conference selection during his playing days at Western Illinois University, joined head coach Gary Thomas's football coaching staff in February 2013. Before arriving at Dodge City, coach Twyner was the receivers coach at Western Illinois University for the past three seasons.
- 1st year as Assistant Football Coach
- Hometown: Davenport, IA
- High School: Pleasant Valley High School
- College: Western Illinois University
One of Twyner's receivers earned First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors each season - Lito Senatus (2010) and Terriun Crump (2011) - and both earned the honor in record-setting fashion. The duo both completed their respective career with a reception in 25 consecutive games, tying for third all-time but short of Twyner's record.
Last year Crump tied the season (5) and career (8) record for most 100-yard games. The third-year receivers coach saw Crump surpass 2,000 career receiving yards.
Twyner coached Senatus, who surpassed Twyner in several game, season and career record categories, to an All-America (Second Team) season in 2010. Senatus ended his career tying for the all-time touchdown receptions mark and was second all-time in receiving yards and receptions.
Twyner and his two All-Conference receivers hold down the second, third, and fourth spot all-time in receiving yards.
In 2010 the wide receivers were part of an offensive unit that led the MVFC in four offensive categories. Western ranked among the nation's 'Top 25' in nine offensive categories.
Twyner was himself a First Team All-Gateway Conference (now known as MVFC) selection from 1993-95. During his junior year in 1994, Twyner was named Honorable Mention All-America.
Since joining the Leatherneck coaching staff, Twyner now stands third among the Leathernecks all-time in receptions (144) and receiving yards (2,243). Twyner's record of four touchdown receptions in a game and 33 consecutive games with a catch still stand in the Western Illinois annals. He also ranks sixth all-time with 14 touchdown catches and ninth with an average of 15.6 yards per catch. Twyner is listed in four different season 'Top 10' receiving categories as well.
His standout playing days as a Leatherneck and a professional have helped him in his coaching career. During the summer of 2009, Twyner worked with the Indianapolis Colts as an assistant quarterbacks coach (working with quarterback coach Frank Reich) as part of the NFL Minority Coaching internship. He assisted with quarterback, running back and wide receiver drills and sat in on all meetings.
From 2006-07, he served as head coach at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Md. Taking over a program that had not won a game in four years, Twyner turned the 2006 squad into a 10-2 team that advanced to the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs. He was named state of Maryland Coach of the Year. The following year JFK went 9-3 and again advanced to the playoffs. He worked as a volunteer coach for three seasons prior at Seneca Valley High School and Churchill High School in Maryland.
Twyner was in the NFL from 1996-99. He originally signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals and played two games during the 1997 season. Twyner was with the New Orleans Saints from 1997-99 and was in training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000.
He also played for five seasons in the Arena Football League. During his rookie year with Tampa Bay, Twyner set an AFL rookie season record for most touchdown receptions as the team advanced to the second round of the playoffs. He also played with Buffalo and Columbus before concluding his professional playing career in 2004.
Twyner received his bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from Western in 1996. He has two daughters: Kelise and Maleah.