A former Oregon and Montana quarterback is now Clay Hendrix’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Justin Roper has been much traveled and highly successful since he played for the Ducks and Grizzlies. He comes to Furman following two seasons at Holy Cross, where he served as offensive coordinator, helping the Crusaders to back-to-back Patriot League championships and Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances.
“We could not be happier in announcing Justin Roper as our new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach,” stated Hendrix. “He brings a stellar track record of offensive production and winning at a number of outstanding programs, and also understands what it takes to win at an elite academic institution. He is a great fit at Furman in every way, and we are excited to get going.”
Roper was instrumental in Holy Cross going 10-3 and advancing to the 2nd round of the playoffs. The Crusaders’ offense, which he coordinated, averaged 32.2 points and was among the more balanced in the nation, averaging 203.8 rushing yards and 201.5 yards passing per game.
Spurred by the play of freshman quarterback Matthew Sluka, the Patriot League’s Rookie of the Year, Holy Cross captured the 2021 Patriot League spring title following a regular season limited by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He spent the 2019 season as the quarterbacks coach at Northern Iowa, where he helped the Panthers to a 10-5 record and trip to the FCS playoff quarterfinals thanks to the development of freshman quarterback Will McElvain, who earned honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Conference honors after completing 203 of 382 passes for 2,778 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Prior to his stint at Northern Iowa, Roper served as the offensive coordinator at Slippery Rock (Pa.) from 2016-2018, during which time The Rock posted an overall record of 26-10, including an overall mark of 11-3 that featured a trip to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals in 2018. Two of his understudies, quarterbacks Tanner Garry (2017) and Roland Rivers (2018), earned All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors.
From 2014-2015, Roper coached quarterbacks at Valdosta (Ga.) State, helping the team to an overall record of 19-6 and two trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Blazers’ offense averaged 439.0 total yards and 34.3 points per game during his two years on the staff, with quarterback Jake Medlock collecting 2nd team All-Gulf South Conference laurels in 2014.
Roper began his coaching career as running backs coach at the University of Findlay (Ohio) in 2013. The Oilers went 8-3 during his lone year on the staff, with running back Daiquone Ford earning All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors.
Roper played at the University of Oregon from 2007-2008, throwing 4 touchdown passes in a 56-21 victory over South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl. He went on to play at the University of Montana from 2009-2010, helping the Grizzlies to an appearance in the 2009 football championship subdivision championship game.
Over the course of his collegiate career, he threw for 3,788 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Roper also spent time in the Arena Football League with the Chicago Rush and the Orlando Predators, and was a member of Montana’s basketball team that advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament.