During each of his five seasons as an assistant coach at Sam Houston, Dr. Bart Tatum has overseen a line that has paved the way for one of the most productive offenses in NCAA FCS competition.
Since the 2013 campaign, the Bearkats have compiled a 54-19 record and earned NCAA post-season playoff berths each season. He has coached players who have earned All-Southland honors 14 times, and the league's Offensive Lineman of the Year in both 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, offensive tackle Donald Jackson III as a first-team selection on five All-America squads including the Associated Press and STATS FCS teams. Jackson also was honored as Southland Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year. One year later center Bridge Blount joined Jackson as an All-America selection and earned the league's nod as its top offensive lineman.
The Bearkats' 7,975 yards in 2015 was a Southland Conference season record and ranked third all-time in NCAA Division I FCS history. The Kats led the nation in total offense and first downs. One year later the Kats led the nation in scoring at 49.5 points per game.
Tatum has coached and played on teams that have compiled 243-118-5 mark in 29 years. That record includes 15 national playoff appearances including four national title games. He joined the Sam Houston football staff before spring ball in 2012, returning to Sam Houston State where he earned his Master's degree while serving as a graduate assistant in 1991 and 1992.
Tatum previously served as head football coach at Missouri Southern where he led the Lions to their first winning season in 11 years.
Under Tatum, the Lions produced the nation's best receiver in 2006 in Colin Bado. Bado led Division II in receptions per game, racking up eight per contest. 2006 also saw the highest drafted Lion in program history as senior offensive tackle Allen Barbre went to the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. The Lions also have maneuvered themselves into being one of the top defensive programs in the MIAA, leading the league in total defense in 2007, as well as pass defense in both 2007 and 2008.
As offensive coordinator at Northwest Missouri State, Tatum mentored under one of the top coaches in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association history Mel Tjeerdsma, the second-winningest coach in MIAA history. Tatum helped direct the Bearcats to seven MIAA titles, eight NCAA Division II postseason appearances, three NCAA-II national title game appearances and two national championships.
The Bearcats went 118-35 during Tatum's stay. He coached the Northwest offensive line for 10 seasons and served as recruiting coordinator for five years. Tatum was promoted to assistant head coach prior to the 2002 season, and he added the titles of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach prior to the 2004 campaign.
Under Tatum's guidance in 2004, the Bearcats fielded the nation's second-ranked scoring offense and the No. 10 total offense. His charges ranked No. 21 nationally in rushing offense and 31st in passing offense. In 2005, Northwest ranked 23rd in the nation in passing offense. Tatum was named the 2001 NCAA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
From 1997-2002, Tatum had eight offensive linemen earn All-America honors and at least one first-team all-conference offensive lineman every year from 1997-2003. Three offensive linemen were also NFL signees, including Seth Wand, a third-round draft selection in 2003 of the Houston Texans. While coordinating the Bearcats' running game, Tatum had five consecutive 1000-yard rushers, including Jesse Haynes, who piled up more than 1800 yards in 1996. Tatum also called the plays as the Bearcats' offensive coordinator in 2004 and 2005. In those years, Northwest was second in the country in scoring and in the top ten in total offense. In 2005, Northwest won four consecutive playoff road games en route to the National Championship game where quarterback Josh Lambertson was named the game's MVP in a 21-17 loss to Grand Valley State.
Tatum served at Austin College as a graduate assistant coach on Tjeerdsma's staff, leading the running backs for eight months and the defensive line for one year. During his five years at Austin, the 'Roos made two national playoff appearances and posted a 31-18-3 overall record.
He moved on as a graduate assistant on coach Ron Randleman's staff at Sam Houston State, where he coached Bearkat tight ends in 1992 and defensive ends in 1993. While with SHSU, Tatum coached John Solomon, a defensive end and eventual fifth-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.
Tatum played college football for Tjeerdsma at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. At Austin, Tatum was an All-Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association running back and, in 1988, he won the TIAA rushing title and set the school record for rushing touchdowns.
Tatum earned a bachelor's degree from Austin College in 1991 in both history and physical education. Tatum earned his first of two master's degrees from Austin in 1992 in teaching. He collected his second master's in kinesiology in 1993 from Sam Houston State. Tatum also earned a doctorate in 2002 in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri.
As a high school player at Cooper High School, Tatum twice rushed for more than 1,000 yards and earned all-district honors on both sides of the football. He and his wife, Rachel, an elementary school teacher, have three sons, Alec, Miles and Matthew.