Erik Slaughter has completed his third season as an assistant coach, working with the Lumberjacks defensive line. In his first season in Nacogdoches, Slaughter helped produce one of the nation's top defensive players in defensive end Tim Knicky. A two-time All-American, and four-time all-conference selection, Knicky battled through injuries his senior season to record 15 tackles for losses, and finish second in the nation with 12.5 sacks (1.04 pg). Knicky was among the players considered for the 2009 Buck Buchanan Award, an award given annually to the top defensive player at the NCAA FCS level. The 2009 SLC Defensive Player of the Year, Knicky graduated from SFA as the school all-time sack leader.
In 2010, Slaughter took Kenneth Charles, who spent the previous three seasons as an interior linemen, and made him a first-team All-SLC selection, and an All-American honoree as a defensive end. Charles capped a career year in 2010 finishing among the nation's top 15 in sacks and tackles for losses.
It was more of the same for the SFA defensive front in 2011. The 'Jacks finished the year with 48 sacks, leading the nation in sacks (4.36 pg) and tackles for losses (10.18 pg). SFA became the only NCAA Division I school to record at least 40 sacks in each of the past three seasons. Following in the footsteps of recent Lumberjack All-Americans like Knicky and Charles, Slaughter took Baylor transfer Willie Jefferson and converted him from a tight end into one of the nation's more intimidating defensive ends. Jefferson was named the 2011 Southland Conference player of the Year after leading the league with 16 total sacks. Along the way he set an SFA single-game record with 4.5 sacks against McNeese State, only to follow that up by tying the conference record (5.0) in the season finale at Northwestern State. In addition to Jefferson, sophomore Malcolm Mattox was another leader on the 'Jacks' defensive front. Mattox followed up a strong rookie campaign by finishing second only to Jefferson in the league in sacks earning second-team All-SLC honors. It marked the second-straight year that SFA has produced the league's top two sack leaders.
Slaughter brings a ton experience to SFA from the high school and college ranks. After a successful 15-year career in the high school ranks, Slaughter was hired as the linebackers and strength and conditioning coach at Houston in March 2003. During his three seasons with the Cougars, Slaughter helped guide Houston to an appearance in the 2003 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, which was the school's first bowl appearance in seven years. Two years later, the Cougars received a bid to play in the Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl.
Slaughter comes to Nacogdoches from Texas A&M-Commerce where he has spent a season serving as the Lions' defensive coordinator. During Slaughter's time with the Lions, the defense ranked among the nation's elite. Commerce was fifth in the country in sacks, second in tackles for losses, fourth in red zone defense and 10th overall in turnovers.
Slaughter received his bachelor's degree from Tarleton State in May, 1990. Slaughter and his wife, Shawna, have three children, Seth, Paige and Bailey.