In 2010, his first with the Irish, Hinton coached a stable of four running backs that combined to rush for 1,517 yards on 314 carries and averaged 4.8 yards per carry.
Armando Allen started seven of the eight contests he appeared and was Notre Dame's leading rusher before an injury sidelined him for the final five games of 2010. Allen totaled 514 yards on 107 carries with two touchdowns and added 17 receptions for 138 yards. Sophomore Cierre Wood picked up the slack in Allen's absence and was Notre Dame's leading rusher in his first season of collegiate competition. Wood rushed 119 times for 603 yards with three touchdowns and his 5.1 yards per carry average was the second best by an Irish running back with at least 100 carries in the last 14 seasons. Robert Hughes gained 300 yards on 68 carries and two touchdowns in his senior season, including 55 rushes for 222 yards with both touchdowns in the last five games.
Hinton's emphasis on ball protection was evident in 2010. The quartet of Allen, Wood, Hughes and Jonas Gray lost just two fumbles over the entire season and both occurred in the same game. Over the last two seasons, a total of 26 games, Hinton's running backs have lost just two fumbles in 630 rushing attempts.
In 2009, Hinton's top two running backs combined to average 6.4 yards per carry, as Isaiah Pead and Jacob Ramsey gained 1,245 yards on 195 carries and scored 13 touchdowns. Pead and Ramsey also proved to be threats out of the backfield, as they caught 38 combined passes for 346 yards and four TDs. They were also reliable rushers and blockers as neither player lost a fumble nor allowed a sack.
Hinton developed Pead during his sophomore season as he was the Bearcats' top ballcarrier in 2009. He gained 806 yards on 121 carries with nine TDs and had a breakthrough performance against West Virginia when he gained 175 yards on 18 carries and one TD. Pead also averaged 10.1 yards on 20 receptions.
Ramsey and John Goebel shouldered most of the load in 2008, as Pead rushed just 30 times in his freshman season. The trio combined to rush for 1,465 yards and nine TDs while averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Ramsey led the way for the Bearcats with 664 yards on 152 carries with two TDs, while Goebel rushed 133 times for 607 yards and seven TDs. Goebel proved to be a receiving threat out of the backfield, recording 283 receiving yards on 26 catches.
Hinton shifted to linebackers in head coach Brian Kelly's first season at Cincinnati and two of Hinton's pupils ranked in the top three on the Bearcats in tackles in 2007. Corey Smith ranked second on the squad with 80 tackles including six tackles for loss and two sacks while starting all but one game at weakside linebacker. Ryan Manalac tallied 76 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss at middle linebacker in his first season starting at Cincinnati.
Under head coach Mark Dantonio, Hinton worked with the Bearcats' running backs from 2004-06. In 2006, three Cincinnati running backs combined to rush for 1,358 yards and 10 TDs. In Hinton's first year with the Bearcats, he helped turn Richard Hall into a 1,000-yard rusher and an all-Conference USA player as Cincinnati's ground attack averaged 183.4 rushing yards per contest.
Prior to Cincinnati, Hinton had great success as a high school head football coach in Ohio. From 1993-2003, he was head coach at Harding High School in Marion, Ohio, where he directed his teams to five conference titles and five appearances in the state playoffs. Two of his teams advanced to the regional finals, and during his tenure at Harding he sent 13 players to the major college playing ranks. In 1995, he was named Ohio Division I Co-Coach of the Year.
Hinton spent three seasons at Ohio University prior to taking the head coaching job at Marion Harding. With the Bobcats, Hinton coached the wide receivers in 1990 before moving to the defensive line from 1991-92.
His first two head coaching jobs came at Zane Trace High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he coached the 1987 and 1988 seasons and at Van Wert High School in Van Wert, Ohio, in 1989.
Hinton's first exposure to major college football came as a graduate assistant at Ohio State from 1985-86. Under head coach Earle Bruce, Hinton was on staff for two bowl game appearances and the 1986 team finished 10-3 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten Conference, earning a share of the Big Ten championship.
While attending Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, Hinton launched his coaching career, serving as an assistant coach at Amanda-Clearcreek High School in Amanda, Ohio, from 1978-80. That led to Hinton becoming a student assistant coach at Wilmington in 1981 and then he coached Wilmington's tight ends and wide receivers from 1982-84. Hinton helped his alma mater to two league crowns and a pair of appearances in the NAIA playoffs.
Born April 12, 1960, Hinton earned a bachelor's degree in industrial education from Wilmington in 1982 and received a master's degree in educational policy and leadership from Ohio State in 1987. His wife, Bev, and he have two daughters, Dawn and Drew.