One of the finest quarterbacks in Azusa Pacific history and now one of the brightest young minds in coaching, Rudy Carlton enters his eighth year as an assistant coach at his alma mater. He begins his sixth season as the offensive coordinator in 2015 while also overseeing the Cougar quarterbacks.
Like he did during his playing career, Carlton guides an entertaining offense with savvy and courage as a play-caller, running an offense that is not only fun to watch and exciting for players. Carlton has orchestrated some of the most prolific Cougar offenses and produced some of the top individual performances the program has ever seen. In 2011, led by QB John van den Raadt, Azusa Pacific set program records for total offense (5,957 yards), rushing offense (3,915 yards), points scored (547).
Three years later, it was an offense led by running back Terrell Watson that piled up nearly 3,000 yards rushing, with Watson accounting for a program-record 2,153 rushing yards as he led all NCAA college football divisions in rushing average (195.7 yards per game).
Carlton took over play-calling for the final two games of the 2009 campaign and led the Cougars to 92 points scored, their best back-to-back offensive showings in five years. Starting with those two games, Azusa Pacific has gone 41-17 (and scored 34 points or more 30 times) with Carlton calling the shots on offense.
Carlton completed a four-year playing career with Azusa Pacific in 2007 with one of the best seasons ever put together by a Cougar QB. He threw for 2,605 yards by completing 197-of-344 (.573) passes with 28 TD passes to lead the Cougars to a 6-5 record.
Prior to joining the Cougar staff full-time, Carlton spent two years as a quarterback in the Arena Football League II. He threw for over 2,600 yards while playing for the Texas Copperheads in 2008 and the Boise Burn in 2009.
He arrived at Azusa Pacific in 2002 and redshirted the season as a true freshman. He narrowly missed winning the starting berth out of fall camp in 2003, but two games into the season Carlton hurt his shoulder and was lost for the rest of 2003 and all of 2004 as he recovered from two surgeries. He returned to action in 2005 and midway through the season he won the starting call. He returned in 2006 to start the first five games before another injury ended that season.
Carlton, who had already graduated from Azusa Pacific with a bachelor's degree in psychology, opted to move on. Yet late in the summer of 2007, he changed his mind and returned for one more season, and he fashioned a season that ranks among the best ever by a Cougar quarterback, throwing for 2,605 yards and 28 TDs in 11 games.
On Azusa Pacific's all-time passing charts, he ranks third in touchdown passes (38), fourth in passing yards (4,373) and third in completions (331).
Carlton came to Azusa Pacific out of Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton, Colo., where he is the school's No. 2 all-time passer with 2,323 yards and 12 TDs.
Along with his bachelor's degree, Carlton also earned a master's degree from Azusa Pacific in organizational leadership.
Carlton, 31, is single and resides in Glendora, Calif.