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Illinois State Football's Spack Completes Coaching Staff With Three New Hires
NORMAL, Ill. – It has been an offseason of transition and change for the Illinois State football coaching staff, but head coach Brock Spack has re-solidified that unit when he announced the hiring of assistant coaches Cody Deti, Dominic Anderson and Greg McLain Wednesday.
Spack previously announced the addition of defensive coordinator Steve Szabo to the staff, which fills the four holes in the staff left by former assistant coaches Phil Elmassian, Holman Wiggins, Taylor Stubblefield and Jay Peterson, who all took positions at Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs during the offseason.
Along with the new faces, some current members of the coaching staff have taken over new duties on the team. Dan Shula, who served as the team’s offensive assistant coach the past two seasons, has been elevated to wide receivers coach for 2011. Lamar Conard, who was a defensive assistant working with the secondary, will take over duties as the running backs coach and move to the offensive side. With all of the change and transition within the staff, Spack is pleased to have his staff complete before the team begins spring practices March 22.
“This has been a very busy offseason coaching-wise for our staff,” Spack said. “With all of the movement, we had to re-shuffle the staff a bit especially on defense. We constantly try to improve ourselves as a coaching staff and I think we accomplished that with the additions of some quality coaches. It was a very intense, quick process to get all of these positions filled but our staff is very comfortable with all of the new pieces and we are looking forward to getting out there in the spring and begin working with the players.”
Deti will oversee the Redbird secondary and comes to Illinois State after serving as the defensive coordinator for head coach Scott Downing for the past five seasons at Northern Colorado, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program out of the Big Sky Conference. Deti’s defense improved every season, as the 2009 team allowed 20 yards less per game than 2008 and the 2008 team allowed almost 100 yards less per game than 2007.
Prior to his stint at Northern Colorado, Deti spent three seasons on head coach Danny Hope’s staff at Eastern Kentucky, where he worked with the defensive secondary and helped the Colonels to a 7-4 record and 7-1 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2005. Deti also worked as an assistant coach at Princeton (2000-02), after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Purdue from 1997-99 on the defense led by Spack.
Deti played defensive back at Wyoming (1992-93), while Downing was the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys, before his career was cut short by an injury. He stayed active with the program by serving as a student assistant coach from 1994-96 and was part of the 1996 WAC Championship squad.
“Cody was my student coach when I got to Wyoming and was then with us for three years at Purdue as a graduate assistant, so I am very familiar with him as a coach,” Spack said. “We had some excellent candidates for that position after Phil left, but our staff felt very comfortable with Cody as a person and as a coach so that made it an easy decision to bring him aboard.”
Anderson will assist Deti with the Redbird secondary and comes to ISU after spending the 2010 season as a graduate assistant at Wake Forest. While serving on the Deacons’ staff, Anderson worked directly with the linebackers and assisted with recruiting efforts in Florida, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. During his playing days at Wake Forest, Anderson earned three varsity letters as a safety with the Deacons from 2001-05.
“Dominic was highly recommended by coach Jim Grobe at Wake Forest,” Spack said. “We were looking for a younger coach that could relate well with the players and we think Dominic is going to fit in well working with the secondary. Not only was he an impressive candidate as a coach, but we played against him twice while I was at Purdue. He’s a good young coach and we are excited about adding him to the staff.”
McLain, who will serve as an offensive assistant and work with the ISU tight ends and receivers, spent the last three years as an assistant coach at Greenbrier High School in Evans, Ga., and served as the team’s offensive coordinator for the last two seasons. His previous stop was at Samford, where he worked as a football academic coordinator from 2007-08 and monitored academic progress of the football team.
He moved into that position after receiving his master’s degree and working as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Alabama, from 2006-07. While working on the Crimson Tide coaching staff, McLain served as a recruiting/operations graduate assistant and was also an assistant NFL liaison/assistant camp director. In December 2006, McLain was an offensive video graduate assistant at Alabama. McLain joined the coaching staff after he lettered as a fullback and tight end from 2002 to 2005, after helping lead the Crimson Tide to two bowl appearances.
“Greg worked with Dan Shula while they were both at Alabama and he played for Mike Shula when they made a couple of bowl appearances,” Spack said. “After he spent time as a graduate assistant after his playing days were over, he has spent the last three years as a high school coach in Georgia, which is an area we would like to have more contact with in recruiting. He’s a very impressive young coach and we look forward to him helping us out on offense.”
By Illinois State University Sports Information