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NAU adds to coaching staff
Charles Huff has been named defensive backs coach at NAU, head football coach Jerome Souers announced on Thursday.
“Charles Huff is a very positive teacher and mentor,” Souers said in a release. “He brings a great deal of experience to our program. We welcome him as a new member of the Flagstaff and NAU communities.”
The former NFL player – who spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons – brings a wealth of experience to the Lumberjacks’ program with a collegiate coaching career dating back to 1989. He replaces Andy LaRussa, who took a position at San Jose State.
Huff joins Souers’ staff after time in recent positions at Florida A&M University as defensive coordinator (2005-07) and defensive ends and special teams coordinator at Central Florida from 1997-03. He most recently coached at Miles College in Fairfield, Ala.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work for Northern Arizona University and Coach Souers,” Huff said. “It is a very good program and hopefully we can take the next step towards winning a conference championship and competing for a national championship.”
During his career, he recruited and coached defensive back and future NFL star Asante Samuel at Central Florida, as well as ends Elton Patterson (UCF), Reshard Jentry (UCF) and Anthony Hutch (Murray State) to All-America honors. Samuel and Patterson were both selected in the NFL Draft in 2003 in the fourth and seventh rounds, respectively. Samuel has been a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion during his career and currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. Huff also tutored SBN Black College Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Talley at Norfolk State. Talley was a consensus All-America first-team selection by Walter Camp, Associated Press and The Sports Network.
Huff was a three-time All-American and all-conference selection at Presbyterian College before his four-year career in the NFL. He holds school records for punt and kick return average and career interceptions (20). He played with the 49ers from 1985-86 and the Falcons from 1987-88.
He became a 49er the same season as All-Pro receiver Jerry Rice. After head coach Bill Walsh and defensive back coach Ray Rhodes moved Ronnie Lott to safety in 1986, Huff moved into the starting lineup at left corner. He later suffered a severe knee injury and was released, but played parts of two more seasons with the Falcons.
He graduated with a degree in history and education from Presbyterian in 1985.
BATTISTI SIGNS WITH SHOCK
Former NAU defensive lineman Michael Battisti was signed by the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League Thursday and will be eligible to play this weekend against the Utah Blaze.
A defensive lineman from Hesperia, Calif., Battisti saw action in 22 games in his career. He was named an All-Big Sky Conference honorable mention selection in 2008 after recording 23 tackles on the season with 7.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. After missing the 2009 season with an injury, Battisti returned to have a productive year in 2010, playing in 10 games with 25 tackles with four tackles for loss and earning All-Big Sky honors.
Battisti will be eligible to play Saturday when Spokane hosts the Utah Blaze in the Joe Albi Stadium Summer Classic, the first regular-season outdoor Arena Football game in league history.