NMU football: Wildcats looking for third defensive coordinator in three seasons

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University defensive coordinator Brian Newberry has left the Wildcats football program after one season to take the same position at NCAA Division I Kennesaw State in Georgia, according to a report by The Marietta Daily Journal.

New Kennesaw State head football coach Brian Bohannon announced the hiring of Newberry as the Owls defensive coordinator during a monthly luncheon of the Kennesaw Business Association this week. The Owls won’t begin playing football in 2015.

The now former Wildcats coordinator told The Marietta Daily Journal he was happy at Northern and not looking to change jobs, however, he decided to apply for the position based on a recommendation from a friend – Sewanee (Tenn.) head coach Tommy Laurendine.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” Newberry told The Marietta Daily Journal. “People want to work with people they know and trust. (Coming to Kennesaw State) felt like a good natural fit.”

Newberry, who prior to NMU had played and mostly coached in the Southern United States, was the defensive coordinator at Div. III Sewanee for one season before NMU head coach Chris Ostrowsky brought him to Marquette prior to the spring of 2012.

Newberry replaced Randy Awrey, who left the program after Bernie Anderson was relieved of his duties as head coach following the 2011 season.

Under Ostrowsky and Newberry, the Wildcats finished 4-7 in 2012, ranking 12th in the GLIAC out of 16 teams in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and third-down defense.

Newberry’s 2012 NMU defense ranked fifth in interceptions with 13, but last in sacks with only eight.

Now the Wildcats are seeking their third defensive coordinator in three seasons.

Northern has already posted an opening on its website for an assistant football coach, but did not specifying in the posting the opening is for a defensive coordinator.

The posting does ask under minimum requirements that candidates have “successful defensive football coaching experience at the collegiate level.”

Ostrowsky already has a number of strong defensive coordinator candidates on his staff, including assistant head coach and defensive backs coach Joe Ballard, who is entering his seventh season as a Wildcat assistant.

Offensive line coach and run game coordinator Rob Boss, now entering his fourth full-time season, could also be a candidate after coaching the offensive line in 2009 as a student assistant.

Boss played on both sides of the ball for NMU from 2002-05 and played defense professionally for the Green Bay Blizzard of the Arena Football League in 2006.

NMU opens training camp in mid-August and begins the regular season at home on Sept. 14 against Findlay.