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When Brock Spack was named the 20th head coach in Illinois State football history prior to the 2009 season, he saw Illinois State football as a “sleeping giant” – a program that had all of the tools and resources to be a powerhouse in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), but was lacking the foresight to see itself that way.

After three appearances in the FCS playoffs in the last four seasons and back-to-back Missouri Valley Football Conference championships, it looks as if the giant has been awoken. A two-time finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, Spack has changed the culture of Redbird football.

The 2015 season saw the Redbirds earn a share of the MVFC championship for the second-straight year and post 10 wins for the just the second time in school history. The Redbirds earned the No. 2 overall seed in the FCS playoffs and advanced to the quarterfinals for the third time in the last four seasons. ISU finished the year ranked No. 5 overall in the final STATS FCS Poll.

The 2014 MVFC Coach of the Year, Spack led the Redbirds to a 10-1 regular season and has set school records for wins and points scored in a season among others. ISU tied three-time defending FCS national champion North Dakota State for the MVFC title, the team’s first since 1999, and advanced to the FCS National Championship Game for the first time in school history. ISU finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country in both national FCS polls.

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GREG MCLAIN Associate Head Coach/Tight Ends, H-Backs

Greg “Moose” McLain begins his sixth season as a member of the Redbird coaching staff, and his first as the team’s associate head coach. McLain is in his fourth season in charge of the team’s tight ends and H-backs.

McLain’s work with tight end James O’Shaughnessy and helped the former Redbird gain attention from the professional ranks.

In 2014, O’Shaughnessy caught 29 passes for 544 yards and tied for the team lead with nine receiving touchdowns. He averaged 18.8 yards per catch and caught of pair of touchdowns in Illinois State’s loss to North Dakota State in the FCS Championship. Those numbers helped O’Shaughnessy get drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Before coming to ISU, McLain spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Greenbrier High School in Evans, Georgia, and worked as the team’s offensive coordinator during the final two seasons.

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SPENCE NOWINSKY Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator

Spence Nowinsky begins his eighth season at Illinois State and thid as the team’s defensive coordinator. Also serving as the team’s assistant head coach, Nowinsky mentors the team’s defensive lineman.

Nowinsky’s defensive unit was a key factor to the Redbirds’ historic success in 2014. The team’s 44 sacks were second most in school history and its 18 interceptions were the most for the Redbirds since 1989. ISU also ranked second in the MVFC in rushing yards allowed (119.7) and third in total defense.

The Redbird defensive line, which Nowinsky has called the “Cadillacs” for their durability, strength and power, has produced staggering numbers during his tenure. Four of Nowinsky’s players have been named First-Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selections, including two-time picks in defensive tackle Eric Brunner (2010-11), end Colton Underwood (2012-13), tackle Shelby Harris (2012) and Teddy Corwin (2014).

Underwood became one of the most decorated players in Illinois State Football history. Named a First-Team All-American in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Underwood was also a two-time finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award that is presented to the best defensive player in FCS football. In his illustrious four-year career with the Redbirds working with Nowinsky, Underwood registered 215 tackles and finished his career ranked No. 3 in tackles for loss and No. 4 on the career sacks.

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DAN CLARK Assistant Coach/Co-Offensive Coordinator

Dan Clark begins his fourth season on the Illinois State coaching staff and his first as co-offensive coordinator. Clark will oversee the Redbird running attack as running game coordinator and will also oversee the Redbird offensive line.

A model of consistency, the Redbird offensive line saw all five of its players start every game in 2015, as the Redbirds advanced to the FCS quarterfinals for the third time in the past four seasons. The group, acnhored by All-Missouri Valley Football Conference First-Team center Mark Spelman, led the way for First-Team All-American and two-time MVFC Offensive Player of the Year Marshaun Coprich, who led the MVFC in rushing yards (1,967), touchdowns (23), yards per game (151.3), all-purpose yards per game (166.4) and scoring (11.2). All five starters return for the 2016 season, setting up what could be another record-setting season for the Redbirds.

The offensive line also kept two-time MVFC First-Team quarterback Tre Roberson upright and gave him holes to run through. Over the past two seasons, Roberson put his name in the record books and ranks No. 1 in ISU history in career yards per rush (6.14), passing efficiency (150.3) and ranks No. 5 in career passing yards (5,446) and touchdowns (48). Roberson also leads all quarterbacks in ISU history with 22 rushing touchdowns and 1,806 yards rushing.

The Redbird offensive line was a key factor in ISU’s historic success in 2014 and helped in setting 15 school single-season records. ISU also finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing yards per game with 241.3 and No. 9 in scoring offense with 38.3 points per game.

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BILLY DICKEN Assistant Coach/Wide Receivers

Bloomington (Ill.) High School graduate and former Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken is in his third season as an assistant coach at Illinois State and begins his first season as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Redbirds. Dicken spent the previous two seasons at ISU working with the Redbird wide receivers.

Working alongside Dicken, Anthony Warrum had a breakout season in 2015, as the Redbirds advanced to the FCS playoff quarterfinals for the second year in a row. Warrum was named a Third-Team All-America selection by the Associated Press and STATS and was a Missouri Valley Football Conference First-Team pick at wide receiver. Warrum set an Illinois State single-season record and led the MVFC with 15 receiving touchdowns and ranked second in the league with 1,290 yards on 58 receptions. His stats also ranked him No. 2 in receiving touchdowns (15) and yards per reception (22.2), No. 4 in receiving yards (1,290) and No. 8 in receiving yards per game (99.2) among all receivers in FCS football.

The combination of Dicken and coordinator Kurt Beathard helped the Redbirds become one of the most efficient and explosive passing teams in the FCS during the team’s historic run in 2014.

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LAMAR CONARD Assistant Coach/Running Backs & Recruiting Coordinator

Lamar Conard begins his eighth season as an assistant coach and is in his sixth season mentoring the running backs. He also serves as the recruiting coordinator for the Redbird football program.

Since his time working with the running backs, Conard has produced a trio of 1,000-yard rushers in ISU all-time leading rusher Marshaun Coprich, Darrelynn Dunn and Ashton Leggett.

Coprich exploded on the scene in 2014 and led the FCS in rushing yards (2,274) and touchdowns (27). Those numbers earned him First-Team All-American honors and the title of Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year, becoming just the fourth player in school history to earn that honor.

He followed a historic season with another strong one in 2015, when ranked No. 2 in the FCS in rushing yards (1,967) and rushing yards per game (151.3), and No. 3 in points per game (11.2). Coprich was named the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year for the second-straight year, earned First-Team All-American honors and was a finalist for the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year.

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CODY DETI Assistant Coach/Secondary & Passing Game Coordinator

Cody Deti begins his sixth with the Illinois State football coaching staff and will continue to oversee the Redbird secondary.

During his time working with the Redbird defensive backs, Deti helped safety Ben Ericksen earn All-America honors and Mike Banks and Dontae McCoy become All-MVFC selections.

Ericksen was named a Third-Team All-America selection by The Sports Network and the Associated Press and selected to the College Sporting News 2012 Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team. That same season, Ericksen earned All-MVFC First-Team honors, after he finished the season ranked No. 4 in the country in interceptions per game and led the MVFC with seven.

In 2014, Banks ended his illustrious career with the Redbirds and is one of the most durable players in ISU history, having started every game of his career (50 total). He earned All-MVFC Second-Team honors as a cornerback and finished his career with the third-most passes defended in ISU history (46).

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KHENON HALL Assistant Coach/Defensive Assistant

Former Redbird defensive back Khenon Hall is in his third season at Illinois State, working as the team’s safeties and defensive backs.

Hall served as a mentor for 2014 senior captain Dontae McCoy, who anchored the Redbird defense from the safety spot. McCoy earned All-MVFC Honorable Mention honors in his final season, after recording 67 tackles and breaking up four passes in his final season at ISU in 2014. He also helped Alec Kocour earn MVFC honorable mention honors, despite playing in just nine games due to an injury.

Hall returned to Illinois State, after serving as a graduate assistant at New Mexico working with defensive backs during the 2011-12 season. Prior to that, Hall spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as a student assistant at Illinois State and assisted with the Redbirds’ secondary and defensive line.

He started six games for Illinois State in 2008, before suffering a career-ending neck injury. He would then go on to earn his degree from Illinois State in University Studies in 2010.

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KANE KEIRNAN Assistant Coach/Wide Receivers

Kane Keirnan is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Illinois State football program and begins his first working with the Redbird wide receivers. He previously was part of the team as a player and later as a student assistant coach.

In his role as the offensive assistant coach for the past two seasons, Keirnan assisted members of the offensive coaching staff with day-to-day coaching and preparation and worked closely with the offensive line.

The Redbird offensive line was a key factor in ISU’s historic success in 2014 and helped in setting 15 school single-season records. ISU also finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing yards per game with 241.3 and No. 9 in scoring offense with 38.3 points per game.

Keirnan returns to Illinois State after a two-year stint as an offensive graduate assistant coach at New Mexico, where he worked with the Lobo wide receivers and tight ends.

In his previous stint at ISU, Keirnan was an offensive student assistant for Spack and then offensive coordinator Luke Huard, working with the tight ends and H-backs.

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JAKE SCHOONOVER Assistant Coach/Linebackers, Special Teams

Jake Schoonover begins his fifth season as a member of the Illinois State coaching staff, working with the Redbird linebackers at ISU. He also begins his fourth season as the special team coordinator at ISU.

Schoonover has helped mold middle linebacker Pat Meehan into one of the best linebackers in the MVFC and the FCS. In 2014, Meehan earned All-MVFC First-Team honors at middle linebacker and led the with 115 tackles as a junior. In 2013, Meehan led the Redbirds with 82 tackles and added two sacks, despite missing two games due to injury. For his efforts, Meehan was named a second-team All-MVFC performer.

In his duties as special team coordinator, Schoonover worked with kicker Nick Aussieker, who finished his career as ISU’s all-time leading scorer with 310 points. In 2014, Australian punter CJ Laros also earned All-MVFC second-team honors at punter, after averaging 40.6 yards per punts, the third-best single-season mark in school history. Punt returner Tevin Allen also earned All-MVFC Honorable Mention plaudits as a kick returner, averaging a league-best 27.9 yards per return.

The 2013 Redbirds also returned a pair of kicks for touchdowns, which included a 100-yard kickoff return by Josh Burch and a 62-yard punt return by Anthony Warrum. It marked the first time since 2008 in which the Redbird returned a kickoff and punt for touchdown in the same season.

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Corey Shandrick Assistant Coach/Offensive Assistant

Another familiar face joins the Illinois State football coaching staff in 2016, as former Redbird wide receiver Corey Shandrick begins his first season as the offensive assistant coach.

In his role as the offensive assistant coach, Shandrick will assist members of the offensive coaching staff with day-to-day coaching and preparation responsibilities. He fills the open spot vacated by Kane Keirnan, who was elevated to work with the Redbird wide receivers.

A four-year letterwiner for the Redbirds from 2010-1013, Shandrick played in 34 games as a wide receiver for the Redbirds and caught 20 passes for 193 yards with two touchdowns in his career at Illinois State. He was also a standout special teams performer, averaging 19.8 yards per kick return on 13 attempts and recording 11 special teams tackles.

Shandrick recently finished his second season as a graduate assistant at Missouri Western State. The West Lafayette, Indiana, native worked primarily with the running backs as a member of the Griffon Football coaching staff.

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ALICIA MAYS Director of Football Operations

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