Thursday, January 6 2022

As soon as the New Mexico Bowl ended and Fresno State beat UTEP 31-24, the Bulldogs lost four assistant coaches and their weight room manager, all to Seattle.

Almost immediately, new coach Kalen DeBoer, University of Washington coach, announced on Saturday the hiring of William Inge and Chuck Morrell as defensive co-coordinators, Lee Marks as running backs coach, Eric Schmidt in as Special Teams Coordinator and Defensive Coach; and Ron McKeefery as Strength and Conditioning Coach.

DeBoer now has a full staff in place for winter conditioning and the second recruit signing period.

Inge and Morrell will share the best defensive position, just as Pete Kwiatkowski and Jimmy Lake did at UW for Chris Petersen’s staff. Inge was previously defensive coordinator in Indiana when DeBoer was offensive coordinator, and Morrell was NAIA Montana Tech head coach and defensive coordinator when he and DeBoer were at NAIA Sioux Falls.

“Coach Inge is a dynamic coach and someone who has a great knowledge and understanding of what it takes to build a good defense,” DeBoer said in a statement. “His ability to connect with players and reach their hearts and minds is special.”

Last season, Fresno State placed in the nation’s top 25 in scoring defense, tackles for a loss, takeout, fumble recoveries and conversion defense in fourth place.

Morrell’s defense in Sioux Falls in 2008 was one of the most dominant in NAIA history, with the Cougars allowing just 5.9 points, 14.7 rushing yards and 94.7 yards rushing. passes per game with a 14-0 record.

“Having coached with Coach Morrell for 12 years, I have seen with my own eyes the ability he has to build offensive and dominant defenses,” said DeBoer. “He is also an experienced and high performing former head coach who will bring his expertise and perspective to our program beyond just leading the defense.”

Schmidt has been on the DeBoer staff at Fresno State for the past two years, serving as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator. He and DeBoer first worked together in Southern Illinois, when DeBoer was the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

“Coach Schmidt brings over 10 years of experience and success as a special teams and defensive coordinator,” said DeBoer. “I have always been impressed by his attention to detail and his passion for developing specialists. “

Marks, a former All-WAC Second Team running back at Boise State, began his coaching career as a strength and conditioning coach in Colorado and also worked in that capacity at Arkansas State and Boise State.

After DeBoer was named head coach at Fresno State for the 2020 season, Marks joined him as the Bulldogs’ assistant head coach, game coordinator and running backs coach. Marks coached Ronnie Rivers, a first-team All-MWC running back who finished his career this season as Fresno State’s all-time leader in both rushing and total touchdowns.

Marks was interim coach of Fresno State at the New Mexico Bowl.

McKeefery, at Fresno State for the past two years, has twice received national honors as college strength and conditioning coach of the year. A former defensive back at the University of Ottawa in Kansas, he has held conditional positions with the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals, as well as in South Florida, Tennessee and eastern Michigan. He is considered a prolific public speaker.

“Coach Mac is among the best in the business when it comes to strength and conditioning, and player development,” said DeBoer. “He is an outside the box thinker who excels at balancing fundamentals with cutting edge new ideas.”

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