Hill adds Kraig Paulson as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach

Kraig Paulson

Kraig Paulson

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

SIU football coach Nick Hill on Friday announced Kraig Paulson would be the team’s defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and linebackers coach, which completes Hill’s staff.

The announcement came just hours after Hill announced John Van Dam as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Paulson was most recently the assistant coach and defensive backs coach at Northern State University in South Dakota, where he was hired April 28.


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Prior to Northern State, he served as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2014, he was part of the Rebels team that appeared in the Football Bowl Subdivision Heart of Dallas Bowl, which the team lost to North Texas 36-14.

Paulson had two stints at Montana that spanned more than 15 seasons. He went from graduate assistant to defensive coordinator in his first run with the Grizzlies from 1987 to 1999.

He returned to the team in 2004 after spending three seasons as Utah State’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach. In his second run at Montana, Paulson served as the defensive coordinator and defensive ends coach.

In 2009, during his final season at Montana, Paulson’s Grizzlies were the Football Championship Subdivision’s best team in turnovers forced with 37, including 26 interceptions.

He also coached defensive end Kroy Biermann, who won the 2007 Buck Buchanan award as the top FCS defensive player of the year. Biermann was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth-round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

With the hire, Hill’s staff is as follows:


Nick Hill — Head Coach

Kraig Paulson — Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

John Van Dam — Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Nate Griffin — Tight End/Fullbacks

Trevor Olson — Offensive Line

Melvin Rice — Cornerbacks

Marty Rodgers — Safeties

Returning from last year’s staff are:

Ashton Aikens — Wide Receivers

Austin Flyger — Defensive Line

Larry Warner — Running Backs

Michael Williamson Jr. — Graduate Assistant

Adam Fry — Video Coordinator

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3333