Daily Egyptian

Former Saluki coaches find new homes

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

SIU football coach Nick Hill kept five members of former coach Dale Lennon’s staff, leaving eight people without a job.

Three of the members of Lennon’s staff have found different jobs, which means Lennon, Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator David Elson, Tight Ends/Special Teams coach Keith Murphy and Director of Football Operations Phil Meyer don’t have a job.

Here are the former Saluki coaches who have found a new job so far.

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Todd Auer — Western State Colorado University, Defensive Coordinator

Auer served as the inside linebackers coach at SIU for the last two seasons.

He has 19 years of experience as defensive coordinator, two with Colorado Mesa University and 17 with Division II Chadron State. Auer’s Eagles team posted the best defense in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 13 of his 17 seasons as defensive coordinator. The team finished 153-48 in those 17 seasons and won eight conference championships.

Auer coached junior inside linebacker Chase Allen to 215 tackles in two seasons. Allen and sophomore inside linebacker Markese Jackson both finished in the top-five of the Missouri Valley Football Conference in tackles last season.

The Mountaineers finished last season 4-7 and were fifth in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, tied with Chadron State.

Western finished with 5,577 yards against last season, second-to-last in the conference. The team finished eighth in rushing defense and last in passing defense.

Travis Stepps — University of North Dakota, Defensive Backs Coach

Stepps spent 13 years at SIU and was the only remaining member from Jerry Kill’s staff. At SIU, Stepps served as outside linebackers coach for two seasons and secondary coach for 11.

His players earned 13 All-Conference honors including All-Americans Craig Turner and Korey Lindsey. Lindsey won the Football Championship Subdivision Elite Defensive Back Award from the College Football Performances Awards in 2010.

Before coaching at SIU, Stepps was at Washburn University for two seasons after graduating from Pittsburg State where he was a two-time All-American defensive back.

The Fighting Hawks finished last season 7-4, fourth in the Big Sky Conference tied with three other teams. UND returns sophomore defensive back Cole Reyes who finished 27th in the conference and second on the team with 71 tackles last season.

North Dakota hosts Bill O’Boyle and South Dakota Sept. 17 in Grand Forks, N.D.

Bill O’Boyle — University of South Dakota, Run Game Coordinator

O’Boyle had three different jobs in his three seasons at SIU. He was offensive line coach his first season, promoted to offensive coordinator in 2014 and assistant head coach in 2015.

The Salukis improved scoring and passing offense in each of his seasons. Before SIU he served as the offensive coordinator for Colorado Mesa in 2012 after spending seven seasons as head coach at Chadron State. At Chadron he coached running back Danny Woodhead and offensive lineman Garret Gilkey. Both would go on to play in the NFL. He was also an assistant coach for Chadron in the late 1980s.

Prior to Chadron, O’Boyle served as offensive line coach and strength coach at Western Illinois — his alma mater — from 1990 to 1994. He then went to Chadron State where he held the same jobs as WIU before becoming the offensive coordinator in 1999.

The Coyotes finished last season 5-6, seventh in the MVFC. The Salukis finished ninth. USD finished seventh in the conference in rushing offense with 1,823 yards and ninth with 14 rushing touchdowns.

SIU hosts South Dakota on Nov. 5.

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

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