Football: Hill finalizes coaching staff after 2-9 season


SIU coach Nick Hill reacts to a play during the Salukis’ homecoming matchup against the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Saluki Stadium. SIU lost the game by a score of 22-14. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

After a rough season for Saluki Football (2-9,) SIU Football Head Coach Nick Hill dismissed the team’s defensive coordinator, defensive line coach, cornerbacks coach and quarterbacks coach in attempt to pave the way for a better season next fall. 

After not having a offensive coordinator last year, Hill chose to bring on Blake Rolan as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Rolan was most recently the offensive coordinator at DII Dixie State and brings ten years of experience on FBS DI staffs. In 2018, the offense that Rolan ran at Dixie State averaged 458.5 total yards and 31 points per game.


Hill also named Jason Petrino as the Salukis’ newest defensive coordinator.

Petrino has 18 years of experience as a collegiate coach. Petrino has been the head coach of Rocky Mountain College in the NAIA for the last three years, where he helped to bring the program to a conference championship and playoff berth in 2018.

Petrino is no stranger to the Missouri Valley – previously he was the defensive coordinator at South Dakota from 2011-2014.

After naming the offensive and defensive coordinator, Hill finalized his staff with the addition of a linebacker coach and a defensive line coach.

Hill named Spencer Brown as the linebackers coach who will join Petrino as part of the defensive staff.

Brown was most recently at power five school NC State before coming to SIU. During his tenure there, the Wolfpack ran out a 25-14 record with three straight bowl appearances.

He spent the 2018 season at NC State as the defensive quality control coach. Brown also spent time at MVFC foe, South Dakota, in 2015 as the linebacker coach.


Hill named Chuka Ndulue as the defensive line coach, to round out his staff.

Ndulue spent the 2018 season as a graduate assistant on the Nebraska coaching staff, where he served under first-year head coach Scott Frost. Frost was named the 2017 AFCA Coach of the Year at Central Florida.

In college, Ndulue played at Oklahoma from 2010 to 2014 and was a team captain and three-year starter for the Sooners.

He totaled 140 tackles in his career, including 17.0 for loss and 12.0 sacks. A two-time second-team All-Big 12 selection, Ndulue set an Oklahoma defensive lineman record with 15 tackles in a game. He helped the Sooners to a 51-15 record in his career and won three bowl games and a pair of Big 12 titles.

“Chuka is one of the best up-and-coming defensive line coaches,” Hill said through a press release. “He was a big-time player at Oklahoma and then bounced around the NFL before becoming a coach. Immediately, our players will respect that. He’s been at the highest level as a player and a coach and had some outstanding mentors.”

Sports editor Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at

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