Roy Kidd Stadium
Eastern Kentucky University owns two national championships, 21 Ohio Valley Conference titles and 21 NCAA playoff appearances. Head coach Mark Elder has the program back on track to add to those numbers.
In his first 14 months as head coach, Elder has engineered back-to-back top-25 rated recruiting classes, re-stocking the Colonel roster with a talented young core.
He has also driven dramatic facility improvements. The program now has a brand new, state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center that includes an indoor turf area and the second-largest nutrition bar in all of college athletics. The Moberly Building, home of EKU football, underwent a remodel and now includes a team room with theatre seating, and new graphics and signage throughout the complex, highlighting the programs past and its present.
Associate Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach
Terry Heffernan joined the staff as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach in January 2016. He was elevated to associate head coach in April.
In his first season, Heffernan guided an offensive line that ranked among the top-50 in the nation in sacks allowed. The Colonel offensive line did not allow any sacks in four games, including at Big Ten opponent Purdue, and gave up just one sack in three other games.
The line helped the offense put 60 points on the board as the Colonels tied the school record for points in a game during a 67-30 victory at Austin Peay. Eastern churned out 531 yards of offense in that game, including 364 on the ground.
Assistant Head Coach/TEs/Offensive Tackles Coach
Tommy Zagorski joined the EKU staff in January 2016 as the tight ends and offensive tackles coach. He was elevated to assistant head coach in April.
n his first season, Zagorski helped tight end Dan Crimmins earn a spot on the Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer team. Crimmins was third on the team in receptions and yards, and tied for second for receiving touchdowns. He ranked seventh in the conference with 15.62 yards per reception.
Zagorski helped the offense put 60 points on the board as the Colonels tied the school record for points in a game during a 67-30 victory at Austin Peay. For the season, EKU finished among the top-50 teams in the nation in offensive yards (399.1 ypg) and was 32nd in passing offense at 247.6 yards per game.
Kurt Mattix was chosen as EKUs defensive coordinator on Jan. 5, 2016.
In his first season, he led a defense that allowed fewer passing yards than any EKU team since 2009 and fewer passing touchdowns (12) than any Colonel defense since 2005 (9). Also, in Mattixs first season as defensive coordinator, defensive end Aaron Patrick earned first team all-conference honors and was chosen as a Sophomore All-American by Hero Sports. He was second in the Ohio Valley Conference and 42nd in the nation with 0.64 sacks per game. Linebacker Jeffrey Canady totaled 17 tackles in a game on two occasions, tied for the 18th most by an FCS player in 2016.
During the 2016 season, the Eastern defense led the OVC and was sixth in the country with 13 fumbles recovered. The Colonels were 25th in the nation with 23 forced turnovers. The team was 16th nationally with three defensive touchdowns. Over the final eight games, EKU registered 21 sacks and for the season was 27th in FCS with 2.45 sacks per game.
Angelo Mirando was chosen as the Colonels offensive coordinator on Jan. 5, 2016.
Mirandos first season was highlighted by the offense putting 60 points on the board as the Colonels tied the school record for points in a game during a 67-30 victory at Austin Peay. For the season, EKU finished among the top-50 teams in the nation in offensive yards (399.1 ypg) and was 32nd in passing offense at 247.6 yards per game. Eastern was also among the top-40 teams in the nation in third down conversions.
Easterns offense totaled 400 or more yards in a game five times in 2016 and came close to eclipsing that mark on two other occasions, finishing with 398 and 387 yards respectively. The Colonels strung together three straight games of more than 500 yards of offense.
Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach
Shannon Morrison joined the EKU football program as co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach in January 2016.
In his first season, Morrison helped lead a defense that allowed fewer passing yards than any EKU team since 2009 and fewer passing touchdowns (12) than any Colonel squad since 2005 (9). Under his tutelage, cornerback Kiante Northington earned second team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors.
The Eastern defense led the OVC and was sixth in the country with 13 fumbles recovered. The Colonels were 25th in the nation with 23 forced turnovers. The team was 16th nationally with three defensive touchdowns, including an interception return by Northington.
Wide Receivers Coach
Kevin Koger was chosen as EKUs wide receivers coach on Jan. 7, 2016.
In his first season, Koger helped two Eastern Kentucky receivers rank among the top-15 in the conference in yards per reception – Devin Borders (15.40 ypr) finished eighth and Ryan Markush (13.58 ypr) ranked 14th. Borders was also seventh in the Ohio Valley Conference in receptions per game and eighth in yards per game. Markush finished the season 11th in the league in yards per game.
With Kogers help the offense put 60 points on the board as the Colonels tied the school record for points in a game during a 67-30 victory at Austin Peay.
Offensive Quality Control
Patrick Parrilli joined the EKU program as the offensive quality control coach in the summer of 2016.
During the 2016 season, Easterns offense totaled 400 or more yards in a game five times and came close to eclipsing that mark on two other occasions, finishing with 398 and 387 yards respectively. The Colonels strung together three straight games of more than 500 yards of offense.
Parrilli spent the previous three years serving in a variety of roles at Ave Maria University. He was a student assistant during the 2013 season. In 2014 he served as the quarterbacks coach. Ave Maria led the conference in passing yards and passing touchdowns, while the teams quarterback ranked 15th in the nation in passing yards per game and 34th in pass efficiency.
Defensive Quality Control
Robert Belle joined Easterns football program as a defensive quality control coach in the summer of 2016.
This past season, the EKU defense allowed fewer passing yards than any Eastern team since 2009 and fewer passing touchdowns (12) than any Colonel defense since 2005 (9). Eastern led the OVC and was sixth in the country with 13 fumbles recovered. The Colonels were 25th in the nation with 23 forced turnovers.
On Oct. 22, Eastern Kentuckys defense held No. 2 Jacksonville State without an offensive touchdown, the first time a defense had done that to the Gamecocks since 2012. The Colonels also held JSU to 106 yards below their offensive average.
Special Teams Quality Control
Spencer Patterson joined the EKU coaching staff as the special teams quality control coach in July of 2016.
Last season, Eastern Kentucky had the top rated punting unit in the conference and one of the best in the nation. Eastern led the Ohio Valley Conference in net punting (41.19 ypp) and punt return defense (2.5 ypp). The Colonels ranked third and fourth in the nation in those categories as well.
Before coming to Eastern Kentucky, Patterson coached at Provo High School in Provo, Utah for three seasons while he completed a bachelors degree in exercise science at Utah Valley University.
Special Teams Quality Control
Austin Minor began his duties as the special teams quality control coach in the spring of 2017.
Minor was the defensive quality control coach and specialists coordinator at Coffeyville Community College during the 2016 season. He helped the defense rank second in the nation in points allowed, 10th in interceptions and 23rd in sacks.
Minors responsibilities at Coffeyville included assisting with scouting reports, film breakdown, monitoring academic progress and assisting the recruiting coordinator.
Quality Control Analyst
David Leake joined the Eastern Kentucky football program in the spring of 2017 as the quality control analyst.
Leake was the director of retail operations at Media Hub, LLC from 2013 to 2016. In 2014, he served a varsity assistant coach at Westmoore High School where he coached the running backs, and was responsible for scouting and film analysis.
In 2011, Leake served as a student assistant and film coordinator at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Director of Football Operations
John Barnett, the former director of football operations at the University of Southern Mississippi, joined the Eastern Kentucky football staff in the same position in March 2017.
Barnett served six seasons on the staff at the University of Southern Mississippi before spending a portion of this spring at the University of Kansas.
In January 2016, Barnett became USMs director of football operations and served in that roll until February 2017. He coordinated all aspects of team travel logistics, managed the football program budget, maintained the team calendar, served as team liaison with compliance, academics, strength training, equipment and development, served as point of contact for mass communication with players and staff, oversaw the football programs fundraising arm, coordinated the annual golf outing and assisted with the planning and logistical operation of on-campus official and unofficial visitations.