Jan. 30, 2008
Cullowhee, N.C. - With recruiting for the upcoming football season in full swing, Western Carolina first-year head coach Dennis Wagner has completed his nine-person football staff. Having fulfilled his first order of business, Wagner and his assistants hit the recruiting trail just after the NCAA mandated "dead period."
The new staffs' hard work will come to fruition on National Signing Day, which is set for Wednesday, February 6. The staff will then turn its attention to spring drills, which will culminate with the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 19 at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.
Western Carolina Assistant Football Coaches:
Matt Pawlowski - Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers Coach
Matt Pawlowski joins the Catamount football staff as the Defensive Coordinator after serving in the same capacity the past four seasons at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., where he was a part of two NCAA Division II National Championships. He will also coach Western Carolina's linebacker corps.
While at Grand Valley State, Pawlowski was a part of setting the longest winning streak in NCAA D-II history as the Lakers rolled off 40-consecutive wins from 2005 through 2007, falling in last season's semifinals to end the tremendous streak. In four seasons, GVSU compiled a 50-4 overall record and his defense limited opponents to 10-points or less in an impressive 24 of his 54 games coached. He also tutored 29 players to All-GLIAC plaudits, as well as defensive tackle Mike McFadden, who earned the Gene Upshaw Award for the nation's top interior lineman in 2005 and '06.
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Keith Heckendorf - Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach
When Dennis Wagner was named the new head coach at Western Carolina, he did not have to look far for his offensive coordinator. Keith Heckendorf, who served as the offensive graduate assistant coach at the University of Nebraska with Wagner, will serve in that role, while also coaching WCU's quarterbacks.
A native of Mosinee, Wisc., Heckendorf had a standout career as a quarterback at St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minn., from 2000-03. He was a two-time finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is given annually to the top player in NCAA Division II football, finishing second and third in the voting. He was also a consensus American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America pick each season as a four-year starter.
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Steven Clinkscale - Defensive Backs Coach
Steven Clinkscale comes to Cullowhee having spent the past seven seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Ashland University, in Ashland, Ohio. He will work with the Catamount defensive backs.
During his seven seasons at Ashland, Clinkscale served mostly as a defensive secondary position coach, spending his final season as the linebackers coach. The Youngstown, Ohio, native mentored eight student-athletes that earned All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) accolades including two Cactus Bowl (NCAA Division II All-Star game) participants and one GLIAC Defensive Back of the Year (Devin Conwell, 2005).
CLICK HERE FOR FULL CLINKSCALE BIO
Andy Follett - Wide Receivers / Recruiting Coordinator
Andy Follett, who played three seasons under current WCU head coach Dennis Wagner at Wayne State College, joins the Catamount coaching staff as the wide receivers coach, and will also serve as Western's primary recruiting coordinator.
Follett spent the past four seasons as the wide receivers and running backs coach at Missouri State in Springfield, Mo. Last year, the Bears broke the school record for points scored with 399, which included averaging 50 points in home games. He also had running back Gerald Davis earn All-Gateway Conference honorable mention accolades with 19 rushing TDs and an average of 75.5 yards per game.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL FOLLETT BIO
Brad Sherrod - Running Backs Coach
Brad Sherrod was tabbed to lead the Catamounts' running backs, coming to Western after spending the past 11 seasons at his alma mater, Duke University, where he served in the same capacity.
A former All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) linebacker and Duke team captain, Sherrod has over 13 years of coaching experience at a variety of positions. While in Durham over the last decade, he worked with Blue Devils' linebackers for his first nine seasons, tight ends two years ago, and most recently with the running backs.
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John Scott - Defensive Line Coach
John Scott, a 2000 Western Carolina graduate, returns to Cullowhee for his third season, his first as the defensive line coach. He was the only full-time staff member retained from the previous coaching staff where he served two years working primarily with Western's defensive ends.
Scott came back to his Catamount family after one season as defensive line coach at Norfolk State University. While there, the Spartans ranked 12th in the nation in pass defense, allowing just over 158 passing yards per contest.
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Ty Davis - Offensive Intern Coach
Ty Davis joined Dennis Wagner's staff at Western Carolina after spending five seasons at Missouri State as both a student-athlete and coaching intern. While at MSU, was coached by current WCU wide receivers coach, Andy Follet.
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Daniel Gibson - Defensive Intern Coach
Daniel Gibson enters his fifth season working with the Catamount football staff, his first as the Defensive Intern Coach.
His duties include assisting the defensive coaches and handling the video needs for the entire staff, which includes filming and cataloguing practice and game footage.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL GIBSON BIO