Collins announces assistant coaches
GREELEY, Colo. – University of Northern Colorado head football coach Earnest Collins Jr. officially announced his entire coaching staff Wednesday. Collins retains two staff members, brings four with him from Alcorn State University and adds two from other universities.
Collins named Michael Armour offensive coordinator, Zach Shay defensive coordinator and James Jones special team coordinator and defensive line coach. He also announced Jon Boyer as quarterback coach, Derrick Davison as a linebackers coach, Keith Grable will move to wide receivers, Terrance Robinson will coach running backs and Zak Bigelow will be retained as a graduate assistant.
“This is an extremely talented group of assistant coaches,” said Collins. “I am very excited about what all of us can do at the University of Northern Colorado. I know they are all as ready as I am to wear the blue and gold and educate the state of Colorado and the entire region about what we have to offer. This entire staff will work tirelessly to make UNC the best it can be and I can’t wait for everyone to get started.
“Being a former coach and player here I couldn’t ask for a better group of coaches to be coming with me. I know these coaches all want to be here because of the sacrifices they have made to join me at my alma mater. The entire staff is of championship caliber and I know will help Northern Colorado football return to where it needs to be.”
Grable, a long-time Northern Colorado assistant, will remain as the team’s recruiting coordinator but moves back to coaching wide receivers – the position he played for the Bears from 1996-99. Grable has been a member of the coaching staff since 2000.
Armour joins the Bears staff from Alcorn State, where he spent the 2008-09 seasons as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach and was elevated to offensive coordinator in 2010. Armour earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Eastern Michigan in 1996 and has spent time at seven different schools before coming to Northern Colorado. Included in his stops are three seasons at Lane College, one at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, two at Texas A&M-Kingsville, three at Norfolk State, one at Alabama A&M and two at Louisville.
Shay spent the last two years in an identical role as defensive coordinator at Alcorn State after coaching special teams and linebackers in 2008. He spent his playing days at the University of Iowa, helping the Hawkeyes to three-straight bowl games. His collegiate coaching experience began at Western Illinois (1999-00), and he later moved on to Saint Joseph’s College (2001), University of Georgia (2003-04) and Central Michigan (2005-06). He also spent several years coaching high schools, helping Galesburg (Ill.) High School to its first playoff appearance in 11 years in 2002 and later spending the 2007 season as the head coach at Marion (Ind.) High School.
Jones comes to the Bears from Dartmouth, where he has coached both the tight ends and the defensive line in his three seasons. Jones brings more than a decade of college coaching experience with him. Prior to Dartmouth, he spent 2007 at Kentucky State, 2006 at Kansas State, 2004-05 in his first stint with Dartmouth, 2003 at Texas Southern, 2000-02 at Wagner College, 1999 at Cornell and 1998 at Morehouse College. He also served as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green in 1997. Jones received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas Southern in 1998 and completed a master’s degree in education at Wagner in 2002.
Boyer’s name should be familiar to long-time Bear fans, as he was the starting quarterback in 2000 and 2001 and roamed the sidelines as the quarterback coach in 2004 and 2005. He returns to Northern Colorado after spending the past four years as the offensive coordinator at Mesa State. Boyer earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from UNC in 2002 and his master’s degree in sport and exercise science in 2006.
Davison is also a graduate of Iowa, concluding his playing career in 2000 for the Hawkeyes. He then spent several seasons playing for the Quad City Steamwheelers in the Arenafootball2 league before turning his attention to coaching. In 2004 he was a graduate assistant at Northern Iowa and spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons as an assistant at Ellsworth Community College. From 2007-09 he was the defensive coordinator at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., and coached the defensive line at Alcorn State in 2010.
Robinson also joins the Bears family from Alcorn State, where he has been the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator since 2008. A 2007 graduate of Central Michigan, Robinson spent his first season after concluding his playing career as a graduate assistant with the Chippewas before moving on to Alcorn State.
Bigelow, another name familiar to Bear fans, will also remain on staff as a graduate assistant. Bigelow was a kicker on the team from 2006-09 and served as an offensive quality control coach last season.