PUEBLO, Colo. (July 6, 2018) - Colorado State University-Pueblo Head Football Coach John Wristen has announced changes to the the Pack's coaching staff for the 2018 season.
"I'm very excited for this new group of coaches to lead this special team," Wristen said. "They have brought in many great ideas and concepts that will help us find the edge."
Leomiti named Defensive Coordinator
After being named Co-Defensive Coordinator prior to the 2017 season, Donnell Leomiti has been tagged as the sole defensive coordinator for 2018. A member of the original staff in 2008, Leomiti has coached the defensive backfield on a formidable defensive unit. In 10 seasons with the ThunderWolves, Leomiti has guided eight All-Americans, 13 All-Region selections and a total of 30 All-RMAC selections.
McCarty joins the Pack as Offensive Coordinator
Mike McCarty brings 18 years of offensive coordinator experience to CSU-Pueblo and will serve in the same position for the ThunderWolves in 2018. He came to the Pack in January and touts nearly 30 years of coaching background. McCarty has extensive recruiting experience, with an emphasis on the west coast and gulf states. He has coached in two bowl games (New Orleans Bowl in 2005 and Independence Bowl in 1988) and appeared in the FCS playoffs in 1995 and 1998. Other highlights include a Sun Belt Conference Championship in 2005 with Arkansas State University and serving as offensive coordinator at Hofstra University when it had the No. 3 ranked offense in I-AA.
Symington returns as Run Game Coordinator
Chris Symington returns to the coaching staff in 2018 for his sixth season as CSU-Pueblo's offensive line coach and run game coordinator. He previously spent two seasons as the offense line coach at Truman State University.
In his two years at TSU, the Bulldogs' scoring improved by nearly 10 points per game. Truman State won the conference championship in 2016, the team's first since 1988.
Prior to his departure before the 2014 season, Symington saw his unit produce five All-Americans, eight all-region selections and one Gene Upshaw Award finalist in just five seasons. Most notably, Symington guided Ryan Jensen, a two-time All-American that was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2013. After four seasons with the Ravens, Jensen emerged in 2017 as the team's starting center for the entire season. In 2018 he inked a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that made him the highest paid center in NFL history.
Beck selected to coach the linebackers
Bo Beck will serve as an assistant coach of the linebackers for the 2018 season. Beck has coached football since 1994 at the NCAA Division I (BCS and FCS), Divison II and high school levels. He was a American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Assistant Coach of the Year Finalist at the FCS level in 2015. In his career he has coached teams that have made four NCAA playoff appearances, won three Big Sky Conference Championships and played in two bowl games. He has coached six All-Americans, 16 all-conference performers, two national defensive players of the year and two current NFL players.
Feggins named running backs coach
Howard Feggins joins the ThunderWolves coaching staff in 2018 as the running backs coach. He comes to the Pack with more than 20 years of coaching experience ranging from from the high school to professional levels.
Since 2015, he has been the owner of SACS Sports, LLC, a consulting firm with parents and high school student-athletes to help the gain more exposure. He has also been involved with NextGen All American Camp & The Show as an evaluation coach.
Callahan named graduate assistant coach
Tim Callahan will serve as the graduate assistant coach in 2018 and will assist in quality control and coaching wide receivers. He was a student-athlete at Adams State University and has coaching experience with the Grizzlies, at Overland High School, Wilmington College and Michigan Tech University.
THE THUNDERWOLVES IN 2017
The Pack finished the season with a 9-3 overall record, while their 9-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference mark was good for a share of the league title. CSU-Pueblo advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs as a seven seed. The ThunderWolves fell 16-13 in overtime to No. 1 overall and No. 2 seed Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Pack were No. 20 nationally following the end of the regular season and moved up to No. 17 in the final poll.
The defense closed the regular season top 20 nationally in eight categories, red zone defense (3rd, 57.7%), interceptions (4th, 21), team passing efficiency defense (4th, 88.95), defensive touchdowns (7th, 5), scoring defense (10th, 14.3), total defense (10th, 273.5), turnovers gained (11th, 27) and passing yards allowed (18th, 164.6).
The Pack also finished the regular season top 25 in Division II in turnover margin (17th, 1,0), net punting (20th, 36.8), kick returns (23rd, 23.0), red zone offense (23rd, 88%) and scoring offense (24th, 37.6).
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.