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Wayne Nelson / Forum News Service, Published December 03 2013

Former Montana coach applies for UND football vacancy

GRAND FORKS – The list of applicants to become the University of North Dakota’s next head football coach grew again Tuesday, a week before the application deadline.

UND has received 41 applications to take over the position held by Chris Mussman for the past six seasons.

The application deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 10. It’s expected a number of rumored candidates for the position will apply closer to the deadline, mainly because of the transparency that exists in the UND hiring process.

There was one applicant of note Tuesday. Former Montana coach Robin Pflugrad submitted his application.

From 2009-2012, Pflugrad was the Grizzlies coach, leading Montana to a Big Sky Conference title in 2011. The Grizzlies lost in the semifinal round of the FCS playoffs in 2011.

Pflugrad’s record as the Grizzlies’ coach was 18-7.

He was Montana’s coach until he his contract was not renewed in March of 2012 after the program had to deal with a handful of off-field incidents.

This past season, Pflugrad served as the offensive coordinator at Weber State, another Big Sky program.

Before Montana, Pflugrad was an assistant for three seasons at Oregon.

UND athletic director Brian Faison has not put a timetable on the hiring of a new coach, saying only he wants to make the hire as soon as possible.

Jackson to transfer

One of UND’s top receivers is transferring to Minnesota State-Mankato.

Jameer Jackson said he will leave UND at semester break and will enroll at MSU-Mankato, a Division II program that competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Jackson was one of the finalists for the 2012 Jerry Rice Award, presented annually to the FCS Freshman of the Year.

This season, the sophomore from Brooklyn Park, Minn., caught 52 passes for 502 yards. As a freshman, Jackson caught 56 passes for 709 yards and six touchdowns. He is one of the more physical receivers in the FCS.

The coaching change, he said, played a part in his decision to transfer.

But there were other reasons, too.

“I like being closer to home,” he said. “I think it will be better for me and my family.”

Application list

• Anthoney Hill, assistant coach with Colorado Ice indoor football team.

• Robin Pflugrad, offensive coordinator, Weber State, former Montana coach.

• Michael Markusson, former assistant coach at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

• Andrew Jordan, former assistant coach at Earlham (Ind.) College.

• Lawrence Cole, head coach at Wilcox Central High School, Camden, Ala.

• Bob Connelly, former assistant at Arizona State; former associate head coach UTEP; former assistant at UCLA.

• Brian Bottenfield, Client Liaison, Aetna, Plymouth, Minn.

• Lacy MCBeath, teacher/coach, Neshoba County School District, Philadelphia, Miss.

• Maurice Drayton, former assistant at Southern Mississippi.

• Jake Moreland, assistant coach, Air Force.

• Robert Keys, head coach, Findlay, Ohio.

• Stephen Settle, football coach, Tombstone School District, Huachuca City, Ariz.

• Reginald Trotter, defensive coordinator, Missouri Western.

• Nicholas Calcutta, assistant head football coach, Delaware State

• Kenneth Knapczyk, head coach East Ridge High School, Clermont, Fla.

• Efrain Martinez, head coach, Los Angeles Community College

• Louis Esposito, defensive coordinator, Ferris State

• Dale Carlson, former head coach at Valparaiso, which lost to UND this season.

• Larry Willis, South Carolina Sports Radio Network analyst.

• Robin Ross, Wyoming special teams coordinator/linebackers coach; former head coach at Western Washington.

• David Taynor, head coach at Urbana (Ohio) University.

• Nick Garrett, passing game coordinator/QBs at Western New Mexico University.

• Marcus Patton, defensive coordinator at Fairmont State University, W.Va.

• Alex Pateras, assistant coach at Ventura High School, Calif.

• Camm Richmond, last position, teacher at Mechanicsburg High School, Pa.

• Steven Smith, offensive coordinator at Albany (Ga.) State University.

• Seth Wallace, defensive coordinator at Valdosta State, Ga.

• Nicholas Siciliano, last position, offensive assistant coach with Cincinnati Bengals.

• Jamie Marshall, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Montana State of the Big Sky Conference.

E Robert Ianello, wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator at University of Kansas of the Big 12. He was also the interim head coach at Notre Dame in 2009.

• Eric Young, head coach at New Mexico Highlands University.

• Robert Lancaster, former defensive coordinator at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C.

• Ryan Held, head coach at Highland Community College, Kansas.

• Lane Powell, assistant coach at Alcorn State University, Miss.

• Jovan Dewitt, defensive coordinator, Florida Atlantic, Division I FBS program.

• Douglas Madoski, head coach Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College

• Daren Wilkinson, offensive coordinator, Colorado State-Pueblo.

• Charles Coe, offensive coordinator, Missouri Baptist.

• Michael Kelly, former head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.

• Damian Mincey, former assistant coach at Massachusetts

• Mario Felix, running backs coach at Mid-America Nazarene.


Nelson is the sports editor for the Grand Forks Herald