NMU Football finalizes coaching staff

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University football coach Chris Ostrowsky has added three members to his staff. Brian Newberry is the new defensive coordinator, Marcus Knight, wide receivers coach and Joe Coniglio as the defensive line coach, as well as the athletic department’s strength and conditioning coach.

“I’m excited about all three coaches,” Ostrowsky said. “They were accomplished players at the Division I level and have become accomplished coaches. They will be a fantastic addition to an already great football staff.”

Newberry comes to NMU after a season at Sewanee where he was also the defensive coordinator. In addition to the overall coordination of the defense, he also served as the linebacker coach.

“Brian and I have a long history together,” Ostrowsky said. “He’s as detailed and bright as anyone that I know, with the energy and the passion for the job. He’s had great success at his previous schools; he was a great player at Baylor. Most importantly, he’s a great man. I’m lucky to have someone I trust and feel good about running the defense.”

Newberry was the defensive backs coach at Elon (N.C.) University from 2007-11 where he led five players to All-Southern Conference honors. His defense ranked fifth in the nation in total pass defense in 2009.

Newberry was defensive coordinator at Washington and Lee University from 2004-06 and the defensive backs coach for two seasons (2001-02). His 2004 defense produced a school-record 43 sacks and ranked among the Division III leaders in rushing defense. His 2005 unit led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in pass defense, rush defense and scoring defense, while his 2006 unit forced 30 turnovers and ranked among the national leaders in pass defense.

He also coached at Lehigh University (2003) and Southern Arkansas (1999-2000).

Newberry played collegiately as a defensive back for Baylor University, graduating in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He helped the Bears to the Southwest Conference co-championship and an appearance in the Alamo Bowl in 1994 and to a No. 5 national ranking in total defense in 1995.

Knight joins the Wildcat coaching staff after four seasons as the wide receivers coach at Valparaiso University. He helped two Crusaders earn honorable mention All-Pioneer Football League honors. Knight played in the National Football League for the Oakland Raiders from 2000-02. He was the starting kick returner for the team that faced Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII. In 2002, he averaged 24.3 yards per return with a long of 65 yards.

Knight played two seasons for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe (2001, 2003) and a season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004). He also played in the Arena Football League for the Philadelphia Soul (2005, 2006) and the Columbus Destroyers (2006, 2007).

“Marcus is as accomplished of player as there is on any level,” said Ostrowsky. “Being a coach that has played in the Super Bowl and the National Championship, he knows what it takes to win. I’ve never
connected with a coach like Marcus as I did in our first interview. He’s going to bring a great skills set and fundamentals to our receivers.”

In the spring of 2007, Knight served as the wide receivers coach for Grenada High School in California. Collegiately, Knight played for the University of Michigan and was a member of the 1997 National Championship Team that won the Rose Bowl. In 1999, he was named to the All-Big Ten second team and led the Wolverines in yards per catch (20.4). A four-year letterman, Knight started 23 career games and finished tied for 11th all-time in career receiving yards (1,508) and 13th in career receptions (88).

Knight completed his bachelor’s degree from Michigan in 2007 with a focus on history, Afro-American studies and psychology. He earned his master’s degree in sports administration at Valparaiso in 2010.

Coniglio comes to NMU from Kent State University where he has been with the Golden Flash for the past three seasons.

Joe is a young man who has a real impressive resume and comes highly recommended by every member of Kent State’s coaching staff,” Ostrowsky said. On the field he was an All-Mid-American Conference player for Miami University and was also a strength and conditioning All-American in college. He’s bright, articulate, young and has done all the grunt work to earn his way to the next phase of his coaching career.”

As a graduate assistant at KSU, Coniglio coached on the defensive side of the ball in 2011. He was the video coordinator in 2010 and a student defensive assistant in 2009.

At Miami, Coniglio was a standout defensive end who totaled 19.5 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss in his career (2005-08). He earned third-team All-MAC accolades his final two seasons, turning in his best performance as a junior with 6.5 sacks and 10.5 TFL. He was named the RedHawk’s 2005 freshman of the year. He graduated from Miami in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in sport studies.

The Wildcats play their spring game on April 21 in the Superior Dome and open the 2012 season on Aug. 30 at Ohio Dominican.

Posted by Jerry Taylor