TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- First-year Indiana State head football coach Mike Sanford announced today (Feb. 10) that three assistant coaches have been hired to his initial Sycamore coaching staff.
Eric Brown remains from the 2012 staff and will coach the outside linebackers. Former Sycamore Jayden Everett has been hired as the running backs coach while Vince Natali will tutor the offensive line.
Brown begins his second season as an assistant coach for the Indiana State football program. Brown will continue to work with the Sycamore outside linebackers.
"Eric Brown is an outstanding young coach," head coach Mike Sanford said. "I have known Eric and his family through a lot of people that I have coached with over the years. He will coach our outside linebackers which is a position that performed at a high level under his guidance last season. He is a tremendous addition to our coaching staff."
The Sycamore linebacking corps was a key component of the 2012 unit which finished the season ranked third nationally in scoring defense and fifth in total defense. ISU allowed just 14.27 points and 296.36 yards per game.
Jacolby Washington averaged 10 tackles per game, which ranked third in the MVFC and 22nd nationally while Connor Underwood paced the team in quarterback sacks, averaging .55 per game which was fifth in the league and tied for 58th nationally. Coupled with Aaron Archie, the Sycamores had two defenders rank in the nation's Top 25 and the conference's Top 3 for tackles per game.
Underwood was second on the team and 12th in the MVFC with an average of .86 tackles per loss per game and Washington was tied for 16th in the league with .73 tackles for loss per game.
Brown worked for two seasons at Fresno State, serving as a graduate assistant coach for the Bulldog football team. He spent the 2011 season working on the defensive side of the ball with the defensive line, and worked with the offense during the 2010 campaign.
In 2011, Brown helped guide defensive tackle Logan Harrell to First Team All-WAC honors. Harrell was second in the WAC that year and tied for 16th in the FBS with 17.0 tackles for a loss, which also tied for the third-most in a year in school history.
Brown is a 2011 graduate of Fresno State.
Everett begins his second season as an assistant coach for the Indiana State football program. This is Everett's second stint on the Sycamore coaching staff as he was an assistant coach in 2009 and played for ISU from 2006-08.
"It is great to have Jayden Everett on our staff as he is a former Sycamore football player and alumnus of the university," head coach Mike Sanford said. "He brings great enthusiasm, character and excellent people skills to our program."
He comes back to his alma mater from Hutchinson Community College where he has spent the last three seasons as the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach.
Everett helped former Indiana State head coach Trent Miles earn his first collegiate head coaching victory on October 24, 2009 when the Sycamores downed Western Illinois by the score of 17-14 in the annual Homecoming contest in front of over 6,000 fans.
In addition to success on the field, Everett helped stress a concentration in the classroom for his student-athletes and the payoff came in 2009 in the form of Dan Millington being named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team member by the College Sports Information Directors of America. In the MVFC, Millington was a second team all-academic selection while Gabe Mullane joined him on the second team and Alex Sewall was an honorable mention pick.
On the playing field, Aaron Archie was named an All-MVFC Second Team member while Donye McCleskey and Rod Hardy were honorable mention selections. Additionally, Archie was named a MVFC All-Newcomer selection.
Archie was second in the league in tackles per game with an average of 10.6 stops per contest. Archie was one of three Sycamores to rank in the Valley's top 10 as Sewall's 8.4 tackles per game average was sixth while Donye McCleskey's 8.3 mark was seventh. Additionally, Archie's tackle average finished 12th in the nation.
Everett completed a successful three-year career for the Indiana State program in 2008 that saw him named the team's Co-Most Valuable Player as well as Defensive captain as a senior. Additionally, he was one of three Sycamores to earn All-Missouri Valley Conference Honorable Mention status following the campaign.
During his final year on the team, Everett recorded 102 total tackles, which ranked in the nation's top 20 and was in the top five in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Everett had a key forced fumble and recovery in the season finale against Missouri State that allowed Indiana State to comeback from down 14-0 to force overtime. He posted six games in which he recorded double digit tackles, including a season-high 18 stops on Homecoming versus South Dakota State.
As a junior, Everett totaled 26 total tackles, 17 solo, in three games played before suffering a season ending injury. He recorded 2.5 tackles for loss, tallying twelve yards in all. He also tied for the team lead in 2007 with two forced fumbles.
In his first season at Indiana State, Everett played in all 11 games at linebacker for the Sycamores, recording 61 total stops, including 29 solos. He recorded eight tackles for loss while forcing a fumble and posted a season-high 13 tackles against Murray State as well as a conference-best nine stops versus UNI. His 5.5 tackles per game average finished tied for 28th in the Gateway.
Prior to his time at Indiana State, he played football for two seasons at Coffeyville Junior College for coach Jeff Leiber. Everett was named a Preseason All-American and was First Team All-Jayhawk Conference selection at linebacker. He was credited with 112 total tackles, two interceptions, a pair of sacks and scored two touchdowns. He scored on a recovered blocked punt as well as a 67-yard interception return.
Everett was a three-year letterwinnner at Newton (Kan.) High School, where he played for coach Brent Glann. He was named All-Kansas as a senior. He and his wife, Susan, were married in July of 2012. Everett graduated from Indiana State in 2009.
Natali (pronounced na-TAW-lee) begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Indiana State football program. Natali is the Sycamores' offensive line coach.
"I had the opportunity to work with Vince in 2012 at Utah State," Sycamore head coach Mike Sanford said. "He is an extremely intelligent, hardworking guy. Vince possesses great knowledge of the offensive system that we are going to install here at Indiana State as far as how the offensive line is going to be coached."
He comes to Indiana State from Utah State where he spent the 2012 season as an offensive graduate assistant. At Utah State, Natali assisted the offensive coaches with daily football operations, and worked primarily with the Aggie offensive line. The Aggies defeated Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl played at Boise, Idaho on December 15, 2012 by the score of 41-15.
Utah State had one of its best overall seasons in school history in 2012 as with a 11-2 record, they set the single-season school record for victories, including a school record six at home. USU also won six league games for just the second time in the history of the program and posted the school's first-ever perfect 6-0 conference record en route to the Western Athletic Conference Championship. The Aggies captured their first-ever road victory over a nationally-ranked team when they downed No. 19 Louisiana Tech by the score of 48-41 in overtime. Utah State appeared in the Associated Press Poll for three consecutive weeks for the first time in school history as well as the ESPN/USA Coaches Poll' and BCS standings for the first time ever.
Utah State senior running back Kerwynn Williams led the team with 1,512 rushing yards on 218 carries (116.3 ypg) with 15 touchdowns and was second on the team with 45 catches for 697 yards and five TDs. Williams led the team with 24 big plays of over 20 yards (17-rushing and 7 receiving) and each had receptions of 74, 76, and 86 yards. The Aggie offense averaged 44.8 points and 502 yards of total offense per game over the final six contests of the regular season, including senior tight end Kellen Bartlett, who had 18 receptions for 111 yards and four touchdowns.
Williams was one of 17 Utah State players to take home All-Western Athletic Conference honors as he was named to the first team. Bartlett took home Honorable Mention All-WAC plaudits. Of Williams' eighth career 100-yard rushing performances, seven came in 2012. The Aggies were second in the WAC and 26th nationally in total offense (460.5 ypg) as well as second in the WAC and 37th nationally in rushing offense, totaling 192.5 ypg in 2012.
Prior to his one-year stint at Utah State, Natali worked for two of the world's largest accounting and advising firms as he spent two years (2008-09) with KPMG in Albuquerque, N.M., and two years (2010-11) with PrizewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, Ill.
Natali, who was a two-year starter and four-year letterwinner (2004-07) at center for the University of New Mexico, and played for current Aggie head coach Matt Wells during his senior season in 2007 as Wells was the wide receivers coach for the Lobos.
At New Mexico, Natali earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors during his senior season as he led the team with 118 knockdowns and allowed just one sack. During the year, Natali anchored an offensive line that led the Mountain West in scoring offense and ranked second in total offense.
During his senior season, Natali was the team's top-graded lineman as he posted an 80 percent overall performance grade in each game, including six games with 90 percent marks. He finished the season with double-digit knockdown blocks in eight games.
Natali was also a tremendous performer in the weight room during his collegiate career as he earned the team's Beefmaster Award for players weighing 276 pounds and above in 2007. Along with earning first-team All-MWC honors, Natali was a second-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America during his senior year. Overall, Natali was a three-time academic All-MWC honoree and graduated in 2006 from UNM with a degree in finance as he posted a 3.86 GPA. He then earned his M.B.A from New Mexico in 2008.
Natali was born Feb. 10, 1985, in Park Ridge, Ill. His older brother, Steve, was an offensive lineman at Northwestern (2000-02). His parents Fausto and Nicolina were both born in Italy and he is fluent in the language.