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Iowa State University - Football
Iowa State University - Football

 

DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF

TYSON VEIDT | ASSISTANT HEAD COACH / LINEBACKERS

Tyson Veidt is in his second season as assistant head coach/linebackers coach at Iowa State.

Veidt (pronounced “VITE”) was the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator on Matt Campbell's Toledo staff in 2014-15.

Iowa State’s top two linebackers, Willie Harvey and Kane Seeley, had outstanding seasons in 2016 under Veidt’s mentoring. The pair tied for the team lead in tackles (78) and each recorded over 7.0 TFL to help the Cyclones record their best season TFL total (80.0) since 1999.

Harvey continued to blossom into one of the top linebackers in the Big 12 in his sophomore season. Harvey, an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 pick, tied for second on the team in sacks (3.0) and led the team with two forced fumbles to rank in the top-10 in the Big 12.

Seeley, who ended his ISU career with 155 career tackles, also picked off a pass and registered ISU’s first safety since 2006.

In 2015, linebacker Chase Murdock led the Rockets in the regular-season with 78 tackles and posted 7.5 TFL, as UT won nine games and earned a bowl bid. The Rockets ranked No. 11 nationally in rushing defense, holding opponents to a mere 115.5 yards per game on the ground.  

In his first season at UT in 2014, Veidt mentored seniors Junior Sylvestre and Ray Bush, who were the centerpiece of a defense that led the MAC in rushing defense with 116.2 yards allowed per game. Sylvestre earned first-team All-MAC honors and is currently a member of the Indianapolis Colts.

Veidt formerly served as the head coach at Bluffton University (OH) from 2008-13. He made great strides in his six seasons at Bluffton. He rebuilt a program that finished with a 1-9 record in 2007 and led it to a 5-5 mark in 2011 and 6-4 record in 2012, including 5-3 ledgers in league play both seasons and a top-10 ranking nationally. The Beavers broke or established 40 school records during this time. Veidt also directed Bluffton to four straight wins over rival Defiance College. The Beavers placed a record number of student-athletes on the all-conference team during Veidt’s tenure.

Veidt’s teams excelled in the classroom, as well. The Bluffton football team recorded the highest GPA in school history, as well as placing a record number of football players on the Dean’s List. Senior offensive lineman Thomas Gingrich was named CoSIDA Academic All-America in 2012, the first football player in Bluffton history to receive that honor.

Veidt attended Muskingum College where he was a two-year starter on the football team, earning three letters from 1994-96. He received Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors on three occasions. During the 1997 and 1998 campaigns, the Logan, Ohio, native was a graduate assistant at Muskingum where he worked for head coach Jeff Heacock.

Vedit served as a graduate assistant at Indiana before returning to his alma mater to serve as defensive coordinator, a position he held from 2000-03. He then worked for two seasons as a defensive GA at West Virginia under head coach Rich Rodriguez. Veidt was a part of the 2004 and 2005 Big East Champion teams, a 2004 Gator Bowl appearance and a 2006 Sugar Bowl win. Veidt then moved on to coach two seasons at Saint Vincent (PA) College, where he was the defensive coordinator, prior to accepting the Bluffton head position in 2008.

Veidt graduated cum laude from Muskingum in 1996 with a degree in pre-physical therapy and a master’s degree in athletic coaching education from WVU in 2005.

Veidt and his wife, Mandy, have a son, Teddy, and twin girls, Lamonica and Guiliana.

 

JON HEACOCK | DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR / SAFETIES

Jon Heacock is in his second season as defensive coordinator/safeties coach at Iowa State.

Heacock has 33 years of coaching experience, serving as a head coach at Youngstown State (2001-09) and defensive coordinator stints at Youngstown State (1992-96, 2000), Indiana (1997-99), Kent State (2011-12) and Toledo (2014-15).

Heacock’s imprint on the Cyclone defense was evident in his first season in Ames in 2016. The Cyclones improved steadily throughout the season, as ISU held five of its last seven Big 12 teams below its scoring average.

Heacock was named national defensive backs coach of the week by CoachingSearch.com after his impressive game plan vs. Texas Tech. Heacock’s defensive unit held the nation’s most explosive offense to season lows in points (10) and total offense (309), as the Cyclones defeated the Red Raiders, 66-10.

The Cyclone defense made big plays under Heacock’s direction in 2016. The Cyclones ranked in the top-35 nationally in tackles for loss, registering 80.0 on the year, the highest total by an ISU defensive unit since 1999. Five times during the season an aggressive Cyclone defense racked up 8.0 or more TFL in a game.

One of Heacock’s top pupils was safety Kamari Cotton-Moya. The junior safety had 73 tackles and led the team with two interceptions to help him earn Second-Team All-Big 12 honors. Cotton-Moya was named Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Week in the Texas Tech victory, registering two takeaways, including a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was ISU’s first defensive touchdown in over two seasons.

Heacock held the title of Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator at Toledo from 2014-15, shaping the Toledo defense into one of the best units in the Mid-American Conference. In his two years at UT, the Rockets appeared in a pair of bowl games, won 19 games and shared two MAC West Conference crowns.

In 2015, the Rockets were ranked in the AP Top-25 for most of the season and were at the top of the MAC defensive statistical categories, ranking No. 1 in scoring defense (20.8) and second in rushing defense (114.2). Five Rocket defenders earned All-MAC accolades, including a pair of first-teamers in Orion Jones (defensive tackle) and Cheatham Norrils (cornerback).

The Rockets ranked No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference in rushing defense (116.2 yards per game) in 2014 after ranking fifth the season prior (170.4). Toledo’s defense held opponents to 20 points or fewer in five games, helping the Rockets earn a 9-4 record, 7-1 in MAC play.

Four Rockets earned All-MAC honors in 2014, including linebacker Junior Sylvestre, who made first-team All-MAC for the second straight season.

Heacock returned to Toledo after spending one season as the defensive backs coach at Purdue (2013).

Prior to that, he was the defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at Kent State from 2011-12. Under Heacock, the Golden Flashes’ defense had 38 takeaways in 2012, second among all FBS schools, and an FBS-best +1.62 turnover margin. The Flashes finished with an 11-3 record in 2012, including a perfect 8-0 mark in the Mid-American Conference. They were in the upper half of the MAC in nearly every defensive statistical category, including second in rushing defense and fourth in scoring defense.

In 2011, Heacock’s defense was seventh in the FBS in fumbles recovered and turnover margin, 10th in turnovers gained, 18th in tackles for loss and 21st in total defense.

Prior to joining KSU, Heacock spent nine seasons as the head coach at Youngstown State, which included a 2006 run to the national semifinals in the Football Championship Subdivision. He was named the Gateway Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006, and ended his tenure with a 60-44 overall record. He was also named the American Football Coaches Association’s Division I-AA Region Four Coach of the Year in both seasons and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award.

In addition to serving as the head coach at YSU, Heacock also served as the Penguins’ defensive coordinator under Jim Tressel for six years (1992-96, 2000) and defensive backs coach for an additional year (1991), which included Division I-AA national championships in 1991, 1993 and 1994.

In between his stints on the YSU staff, Heacock served as the defensive coordinator at Indiana from 1997-99.

A native of Beloit, Ohio, Heacock graduated from West Branch High School in 1979. He played college football at Muskingum College, graduating in 1983 with a degree in health and physical education.

In 1984, he served on the football coaching staff at Steubenville High School, where he helped the team to an Ohio Division II State Championship. Heacock then served as the defensive coordinator, defensive line coach, and secondary coach at West Liberty University from 1985 to 1987.

The next two seasons, he was a graduate assistant on Bo Schembechler’s staff at the University of Michigan, where he worked with both the defensive backs and special teams during a stretch in which Michigan won two Big Ten Conference titles and the 1989 Rose Bowl.

Heacock and his wife, Trescia, have a son, Jace, and daughter, Adelyn. 

 

ELI RASHEED | DEFENSIVE LINE

Eli Rasheed is in his second season as defensive line coach at Iowa State after working with Matt Campbell's staff at Toledo for seven seasons.  

Rasheed’s front four were solid in his initial season with the Cyclones in 2016. His unit recorded 31.5 of ISU’s 80.0 TFL on the year, a total which ranked 36th nationally and was the best by a Cyclone defense since 1999.

Under Rasheed’s guidance, Jhaustin Thomas had a breakout senior year after moving to the inside from end. Thomas led the team in TFL, ranking 12th in the Big 12 at 9.5 to help him earn Second-Team All-Big 12 accolades.

Demond Tucker also blossomed with Rasheed’s mentoring, leading all Cyclone defensive linemen with 45 tackles en route to Second-Team All-Big 12 accolades.

He also cultivated the emergence of true freshman end JaQuan Bailey, who led the team in sacks at 3.5, the third-best total by a Cyclone rookie in school history. Bailey was named an honorable mention freshman All-American for his outstanding play.

Rasheed’s impact on Toledo’s front four during his seven years at the school was pivotal to its success. Annually, the Rockets ranked among the elite in the MAC in rushing defense and scoring defense.

In all, the Rockets qualified to four bowl games and registered four nine-win seasons in Rasheed’s seven seasons at the school.

In 2015, the Rockets led the MAC in scoring defense (21.1) and ranked second in the league in rushing defense (115.5) in the 12-game regular season. UT beat two power five teams (Arkansas, Iowa State) and was ranked in the nation’s top-25 throughout the majority of the season.

One of Rasheed’s top players was senior Orion Jones, who was sixth in the MAC in sacks (6.0) and eighth in the league in TFL (11.5) en route to first-team All-MAC accolades. End Trent Voss was a third-team All-MAC pick after recording 58 tackles, 9.5 TFL and two fumble recoveries.

The 2014 Rocket line may have been the best under Rasheed. A pair of tackles, Jones and sophomore Treyvon Hester, each earned All-MAC honors. Voss finished second in the MAC with 15.0 tackles for loss, and earned defensive MVP honors in the GoDaddy Bowl when he racked up 4.0 TFL and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery on the first play from scrimmage.

As a team, the Rockets led the MAC and ranked 14th in the nation in rushing defense in 2014, allowing just 116.2 yards per game. It was the fewest rushing yards allowed by a Toledo defense in 13 years. Rocket opponents gained just 3.5 yards per carry, also the lowest since 2001.

In 2013, the Rockets ranked second in the MAC and 20th in the country with 2.8 sacks per game. Senior defensive end Jayrone Elliott led the way with nine sacks and 14.0 tackles for loss. Elliott, now with the Green Bay Packers, made first-team All-MAC, while freshman defensive tackle Treyvon Hester made third-team all-league.

In 2012, Rasheed was faced with the challenge of losing both of his starting defensive ends to injury. Nevertheless, the line held together, and Toledo finished with a 9-4 record and a berth into the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Rasheed came to Toledo after spending six seasons as the defensive tackles coach at Florida Atlantic. Prior to that, he enjoyed a successful high school coaching career as an assistant at Venice (FL) High School and head coach at Booker (FL) High School.

Rasheed grew up in Indianapolis and played defensive line at Indiana University from 1991-95, participating in bowl games in 1991 and 1993. He began his coaching career at Venice (FL) High School, working as an assistant from 1996-2000 and again in 2002. He helped the Indians capture the Florida 5A state, regional and district championships in 2000 and 2002. Venice also captured the 1999 District Championship. In between his stints at Venice, Rasheed was the head coach at Booker (FL) High School, leading the Tornadoes to a 6-5 record in 2001.

Rasheed joined Florida Atlantic’s staff in the 2003 season, helping the Owls to an 11-3 mark, a No. 13 ranking and a semifinals appearance in the I-AA playoffs. The Owls moved to I-A status in 2006, and Rasheed helped mold a defensive line that keyed FAU’s back-to-back bowl victories in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, the Owls went 8-5 and defeated Memphis in the New Orleans Bowl, 44-27. In 2008, FAU posted a 7-6 record and posted a 24-21 win over Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl.

Rasheed has coached two NFL players and three defensive linemen who later played in the Canadian Football League.

Rasheed and his wife, Caprice, have five children: Shanita, Dezmen, a former Wisconsin safety who was drafted in the third round by Atlanta in 2014, Darius, Osha and Tyra.

 

D.K. MCDONALD | CORNERBACKS

D.K. McDonald, who spent four years at Toledo on Matt Campbell’s staff, is in his second season as cornerbacks coach at Iowa State.

McDonald made his mark with the Cyclone corners in 2016 with the outstanding play from Jomal Wiltz and Brian Peavy, who both were named Honorable Mention All-Big 12 by the league’s coaches. Wiltz ranked in the top-10 in the Big 12 in passes defended and picked off two passes.

Peavy was fourth on the team in tackles (62) and ranked fourth in the Big 12 in passes defended to help the Cyclone defense rank third in the league in passing defense (234.8).

McDonald played a critical role in nurturing the Rockets’ secondary in his tenure at Toledo. He was also a part of three nine-win campaigns and three bowl teams in his four seasons with the Rockets.

In 2015, McDonald’s work with the cornerbacks helped the Rockets rank first in the MAC in scoring defense at 21.1 points per game. One of his star corners, Cheatham Norrils, was fifth in the league in breakups with 13. Norrils ended his senior year with 60 tackles and three interceptions, as UT won nine games and earned its third bowl berth in four seasons.

Norrils went on to earn first-team All-MAC honors in 2015.

McDonald may have faced his greatest challenge as a coach in 2014 when senior corners Norrils and Cameron Cole were lost for the season due to injuries. But McDonald skillfully guided the Rockets’ young players, helping Toledo go 9-4 and win the GoDaddy Bowl. Junior Christian Dukes led UT cornerbacks with 62 tackles, two interceptions and 10 breakups.

In 2012, Toledo’s secondary helped the Rockets rank among the top 25 in the nation in fourth-down conversions (ninth), red-zone defense (10th), interceptions (18th) and turnovers forced (25th). UT went 9-4 and earned a trip to play Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

A native of Orrville, Ohio, McDonald previously coached defensive backs at Edinboro (2003-05), Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2006-10) and William & Mary (2011).

McDonald came to Toledo after one season at William & Mary, where he coached the defensive backs. Prior to that, McDonald was the secondary coach at Indiana (PA) for five seasons. During his tenure with the Crimson Hawks, McDonald mentored a pair of All-Americans and five all-conference performers. Highlighting those standouts was Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, a fourth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2010. In addition to his coaching duties with the defense, McDonald also served as IUP’s recruiting coordinator.

Prior to his stint at IUP, McDonald coached and coordinated the defensive secondary at his alma mater, Edinboro (PA), from 2003-06. During that time, he developed an All-American and four all-conference honorees. In 2005, the Fighting Scots led the nation in scoring, rushing and total defense and ranked third in passing efficiency defense.

McDonald was a four-year starter at cornerback at Edinboro from 1997-2000. He was a first-team All-PSAC West selection as a junior when he totaled 29 tackles and a team-high 11 pass breakups. McDonald finished his career with 108 tackles, four interceptions and 34 breakups.

McDonald graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 2001 and was a scholar-athlete all four years. He served as the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was an Erie area representative for that organization after his graduation.

McDonald and his wife Kayla have a daughter, Reagan.

 

COLBY KRATCH | GRADUATE ASSISTANT / DEFENSE

Colby Kratch enters his first season on the Iowa State football staff as a graduate assistant for the defense.

Prior to his arrival in Ames, Kratch spent two years (2015-16) as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, working primarily with the offensive line. The Spartans won the Big Ten Championship, compiled a 12-2 record and qualified for the College Football Playoff in his first season in East Lansing in 2015.

Kratch was a two-year letterwinner at tight end for Toledo (2011-12) after competing two years of junior college football at North Dakota State College of Science from 2009-10.

Kratch earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from UT in 2013.

Following graduation, Kratch was an offensive intern for the Rockets in 2012 and an offensive graduate assistant in 2013 for Matt Campbell’s staff.

A native of Watertown, Minnesota, Kratch was a three-year letterwinner in football and hockey at Watertown-Mayer High School. He made all-conference in football as a senior.

Kratch’s father, Bob Kratch, played eight years in the NFL for the New York Giants and New England Patriots. He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection at Iowa (1986 and 1988).

McDonald and his wife Kayla have a daughter, Reagan.

 

KENNY McCLENDON | GRADUATE ASSISTANT / DEFENSE

Kenny McClendon is in his first season as a graduate assistant on defense for the Cyclones.

McClendon was a defensive graduate assistant at Central Michigan in 2015 and 2016, helping the Chippewas to a pair of bowl berths.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., McClendon also assisted his high school alma mater DeSmet Jesuit and Lindenwood University prior to his stint as a graduate assistant at CMU.

McClendon earned his degree at CMU in 2013 where he was a four-year letterwinner on the defensive line. McClendon played in 47 career games for the Chippewas, recording 37 tackles, 7.0 TFL and five forced fumbles.

 

SCOTT BROWNING | DEFENSIVE ANALYST

Scott Browning is in second season as a defensive analyst for the Iowa State football program.

Browning spent 30 years at Edinboro University (1986-2015), including 10 seasons as the head coach prior to coming to Ames.

Browning compiled a 57-54 (2006-15) as the head man at the Division II Pennsylvania school, the second-most victories in school history. The Scots finished in the final AFCA top-25 poll in 2008 and 2009 and qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2009.

A native of Loudonville, Ohio, Browning began his tenure at Edinboro in 1986 as running backs coach. He also served as defensive backs coach, offensive line coach and offensive coordinator before taking over the reins of the program in 2006.

Iowa State is the fourth Division I school he’s worked at, serving as a graduate assistant at New Mexico State (1982) and Ohio State (1984-85). Browning was also the wide receivers coach at Idaho State in 1983.

As a GA at Ohio State, Browning worked with the receivers and running backs under former Iowa State head coach Earle Bruce. The Buckeyes went to the Rose Bowl in 1984 behind All-American Keith Byars.

Browning, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Ohio State in 1981, began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Worthington High School and Dayton-Fairview High School in Ohio from 1979-81.

He earned his master’s degree from New Mexico State in 1983.

Brown and his wife, Lynn, have two children: Andrew and Katelyn.