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DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF

JON HEAOCK | DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR/SAFTIES

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

Heacock has 34 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 and his defenders produced historic numbers in 2017, helping Iowa State to one of its greatest seasons in recent years with an 8-5 record, the second-most wins in school history, and a victory in the 2017 Liberty Bowl over Memphis.

Iowa State also broke its school record for wins over ranked opponents (3), victories on the road (5) and appeared in the AP national rankings for the first time in 12 years in 2017.

The improvement of the ISU defense in 2017 was simply amazing. The Cyclones ranked second in the Big 12 and 26th nationally in scoring defense (20.9), and ranked third in the Big 12 in total defense (366.2).

It had been over 10 years since the Cyclones ended a season with under 400 yards of total defense.

Once Big 12 play began, ISU was even better, ranking second in the league in scoring defense (18.9) and total defense (357.2) in conference games only.

Heacock utilized multiple schemes – 3-4 and 4-3 – confounding the high-powered Big 12 offenses. In its 10 Big 12 games, ISU held all but one opponent to at least 10 points under their overall season scoring average.

ISU allowed only 68 points after intermission in its 10 conference games, giving up on average a meager 6.8 points in the second half.

ISU, which also led the league in passing defense (213.9), broke its school record for tackles for loss in a season under Heacock’s direction. His swarming defense registered 96 TFL to rank second in the Big 12 and 16th nationally.

Twice during the season, the Cyclones held a Big 12 opponent without an offensive touchdown (Kansas, TCU), limiting Kansas to just 106 yards of total offense, the fewest by a league opponent in almost 60 years.

A total of nine Cyclone defenders earned some sort of all-conference recognition in 2017, including linebacker Joel Lanning, who was a First-Team All-American by the FWAA in his first season at the position.

Safety Kamari Cotton-Moya was a First-Team All-Big 12 selection, registering 60 tackles and leading the team with three interceptions. He earned All-Big 12 recognition in both of his seasons under Heacock’s tutelage.

Heacock was rewarded for his efforts in 2017 by being named as one of 15 finalists for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s best assistant coach.

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.

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.

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.

 

TYSON VEIDT | ASSISTANT HEAD COACH / LINEBACKERS

Tyson Veidt is in his third 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.

ISU’s 2017 season was one of the best in the history of the program. The Cyclones compiled an 8-5 record, the second-most wins in school history, and scored a victory in the 2017 Liberty Bowl over Memphis, only the fourth bowl win in the history of the program.

Iowa State also broke its school record for wins over ranked opponents (3), victories on the road (5) and appeared in the AP national rankings for the first time in 12 years.

The improvement of the ISU defense in 2017 was simply amazing, and Veidt’s linebackers were at the heart of the team’s success. The Cyclones ranked second in the Big 12 and 26th nationally in scoring defense (20.9), and ranked third in the Big 12 in total defense (366.2).

It had been over 10 years since the Cyclones ended a season with under 400 yards of total defense.

Once Big 12 play began, ISU was even better, ranking second in the league in scoring defense (18.9) and total defense (357.2) in conference games only.

Veidt’s work with the Cyclone linebackers in 2017 was noted nationally when he was named the Linebackers Coach of the Year by FootballScoop. All three of his starters earned all-conference recognition in Joel Lanning (first team), Marcel Spears (honorable mention) and Willie Harvey (honorable mention).

The trio accounted for 30.5 of ISU’s school-record 96 TFL, a total that ranked 16th nationally.

Perhaps Veidt’s biggest accomplishment in 2017 was transforming Lanning into a First-Team All-American linebacker. Lanning, who hadn’t played linebacker since eighth grade, was a quarterback in his first four seasons as a Cyclone before switching over to linebacker in his final season.

Lanning became a national story with his outstanding play at linebacker and incredible versatility, ranking third in the Big 12 in tackles (8.8) and recording 11.0 TFL and 6.0 sacks. Lanning had a 20-tackle game vs. Texas, the fifth-best FBS total of the season and the ninth-best single-game total in the Iowa State record book.

Lanning ended the season earning All-America honors from a number of outlets and was the runner-up for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the nation’s most versatile collegiate football player.

Spears was second on the team in tackles (107) and registered 8.5 TFL and two interceptions. Spears was the back-to-back winner of the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award (Texas Tech, TCU) when he sealed a pair of victories with fourth-quarter interceptions.

Harvey was second on the team in TFL (11.5) and posted 4.0 sacks to earn all-conference recognition for the second-straight season under Veidt.

Harvey blossomed in his first season with Veidt in 2016. An Honorable Mention All-Big 12 pick, Harvey 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.

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.

 

ELI RASHEED | DEFENSIVE LINE

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

In his first two seasons in Ames, Rasheed has coached five Cyclones to All-Big 12 honors.

ISU’s 2017 season was one of the best in the history of the program. The Cyclones compiled an 8-5 record, the second-most wins in school history, and scored a victory in the 2017 Liberty Bowl over Memphis, only the fourth bowl win in the history of the program.

Iowa State also broke its school record for wins over ranked opponents (3), victories on the road (5) and appeared in the AP national rankings for the first time in 12 years.

The improvement of the ISU defense in 2017 was simply amazing, and Rasheed’s defensive front was instrumental in the team’s incredible improvement. The Cyclones ranked second in the Big 12 and 26th nationally in scoring defense (20.9), and ranked third in the Big 12 in total defense (366.2).

It had been over 10 years since the Cyclones ended a season with under 400 yards of total defense.

Once Big 12 play began, ISU was even better, ranking second in the league in scoring defense (18.9) and total defense (357.2) in conference games only.

Three of Rasheed’s defensive linemen earned all-conference honors in 2017, including senior J.D. Waggoner, who was a Second-Team All-Big 12 honoree at defensive end. Waggoner tied for seventh in the Big 12 in tackles for loss with 13.5, the 10th-best single-season tally in ISU history.

Ray Lima (DL) and JaQuan Bailey (DE) were Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honorees. Bailey was fifth in the Big 12 in sacks (7.0), the fourth-best season total in school history.

Waggoner, Lima and Bailey helped the Cyclones break their school record in TFL with 97, ranking 16th nationally in TFL per game (7.4). Rasheed’s unit accumulated nearly 40 of ISU’s TFL on the season.

Mic'd Up With Rasheed

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 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 third season as cornerbacks coach at Iowa State.

In each of his first two seasons at Iowa State, McDonald has mentored a pair of All-Big 12 corners.

ISU’s 2017 season was one of the best in the history of the program. The Cyclones compiled an 8-5 record, the second-most wins in school history, and scored a victory in the 2017 Liberty Bowl over Memphis, only the fourth bowl win in the history of the program.

Iowa State also broke its school record for wins over ranked opponents (3), victories on the road (5) and appeared in the AP national rankings for the first time in 12 years.

The improvement of the ISU defense in 2017 was simply amazing. The Cyclones ranked second in the Big 12 and 26th nationally in scoring defense (20.9), and ranked third in the Big 12 in total defense (366.2).

It had been over 10 years since the Cyclones ended a season with under 400 yards of total defense.

Once Big 12 play began, ISU was even better, ranking second in the league in scoring defense (18.9) and total defense (357.2) in conference games only.

McDonald’s work with All-Big 12 corners Brian Peavy and D’Andre Payne played a huge role in the Cyclones’ defensive success in 2017.

Peavy earned all-league recognition for the third consecutive season as a Second-Team All-Big 12 recipient. Peavy led the team with four takeaways and ranked ninth in the Big 12 in passes defended (11) to aid the Cyclones to a league-best 213.9 passing defense total (conference games only).

Payne, who earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 accolades, had 48 tackles and 6.0 TFL in 2017.

 

COLBY KRATCH | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PLAYER PERSONNEL

Colby Kratch is in his second season on the Iowa State football staff as a graduate assistant for the defense.

ISU’s 2017 season was one of the best in the history of the program. The Cyclones compiled an 8-5 record, the second-most wins in school history, and scored a victory in the 2017 Liberty Bowl over Memphis, only the fourth bowl win in the history of the program.

Iowa State also broke its school record for wins over ranked opponents (3), victories on the road (5), wins vs. conference opponents (5) and appeared in the AP national rankings for the first time in 12 years.

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).