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DEREK HOODJER | DIRECTOR OF PLAYER PERSONNEL

Derek Hoodjer is in his third season as an assistant director of scouting after spending the 2015 campaign as a graduate assistant with the Cyclone defense.

Hoodjer assists with recruiting visits and helps manage official and unofficial visits. He also organizes the recruitment process for the assistant coaches.

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.

As a graduate assistant, Hoodjer helped manage and maintain the defensive recruiting board and was the defensive recruiting supervisor for Cyclone football, as well as the student coaches/intern program coordinator.

A native of Lincoln, Neb., Hoodjer graduated from Iowa State in December of 2014 after serving three years as a student assistant with the Cyclone football program (2012-14).

Hoodjer and his wife, Hannah, reside in Ames.

 

TAYLOR MOUSER | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PLAYER PERSONNEL

Taylor Mouser is in his third season on the Cyclone football staff. Mouser was a graduate assistant working with the Cyclone offense in 2016 before taking over in his new role as Assistant Director of Scouting.

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.

Mouser spent the 2015 season as a graduate assistant at Toledo where he worked primarily with the wide receivers. The Rockets went 10-2 and were champions of the Boca Raton Bowl.

A native of Chandler, Arizona, Mouser earned his bachelor’s degree at Adams State in 2013 where was a team captain and all-conference performer at defensive end.

 

MARK THURSTON | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SCOUTING

Mark Thurston is in his third season as the assistant director of scouting for the Iowa State football program.

Thurston assists with recruiting visits and helps manage official and unofficial visits. He also organizes the recruitment process for the assistant coaches.

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.

Thurston was on staff at Norfolk State from 2006-14 before a brief stop at Toledo in 2015 where he was a defensive quality control coach.

At Norfolk State, Thurston worked primarily with the defensive line, helping the Spartans annually produce outstanding defenses. He coached eight all-conference performers and two FCS All-Americans in his 10 years at the school. In 2011, the Spartans ranked second in FCS in total defense, won the MEAC title, earned a FCS Playoff berth and were crowned as the Black College national champion.

In his final season at NSU, the Spartans had the second-ranked defense in FCS.

He was the defensive line coach at Miami Norland High School from 2003-04, mentoring three all-state defenders who earned Division I scholarships. He also coached NFL stars Antonio Brown and Richard Gordon at the school.

A native of Miami, Fla., Thurston has an outstanding track record of recruiting high level players from the talent-rich Miami area.

Thurston was an all-state prep defensive end before earning a scholarship at West Virginia, starting three seasons for the Mountaineers from 1997-99 at rush linebacker.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia in 2003.

Thurston has a wife, Virginia, and two children: Major and Jada.

 

JUSTIN CUMMINGS-MARROW | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

ustin Cummings-Morrow is in his third season as a graduate assistant for recruiting.

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.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Cummings-Morrow was a defensive end at Toledo from 2012-14, joining the team as a walk-on after a successful prep career at Colerain High School.

Cummings-Morrow, who earned his degree from Toledo in 2015, was a student assistant for the Rocket football team during the 2015 season.

 

GREG BRABENEC | DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Greg Brabenec is in his third season as Director of Football Operations at Iowa State. He served in a similar role on Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell’s staff at Toledo from 2014-15.

Brabenec is responsible for coordinating most non-coaching aspects of the Cyclone football program, including budget, team travel, daily schedules and team meals. 

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.

Before serving as head operations coordinator at Toledo, he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the Rockets, working primarily with the defense.

Brabenec served an undergraduate student assistant with the Bowling Green football program from 2007-10, earning his bachelor’s degree in sport management in 2011. In 2011, he coached outside linebackers at Lindsey Wilson College (KY).

Brabenec attended Olmsted Falls High School (OH) where he played football and baseball.

 

TAYLOR WILHELM | DIRECTOR OF NEW MEDIA
 

Taylor Wilhelm is in his third season as director of new media for the Iowa State football program. Wilhelm is spearheading the program’s efforts in creating graphics and videos for social media and recruiting.

Wilhelm also helps produce graphics for branding and promotions of the program. 

A native of Greenwich, Ohio, Wilhelm was a video graduate assistant at Toledo in 2015. He was responsible for created graphics/flyers for social media and recruiting purposes, as well as managing social media for the football program.

Wilhelm was a member of the Malone (OH) University football team for four years, earning All-GLIAC Academic honors. He was the recipient of the John Thomas Unsung Hero Award at the school.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting/business administration at Malone University (Canton, Ohio) in 2015.

Taylor and his wife, Shannon, reside in Ames.

 

ERICA GENISE | EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Erica Genise is in her seventh season as an Executive Assistant with the Iowa State football program.

Genise has over 20 years of experience working in administration roles for football programs.

A 1993 graduate of Iowa, Genise began her career as a coaching assistant for the Minnesota Vikings from 1993-97.

She was hired by Stanford in 1997 as an assistant to the head football coach on Tyrone Willingham’s staff.

Genise followed Willingham to Notre Dame in 2002 where she was the director of football operations until 2004. She again assumed the role of director of football operations for Willingham’s staff at Washington from 2005-08.

A native of Mason City, Iowa, Genise and her husband, John, have a son, Benji.

 

AARON HILLMANN | DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

Aaron Hillmann is in his second season as Director of Player Development for the Cyclone football program.

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.

Hillmann was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Illinois football program from 2012-15. He was hired in January 2012 as a member of Tim Beckman’s first coaching staff with the Illini.

Hillmann, who has over 20 years of experience in collegiate athletics, was named a master strength and conditioning coach in 2013 by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA), the profession’s highest honor.

Prior to his time at Illinois, Hillmann worked with the Michigan football program after spending nine seasons as the head strength and conditioning coach at Bowling Green University where he oversaw all 18 sports.

Hillmann also served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Notre Dame (1998-2001), Connecticut (1996-98), Cincinnati (1995-96) and Ball State (1992-95).

A native of St. Louis, Mo., Hillmann graduated from Missouri in 1991. He and his wife, Dina, have two sons, Jacob and Jonah, and a daughter, Skylar.

 

MICHAEL SALTUS | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE MEDIA

Michael Saltus is in his second season as Assistant Director of Creative Media for the Iowa State football program.

Saltus is responsible for production of social media videos, weekly highlights and other informational videos.

A native of Centreville, Virginia, Saltus spent the 2016 season as a video assistant with the Tennessee Titans.

Saltus earned his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia in 2016, spending multiple seasons as a student video assistant for the Mountaineer football program and athletics department.

 

JIM HOFHER | SENIOR OFFENSIVE ANALYST

Jim Hofher, who owns 37 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 13 years as a head coach in Division I, is in his third season on the Cyclone football staff.

Hofher, who was the passing game coordinator at ISU from 2016-17, assists the Cyclone offense as senior offensive analyst/assistant to the head coach. 

Hofher has served as a head coach twice during his career, leading Buffalo for five seasons from 2001-05 and Cornell for eight seasons in 1990-97. He holds the highest winning percentage by a coach in Cornell's modern history and he led Buffalo to the program's first-ever wins over opponents from the Big East (Rutgers and UConn), Conference USA (Central Florida) and independent schools (Army).

Hofher, a former college quarterback at Cornell, made an immediate impression on the Cyclone offense in his first two seasons in Ames.

Shuffling three quarterbacks who earned starts in 2017, the Cyclones never missed a step, recording one of the best seasons 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.

His work with Kyle Kempt in 2017 will go down in the annals. Kempt, a fifth-year senior who had attempted just two passes in his career, earned his first career start against No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., on Oct. 7th.

Under Hofher’s guidance, Kempt threw for 343 yards (18-of-24) and three touchdowns to lead the Cyclones to a 38-31 victory, the school’s first win over a top-five opponent on the road.

Kempt continued his success throughout the season, going 5-3 as a starter and breaking the school record for completion percentage in a season at 66.3 percent. He also passed for 15 touchdowns in just eight games, tying for fifth on ISU’s season chart.

Freshman quarterback Zeb Noland also thrived under Hofher’s coaching. Spelling an injured Kempt in the second half vs. Oklahoma State, Noland threw for 263 yards, the fifth-best single-game rookie total in ISU history. Noland also won in his first career start at Baylor.

By the end of the season, the Cyclone passing attack was the best in school history, breaking the school record and ranking 30th nationally in passing yards per game (272.9). ISU also set a school record with five 300-yard passing games and accumulated 27 passing touchdowns, the second-best total in school history.

Three of the top four players on ISU’s career passer rating list (1. Kempt, 146.1; 2. Jacob Park, 137.1; 4. Joel Lanning, 130.6) and three of the top eight quarterbacks on ISU’s career completion percentage chart (1. Kempt, 66.5; 2. Park, 60.1; 8. Lanning, 57.1) are Hofher protégés.

In 2016, Hofher successfully navigated a dual-QB system with both Park and Lanning.

The duo combined for over 3,000 yards passing – ranking second all-time in passing yards per game at 258.8 – and produced two of the top three passer efficiency games in the history of the program (235.56 vs. Texas Tech; 224.29 vs. San Jose State).

The Cyclones recorded four 300-yard passing games during the year, including two alone by Park, who showed incredible promise late in the season as the primary signal-caller. Park ended the season by completing 58.8 percent of his passes, the 11th-best tally in school history.

Hofher was an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Nevada from 2013-15, helping the Wolfpack qualify to bowl games in 2014 and 2015. Nevada finished 7-6 and played in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in 2014 and participated in the Arizona Bowl in 2015.

Nevada defeated Colorado State, 28-23 in the 2015 Arizona Bowl to end the season at 7-6. Hofher took over play-calling duties in the bowl victory after offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich left to take the head coaching job at Hawaii.

Hofher’s work with the Wolfpack receivers was exceptional. In 2015, a pair of wideouts registered 700-yard receiving seasons in Jerico Richardson and Hasaan Henderson. Richy Turner was Nevada’s star receiver in 2014, leading the team in receptions and ending his career ranking 18th in career receptions among active Division I players.

Hofher’s stint at Nevada was preceded by a four-year stay (2009-12) as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Delaware. He helped the Blue Hens to an appearance in the 2010 FCS Championship game.

Prior to his tenure at Delaware, Hofher served as quarterbacks coach at Bowling Green during the 2008 campaign.

Hofher was the head coach at Buffalo from 2001-2005 in the initial years the school was transitioning into FBS competition. Prior to that, he was the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse (2000) and North Carolina (1998-99) after a successful eight-year run as the head coach of Cornell.

He posted a record of 45-35 while at Cornell, including a mark of 33-23 in Ivy League play. The 33 league victories are the most of any Cornell head coach in program history and his winning percentage of .589 also ranks No. 1. During his tenure as head coach, the Big Red played for two league titles, winning one, and set 170 team or individual records for game, season and career standards at Cornell. In addition, he had two players selected in the NFL Draft and two players sign NFL free agent contracts.

Hofher has also been an assistant coach at Wake Forest (1983-86), Miami (Ohio) (1981-82), Tennessee (1989) and Syracuse (1987-88). He was the quarterbacks coach at Tennessee in 1989 when the Volunteers won the Cotton Bowl and were SEC tri-champions. He mentored former NFL quarterback Andy Kelly while at Tennessee.

Prior to his stint at Tennessee, he served three seasons as running backs coach at Wake Forest from 1983-86 prior to his first appointment at Syracuse. Hofher's first full-time collegiate coaching experience was at Miami where he served as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach from 1981-82.

During his collegiate coaching career, Hofher has coached in eight bowl games.

A three-year letter winner at Cornell, Hofher was the starting quarterback and led the team in passing yardage from 1976-78. He played two years under two-time Super Bowl champion head coach George Seifert.

A 1979 graduate of Cornell, Hofher was an All-ECAC player for the Big Red. He also earned academic scholarships through Cornell, Psi Upsilon and the Sphinxhead Honorary Society.

He was selected to the Xavier (Conn.) High School Hall of Honor in 1992 and the Middletown (Conn.) Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Hofher and his wife, Cathy, have three daughters: Tara, Shannon and Molly.