The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

March 1, 2014

MSU hires new defensive coordinator

Dickert spent last season at Augustana

MANKATO — Jake Dickert thinks he may have finally found a spot he can settle down. He and his wife Candice were going to look at houses Friday afternoon.

“It was a tough decision to leave (Augustana),” Dickert said. “That was a great place, and we feel 100 percent the same way about here. You don’t get very many opportunities like this so we’re excited to get some roots set down here.”

Dickert, who spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Augustana, has been hired to be the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota State football team.

He has been with a different program in each of the last three years.

Dickert, 30, coached five All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference defensive players last season at Augustana, helping the Vikings rank in the top 20 nationally with 19.5 points allowed per game. The Vikings were second in the conference for pass defense and third for rushing defense.

“The biggest thing is that Jake has grown up coaching in the 4-3 defense,” Minnesota State coach Aaron Keen said. “We wanted to keep some consistency in our scheme, and we’ve recruited to a four-man front and the coverage concepts that go with that. Adding a new perspective to that can be very valuable as we continue to have our defense play at a high level.”

The Mavericks ranked second in the Northern Sun for total defense, allowing 289.8 yards per game, and first in rush defense at 74.4 yards. Minnesota State allowed 17.8 points per game, second best in the conference.

“I love coming to a place with high expectations,” Dickert said. “This is one of the best jobs in the Midwest at this level, and this was too good to pass up.”

In 2012, Dickert coached defensive backs at Southeast Missouri State, and he was the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator at South Dakota in 2011. Dickert replaces Joe Klanderman, who took a job at North Dakota State during the offseason.

“Coach Klanderman and I have very similar philosophies,” Dickert said. “We want to be strong up front, and we want to get after the quarterback.”

The Mavericks are scheduled to begin spring practice on March 31.

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