Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ball State Coaching Changes, Love Returns

In the Bit-O-Good-News Department to close this Tuesday afternoon, Ball State has announced the hiring of an offensive line coach, as well as the return to the lockerroom of a very familiar face.

For the OLine coach, the position vacated by Pat Perles, the Cardinals and Stan Parrish turn to Jason Eck. From the release:
Eck spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons as the co-offensive coordinator, offensive line and tight ends coach at Winona State. He helped the team to a 10-2 overall record, the 2007 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship and the NCAA Division II Playoffs.

Eck tutored offensive tackle Nick Urban, who was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America First Team in 2008. He also coached three all-conference first team selections in each of the last two seasons.
Prior to his position at Winona State, Eck was an assistant coach at Idaho from 2004-06 under the tutelage of head coach Dennis Erickson.

Eck was the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator in 2006 after coaching the offensive line in 2004 and 2005. In 2002 and 2003, he served as an offensive graduate assistant at Colorado for head coach Gary Barnett. He assisted with the offensive line and helped the team to the 2002 Big 12 North Championship.

From 1999-2001, Eck was an offensive graduate assistant coach at his alma mater for head coach Barry Alvarez.. He helped the Badgers to the 1999 Big Ten Championship and a second straight Rose Bowl title. Eck played offensive line for Wisconsin from 1995-98 and was a member of the 1998 Big Ten Championship Team, which defeated UCLA in the Rose Bowl and gave the Badgers 11 wins in a season for the first time in school history. Eck was the Athletic Board Scholar for football at Wisconsin and a Big Ten All-Academic choice in 1998. He earned a master’s from Wisconsin in 2001.
Also providing leadership next year to the next nest of Cardinals will be one Dante Love, he of electrifying performances over the last 4 years before his football career was cut short because of injury. Dante will be in a student assistant role while wrapping up coursework, and then he will be a GA for the Cardinals next spring. A full read up on the hire, including some quotes from Parrish, can be found here.

This is, of course, a tremendously good thing for not only the program, but also Dante Love. This entire situation could have ended up dozens of ways, and truthfully, this is on the good end of the spectrum. Welcome back, Eight-Six.

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