A: Consider this: Tucson’s Rich Ellerson, who in my opinion was one of the three or four leading defensive coordinators in Pac-10/12 history while at Arizona, was Southern Utah’s head coach in the 1990s. Wisconsin/Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen was head coach at Southern Utah 15 years ago. BYU head coach Kilane Sitake was on SUU’s staff in 2003 and 2004.
And BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb, who designed a defensive package that stopped Arizona’s Khalil Tate in his tracks two weeks ago, was the head coach at SUU from 2008-15.
The rising coaching name on SUU’s staff is offensive coordinator Justin Walterscheid, son of former SUU and Chicago Bears starting safety Len Walterscheid. Justin Walterscheid got his chance to run the Thunderbirds’ offense when Gary Crowton, former head coach at BYU, and offensive coordinator at Oregon, LSU and the Chicago Bears, resigned in 2015. Walterscheid, who also coached at Utah and played for the Arizona Rattlers, has thrived. Once on board, SUU has won two Big Sky titles in three seasons.