As Mike Sanford assembles his first Western Kentucky staff, he’s officially added one very familiar familial face along with a side-order of name recognition.
Following up on speculation that had been growing for the last week or so, Sanford announced the addition of the first three on-field assistants to his WKU coaching staff. Included in that group is Mike Sanford Sr., the father of the head coach, as well as Steve Spurrier Jr., the son of Florida and South Carolina coaching legend.
Sanford Sr., who stepped down as the head coach at FCS Indiana State after a four-year run earlier this month, will serve as his son’s special teams coordinator and running backs coach, while Spurrier Jr., director of high school recruiting and offensive specialist at Oklahoma this past season, will coach quarterbacks as well as hold the title of assistant head coach. The elder Sanford was also the head coach at UNLV from 2005-09. Spurrier Jr. had been an assistant on his father’s South Carolina staff for 11 seasons.
The third hire is Jami DeBerry as safeties coach as well as recruiting coordinator. DeBerry had spent the past four seasons on the elder Sanford’s ISU staff.
“I am thrilled to be able to add not only three outstanding football coaches but exceptional motivators and mentors to our coaching staff,” Sanford said in a statement. “All three coaches come from winning pedigrees and understand what is required to achieve success at the highest levels with backgrounds as national champions and consistent bowl contenders.
“They will also be great representatives of WKU in the community and on the recruiting trail.”
Sanford still has six positions on his initial Hilltoppers staff left to fill.