A Newberry Defense at Kennesaw State
Kennesaw State announced the hiring of Brian Newberry as the defensive coordinator for the developing Owls football team. Newberry has an impressive resume and should bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the schools program.
Coach Newberry comes to Kennesaw State from the University of Northern Michigan. While there, the Wildcats posted a 5-7 record and in five of the losses, the opposing team scored 40+ points. In an article in the Mining Journal, Coach Newberry said, “I’m a competitor and its human nature as a defensive coordinator, defensive coach, you don’t want to give up points. It’s frustrating, but I think we’re taking steps to getting it corrected.
“We’re getting better despite giving up 40 to a very, very good Ashland team,” said Coach Newberry after a 42-13 loss. The defense did get better as the season moved on, however, they still gave up a lot of points. But you must look deeper at the teams that Northern Michigan competed against. Ashland finished the season 11-1 and the other teams that put up 40+ points finished with a total record of 29-13 (.690). Coach Newberry talked about the adjustments he makes and his coaching philosophy. “What we want to do is get our best players on the field,” Newberry said. “It’s never about age or youth or anything like that. We’re trying to get the guys on the field that give us the best chance to win.
“We have to develop a trust, a bond with those kids back there that we feel comfortable with. We’re pretty multiple in our coverages. We put a lot on those guys. There’s a lot of moving parts. If one of those moving parts isn’t correct and is not linked with the others, then you have problems,” said Newberry to the Mining Journal.
UNM and Coach Newberry were coaching a very young secondary group, but he got the players to buy in. A transfer student Brandon Parsons told the Mining Journal that he liked Coach Newberry’s scheme, because it emphasizes playing fast and getting after the ball and puts him in position to make plays. “This defense is more key reading, so we really read our keys and rely on what we see. We just react, play fast and get to the ball,” Parson said. “I’ve improved on my tackling and my knack for the ball. I feel like I’m zoned in and ready.”
Prior to Northern Michigan, Coach Newberry spent time at Elon University, where he was the defensive backs coach for now Ball State Head Coach Pete Lembo. The two also coached together at Lehigh University. “He’s coached position for a number of years and he’s also been a defensive coordinator for a couple of years. He’s a detailed teacher and a good communicator; he’s very easy to work with,” said Coach Lembo in 2007. The comments from Lembo are encouraging as coaching camaraderie is the beginning of team camaraderie. Elon had a record of 24-16 while Coach Newberry was there and they never had a losing season. Ball State under Coach Lembo finished the 2012 regular season 9-3 and played in the Beef O’ Brady Bowl in Tampa, Fla.
With the experience gained at Northern Michigan, Kennesaw State is clearly getting a very experienced and tested coach that brings a fluidity to his defenses. The hiring of Coach Newberry brings the KSU football staff to seven under Head Coach Brian Bohannon. Grant Chesnut (offensive coordinator and offensive line coach), Liam Klein and Shane Bowen (assistant coaches), Tim Glanton (A-backs/slot position coach), Brett Gilliland (quarterbacks/B-backs coach), and Jay Bailey(director of football operations) round out the coaching staff with no more coaches expected to be named until after the first of the year.
Newberry was a two-year letterwinner at Baylor, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. After college, Newberry was a graduate assistant at Southern Arkansas and Rice.
SIDE NOTE: While researching this information, I found a Flickr page belonging to Coach Newberry. I strongly recommend checking it out here http://www.flickr.com/photos/bnewberry/ He is apparently quite the photographer with a creative eye. Always good to have in a defensive coordinator.