Dec. 18, 2014
Steckel Announces Initial Staff Additions
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Bears head football coach Dave Steckel did not have to look far to complete his initial Missouri State coaching roster, tabbing four current or former University of Missouri graduate assistants for full-time roles on MSU's 2015 staff. Steckel announced the hiring of Peter Badovinac (linebackers), Mack Brown (tight ends/special teams), John Egorugwu (wide receivers) and Munir Prince (running backs) as assistant coaches Thursday, just four days after his own appointment as the 20th head coach in MSU history.
The new group of coaches puts the finishing touches on Steckel's staff, following Wednesday's announcement of the hiring of offensive coordinator Mario Verduzco (quarterbacks), defensive coordinator Marcus Yokeley (cornerbacks), assistant coaches Kenji Jackson (safeties) and Chris Morton (defensive line), as well as the retention of Sean Coughlin (offensive line).
All four of the new hires - which are expected to be formally approved by the Missouri State Board of Governors at its next scheduled meeting on Jan. 21 -- have direct ties to Steckel and the University of Missouri football program and will officially begin their roles at MSU following the Tigers' Jan. 1 Citrus Bowl appearance.
"I'm excited to be able to bring in such a talented batch of young coaches," Steckel commented. "Each of these guys either played or coached under us at Mizzou and they all bring tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm to the table, as well as an understanding of how we plan to put this program together."
Assisting the Bears as linebackers coach, Badovinac (pronounced buh-DOE-vuh-nack) joins the MSU staff after spending the past two years working at Mizzou, where he helped the Tigers to a 22-5 overall record and back-to-back SEC East titles. He began his MU tenure as a recruiting graduate assistant, working to develop and implement the Tigers' recruiting plans. He moved into the role of defensive graduate assistant prior to the start of the 2013 season, assisting Steckel with oversight of the MU linebackers and the coordination of the Tigers' day-to-day practice preparations and scouting operations.
Badovinac joined the Missouri staff following the completion of his own playing career as a quarterback at Michigan State, where he was a part of the Spartans' 2010 Big Ten championship team. The Inverness, Ill., native started his collegiate career at FCS member Drake University, picking up Pioneer League Academic Honor Roll recognition in 2008. He earned his undergraduate degree in general business from Michigan State in 2012 and completed his master's program in education and school counseling at MU this fall.
Brown will work with the Bears tight ends and oversee the MSU special teams following a three-year stay as a graduate assistant at Missouri. Like Badovinac, Brown started as a recruiting GA before expanding his role with the Tigers coaching staff. He moved into the role of offensive quality control graduate assistant prior to the 2012 season, assisting the Mizzou offensive staff with the development and implementation of offensive schemes and scouting evaluations, as well as the execution of various administrative duties. For the past two seasons, Brown has worked with the Tigers tight ends as an offensive graduate assistant, helping MU post dramatic statistical improvements in numerous offensive categories and two straight Southeastern Conference East Division championships.
After earning his bachelor's degree in education from Baker University, Brown began his coaching career as an assistant coach at William Jewell College, working with the Cardinals wideouts during the 2010 season. He also served as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Lawrence (Kan.) High School the following fall before beginning his graduate coaching experience at MU. As a player, Brown was a first-team All-HAAC performer in 2008 and a three-time NAIA Academic All-American for Baker, leading the Wildcats to their first NAIA playoff berth in 15 years. The Overland Park, Kan., product also completed a master's degree in health, physical education and recreation from Emporia State in 2011.
Egorugwu (pronounced EGG-or-oo-goo) will oversee the development of the MSU wide receivers after completing a four-year apprenticeship at Missouri in three different graduate capacities. The Kansas City, Mo., native worked on both sides of the ball for the Tigers, serving as an offensive graduate assistant the last two years and helping a pair of MU wide receivers earn All-SEC honors. During the 2011 and 2012 campaigns, Egorugwu tutored the Tigers defensive backs as a defensive GA following his introduction to the Mizzou program as a recruiting assistant. He earned a master's degree in education and counseling psychology in 2014 after completing a dual undergraduate degree in accounting and business administration from William Jewell in 2008.
A standout linebacker for Jewell during his playing days, Egorugwu was a four-year starter and two-time All-HAAC honoree for the Cardinals. He worked in the corporate realm for UMB Bank for two years before returning to Jewell's campus to begin his coaching career as an assistant coach working with the program's inside linebackers in 2010. In his one season on staff, Egorugwu saw a pair of his pupils garner all-conference recognition while helping coach a Jewell defense that ranked 13th national in total defense.
Prince (first name pronounced muh-NEAR) comes to Springfield after a brief stint as an assistant coach at Drake University, where he coached the Bulldogs' interior receivers. The St. Louis native worked as an account executive for Drake IMG Sports Marketing for one year before joining the DU coaching staff this past summer. Prince, who will work with the Bears running backs, earned two degrees from Missouri, finishing his bachelor's degree in business management in 2010, before completing an MBA program while assisting Gary Pinkel's coaching staff as an offensive quality control graduate assistant.
As a player, Prince was a part of two Big 12 North Division championship teams and three bowl-qualifying squads during his own playing career as a defensive back for the Tigers. He began his career at Notre Dame, playing in 20 total games as a running back and defensive back during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
"Munir is an extremely bright young coach who not only played for us, but also got his start in coaching with our staff in Columbia," Steckel added. "He's been able to go out and gain a new perspective at Drake, and we're looking forward to having him on board here at Missouri State."
Steckel will begin his duties at Missouri State in January after Missouri's New Year's Day bowl game against Minnesota in Orlando.