UND’s Schweigert filling out defensive coaches
GRAND FORKS — The defensive portion of new University of North Dakota coach Bubba Schweigert’s initial coaching staff is starting to take shape.
Schweigert added two more assistants Tuesday, naming Jordan Gigli as his defensive line coach and Marty Rodgers as his defensive backs coach.
With the additions of Gigli and Rodgers to his staff, Schweigert has now filled four of nine openings. He named his offensive (Paul Rudolph) and defensive (Eric Schmidt) coordinators late last week.
The rest of the staff should come together shortly as national signing day for prospective student-athletes approaches on Feb. 5.
Gigli has spent the last three seasons in a similar position at Sacramento State, a Big Sky Conference member.
“Jordan brings us Big Sky experience and brings a wide variety of recruiting experience, including in the Midwest and in areas where we will need to be competitive in the Big Sky,” Schweigert said. “He has California ties and has a great reputation to motivate his players to put forth great effort on the field.”
Prior to his time with the Hornets, Gigli was a defensive and special teams quality control coach at Minnesota for four seasons (2007-10) under since-fired head coach Tim Brewster.
His primary duties with the Gophers were coaching the defensive line along with the placekickers, punters and long snappers.
“I watched coach Schweigert’s press conference, and I’m excited for the chance to work with a man that is genuine and is that compassionate about the university and the game of football,” Gigli said. “I could not be more thrilled to get started.”
Gigli was an all-conference performer and team captain during his playing days at Trine University (2000-03) and holds a master’s degree from Western Illinois where he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach (2004-05). His first full-time coaching job came at Wittenberg University (Ohio) during the 2006 season.
Rodgers has multiple connections to UND’s staff. He played safety for Schweigert at Southern Illinois (2006-09) and spent one season as a graduate assistant coach with the Salukis (2012). He will also reunite with Rudolph after serving as his defensive backs coach at Minot State in 2013.
“Marty brings to us both the experience as a player and a coach in a 3-4 pressure defense,” Schweigert said. “He was the toughest player we had at Southern Illinois in my six years there. If we can find safeties like him, we are going to be in good shape.”
Rodgers was a two-time All-Missouri Conference performer during his playing days at SIU and has worked the previous two seasons in 3-4 defenses at his alma mater and Minot State.
“It gets me back to my origins and what I know best,” Rodgers said. “I’ll be working with a group of guys that took a chance on me as a player and are doing the same for me as a coach.”