Western Courier

Hendrickson has his men

Tom Loftus sports editor

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No doubt about it: Mark Hendrickson is serious about returning his Western Illinois football program to title contention. Not after a rebuilding period, not in a few years – now.

On Wednesday, the veteran Leathernecks coach completed the overhaul of his coaching staff, bringing on board another assistant with a stellar resume.

Former Miami (Ohio) University quarterback and assistant coach Jared Elliott joins the Leatherneck football program as quarterbacks coach.

Elliott spent the 2010 season on the RedHawks staff with recently promoted Leathernecks offensive coordinator KiJuan Ware. Elliott helped coach the quarterbacks, was responsible for film breakdown, and helped in recruiting and managed the scout teams. Last fall, Elliott worked with Miami’s offensive line and tight ends.

“I am very excited to announce the hiring of our new quarterbacks coach, Jared Elliott,” Hendrickson said. “Jared worked with (offensive coordinator) KiJuan (Ware) at Miami of Ohio so they already have a positive working relationship.

“Our quarterbacks will benefit from Jared being able to focus all of his energies on them. They will enjoy his passion and expertise for the game of football. I know Jared will be a great fit with our program and in the community.”

Elliott spent two seasons (2008-09) as an assistant coach at Missouri Southern in charge of the wide receivers. He conducted position meetings, film study, assisted in game planning, monitored the academic progress of his position group and ran field drills.

A four-year player at Miami (2004-07), Elliott played quarterback and wide receiver for the RedHawks. During his collegiate career, he was part of three Mid-American Conference championships (2004, 2006 co-champs and 2007 co-champs) and the 2004 Independence Bowl. He received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health with a minor in coaching.

Hendrickson, whose first full season as head coach was 2010, but who joined the Leatherneck coaching staff in 1999, suffered through a disappointing 2011 season. Western finished just 2-9, and wound up last in the highly competitive Missouri Valley Football Conference.

Just one year earlier, Hendrickson coached the Leathernecks to an 8-5 mark, second in the MVFC, and was runner-up for FCS Coach of the Year award. Western advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs that season.

Hendrickson hired Brian Ward as his new defensive coordinator Feb. 7, and followed that by promoting KiJuan Ware from running backs coach to offensive coordinator Feb. 18.


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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Hendrickson has his men