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Defensive Coaching Staff

Kent Baer
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers

Montana head football coach Bobby Hauck has built his staff with coaches that hold a lot of ties to the Grizzly football program and the state of Montana.

While his newest staff addition may not have any direct ties to the program, Hauck has been trying to team up with him for almost his entire head coaching career.

After some near misses in Missoula a decade ago and years spent on opposite sidelines, Hauck will finally join forces with coaching veteran Kent Baer, who has been hired as the Grizzlies' next defensive coordinator.

"Coach Baer is a highly respected defensive mind in the world of college football," said Hauck. "I coached against him at many different stops over the years, and even tried to hire him twice previously at Montana. He has more experience than some entire staffs around the country, and I am thrilled he has chosen to join us and lead our defense."

A two-time nominee and a 2002 finalist for the Frank Broyles award for the nation's top assistant, Baer comes to Montana from UNLV with nearly 45 years of coaching experience at the highest levels of college football.

Baer is a native of Logan, Utah, and a member of the Utah State Hall of Fame - inducted in 2017 alongside former Griz basketball coach Stew Morrill.

He has had served as the defensive coordinator for nine different FBS programs and returns to the FCS/DI-AA ranks for the first time since 1986 when he was the defensive coordinator at Idaho.

"Growing up around the Mountain West, I always knew how rabid Montana fans are, and thought it would be a tremendous place to coach," said Baer. "Coach Hauck is a great head coach, and he is putting together a great staff. I am very excited to finally be a part of it."

Baer has coached in nine bowl games during his career, as well as the DI-AA playoffs in his lone year with the Vandals. In three of those bowl seasons his teams finished the year ranked in the Associated Press Top 25: California (16, 1991), Notre Dame (17, 2002) and San Jose State (21, 2012).

Known for an emphasis in stopping the run, Baer has produced several of the nation's top defenses.

As the defensive coordinator at Arizona State in 1992, Baer's Sun Devil defense ranked No. 7 nationally in total defense, allowing less than 269 yards per game and four yards per play.

In 2002 at Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish ranked No. 9 nationally in scoring defense, No. 10 in pass efficiency defense and rush defense, and No. 13 in total defense, allowing just five rushing touchdowns all year. He was recognized that season as one of five Broyles Award finalists.

During San Jose State's improbable 11-2 season in 2012, the Spartans finished with the No. 24 best overall defense in the nation and the No. 19 rush defense, allowing less than 345 yards per game and finishing the year ranked in the top five in seven different categories en route to a Military Bowl victory over Bowling Green and. He was also nominated for the Broyles Award that season and served as SJSU's interim head coach after Mike MacIntyre left for Colorado.

Baer says he hopes to bring the same stamp of physicality to his defenses at Montana.

"We are going to hang our hat on two main things: we're going to play hard, and we're going to be physical. I think that's what Montana has been known for in the past and I think we can do that again. I'm excited about it," he said.

He has coached under several of the greatest head coaches in college football, including Bruce Snyder (Utah State, Cal, Arizona State), Keith Gilbertson (Idaho), Tyrone Willingham (Stanford, Notre Dame, Washington), and Dick Tomey (San Jose State). He also coached under MacIntyre, the 2016 Pac-12 and AP Coach of the Year, at SJSU and CU.

Snyder gave Baer his first college coaching job in 1977, coaching Utah State's outside linebackers for six seasons before being named defensive coordinator in 1983. After one season at Idaho, he rejoined Snyder at Cal where he served as the Golden Bears' DC for five seasons (1987-91).

He then followed Snyder to Arizona State until 1994 when he was hired by Willingham at Stanford to coach the linebackers. He then orchestrated Willingham's defenses for nine-straight seasons, stating in Palo Alto (1999-2001), followed by stints at Notre Dame (2002-04) and Washington (2005-07).

In 2008, he joined Dick Tomey's staff at San Jose State as linebacker coach, and when MacIntyre took over the program in 2010, Baer stayed on as defensive coordinator.

Baer was a standout linebacker for the at Utah State. A three-time letterman, he led the team in tackles as a senior with 114 during the Aggie's 8-3 season. He graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Recreation.

After graduating, he moved to Japan where he was the head football coach for Yokosuka Seahawks from 1973-76 (a member of a service league featuring military bases). He was the director of athletics and recreation for the commander of naval forces there before returning to Utah State.

He graduated from Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah, where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He has three adult sons, Brian, Aaron James (A.J.) and Steven. His son A.J. coached alongside him at both San Jose State and Colorado, serving as the director of recruiting.


Barry Sacks
Defensive Line

Head football coach Bobby Hauck has added veteran coach and University of Montana alumnus Barry Sacks to his staff, bringing more than 30 years of coaching experience to the team as the Grizzlies’ defensive line coach.

“Barry is a Montana alum who provides a wealth of experience from around the western United States,” said Hauck. “He has a great passion for coaching defensive football and for the University of Montana. He is a high energy, high effort, college football coach, which is exactly what we are looking for on our defensive line.”

Recruited by former Griz head coach Jack Swarthout, Sacks was a four-year letterman at UM who played linebacker from 1976-79 and earned a bachelor of science degree in health education and physical education. Known as one of the team’s hardest hitters, he posted 79 tackles (10 solo) and had one interception his senior season.

He returns to his alma mater and the city he calls “the crown jewel of Montana” after one season as the defensive coordinator at Humboldt State. Before that, he spent 18 seasons coaching at the FBS level in the Mountain West Conference (formally the WAC), the Pac-12 Conference and professionally for the San Jose Sabercats of the AFL. He also helped coach Boise State to the 1994 D1-AA (now FCS) national championship game.

“There has always been an urge for me to come back to Missoula, and it has been ever-present in my mind through all the coaching zig-zags in my life. This place is the grassroots of my life in a big way,” said Sacks.

“My love for Missoula and the university has only increased over the years because you become a lot more aware of how well it’s done football-wise, athletically, how great a school it is, and what a great place Missoula is.”

Sacks and Hauck coached against one another three times in the “Battle for Nevada” during Hauck’s tenure at UNLV from 2010-12. Sacks and the Wolf Pack defeated the Rebels in all three of those encounters, and in 2011 the Nevada defense shut out UNLV 37-0 to win the Fremont Cannon.

They also coached against one another after Sacks returned to the Mountain West Conference for two seasons at New Mexico and a season at San Jose State following one season in the Pac-12 at California in 2013.

The two Montana grads now join forces on the sideline at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

“Coach Hauck and I have had a great relationship over the years. I’ve always admired the kind of football coach he is, his coaching style, and the type of person he is. I’ve followed his career and saw how successful he was here at Montana, and, as an alum, I was very proud of that success from a distance,” says Sacks. “It’s a dream come true to be back here. If I die out on that field, my life will be complete.”

At Humboldt State, Sacks helped coach the Lumberjacks to and 8-2 overall record and the second-best rushing defense in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC).

As the D-line coach at San Jose State in 2016, Sacks coached the Mountain West Conference’s leader in sacks and current Chicago Bear Isaiah Irving, who posted seven sacks for a total loss of 48 yards in conference play.

Coach Sacks’ D-lines at New Mexico (2014-15) also saw an increase in sacks, totaling 24 in 2014, up from just 16 the season before.

Sacks coached future NFL defensive tackle Deandre Coleman during the 2013 season at Cal.  Coleman earned a Phil Steele third-team All-Pac-12 honor under Sacks’ guidance, leading all Golden Bear defensive linemen with 40 tackles.

Sacks spent 11 seasons on the coaching staff at Nevada before his arrival at Cal, with the Wolf Pack playing in bowl games each of his final eight campaigns.

The energetic and enthusiastic coach served in a number of roles during his 11 seasons at Nevada from 2002-12 but was a mainstay on the defensive line in his later seasons.

He developed some of the top pass rushers in Nevada school history, most notably third-round NFL draftee Dontay Moch, who set the WAC record for career TFLs, and first-team All-WAC D-end Kevin Basped, who ranked No. 21 in the nation in sacks his senior season.

Sacks spent three seasons as Nevada’s co-defensive coordinator from 2004-06, helping the Wolf Pack rank 30th in the nation in 2006 in scoring defense (19.15 points per game allowed) and post the country’s 21st-ranked passing defense (190.33 yards per game allowed) in 2004.

Sacks went to Nevada after one-year as the defensive coordinator with the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League in 2001. Before that, he served as defensive coordinator in his first stint at San Jose State from 1998-2000. Sacks also spent one season as co-offensive coordinator at D-II Adams (Colo.) State in 1997.

No stranger to the Big Sky Conference, he spent four seasons as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Boise State (1993-96), with the Broncos reaching the Division I-AA finals in 1994. BSU also won the conference championship that year, handing the Griz their second conference loss, a 38-14 contest in Boise that saw the Broncos tally a staggering 13 sacks against Montana.

Sacks began his college coaching career with seven seasons as the defensive line coach at, then, D-II Portland State (1986-92), where he coached on five teams that reached the playoffs.

Sacks and his wife, Teresa, have two children: Alexandra and Philip.


Shann Schillinger
Safeties

Schillinger enters his second season coaching at his alma mater under head coach Bob Stitt in 2017.

He returned to Missoula to coach the safeties from the University of Nebraska, where the Baker, Mont., native served as a special teams assistant for the Huskers under former Montana assistant coach Bruce Read, son of legendary Grizzly coach Don Read.

Prior to coaching the Huskers, Schillinger coached at Dickenson State University in North Dakota where his brother, Jace, is the offensive coordinator. Shann assisted the Bluehawks as a wide receivers and special teams coach.

Schillinger was a safety in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans from 2010 - 2013. The Tony Barbour Award winner for the Griz was the 171st overall pick in the 2010 draft, signing with the Falcons in the sixth round. He ranked third on the Falcons in special teams tackles in 2010 and second in 2011.

He and his wife, Ericka, have two daughters, Lenex (2) and Malloy (1).


C.J. Cox
Cornerbacks

Montana head coach Bobby Hauck has added former Sacramento State cornerbacks coach C.J. Cox to his staff to coach the same position for the Grizzlies. The two coaches have a long history together, with Cox having played for, then coached under Hauck at UNLV.

“C.J. is a terrific young football coach. I’ve known him since the mid-point of his college career and got a chance to be his boss as a graduate assistant and personnel coach,” said Hauck.  “He is a quality person, and his experience in Texas, Nevada, and in Sacramento will help us with recruiting and game planning down the road.”

A native of Garland, Texas, Cox played for three years at UNLV before retiring due to injury. He then worked as a student assistant before spending three years as a graduate assistant for the Rebels.

Cox officially began his coaching career in 2016 as the recruiting coordinator and director of player personnel at his alma mater. He then moved on to Sac State to become the Hornet’s cornerback coach in 2017.

“I consider Coach Hauck as one of my mentors, and I have tremendous respect for him,” said Cox. “It is good to be back working with him because I know what I am getting myself into. I know he is a good coach and an even better person.”

Cox’s connections with the Grizzly program don’t stop there, either. He was recruited to play running back at UNLV, and, as a player, spent time working with current Grizzly offensive line coach Chad Germer. Cox also served as the graduate assistant for new Montana offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach during his time as the OC at UNLV.

“I know those coaches like the back of my hand,” said Cox. “It is awesome to be back with them.”

At Sac State, Cox tutored All-Big Sky cornerback Dre Terrell, who led the league in interceptions last fall with five and was third in passes defended (1.27 per game). Terrell was also named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week in mid-September. With the help of Cox, the Hornets posted the fourth-best total defense in the Big Sky in 2017 under Big Sky Coach of the Year Jody Sears.

A three-year letter winner for the Rebels, Cox began his career as a running back and amassed 420 yards rushing before swapping over to defense. Cox ranked as the nation's No. 76 safety prospect by Scout coming out of high school and received scholarship offers as a defensive back from programs such as Wisconsin, Nebraska and Oklahoma State.

He earned Academic All-Mountain West honors in 2008 as a political science major with aspirations of joining the FBI.