Jan. 31, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald today announced the hiring of Dennis Springer as the Wildcats' new wide receivers coach. Springer brings to Evanston over 15 years of Division I coaching experience.
"We're extremely excited to have someone with the experience of Dennis Springer join our football family," said Fitzgerald. "He is a great coach and a great mentor and has established himself as a great motivator and recruiter as well. Dennis is going to be a major asset to our football team and we're glad to have him aboard."
Springer comes to Northwestern after spending the past three seasons at Indiana University, serving as the assistant head coach and running backs coach, as well as the Hoosiers' co-special teams coordinator. Springer's best rushing season in Bloomington came in 2008 when Indiana finished sixth in the Big Ten with 2,003 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns. The Hoosiers averaged 4.5 yards per carry for the year, posting their best rushing season since 2001.
On special teams, Indiana ranked third in the Big Ten in 2010 in kickoff returns, averaging 23.1 yards after racking up 1,476 yards on 64 returns. Tandon Doss led the Hoosiers with 1,016 yards on 41 returns (24.8 yard average).
Prior to his stint at Indiana, Springer spent one season as the defensive secondary coach at Western Kentucky University as the Hilltoppers made the transition from the Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
Springer's coaching career has its roots in the Mid-American Conference as he spent four seasons at Bowling Green State University prior to joining the staff at WKU. Springer was in charge of the running backs from 2003 to 2005 before making the transition to the defensive side of the ball, taking responsibility of the safeties for the 2006 season. He helped guide the Falcons to the 2003 MAC West Division title and a 28-24 victory over Northwestern in the Motor City Bowl. BGSU also won the 2004 GMAC Bowl, defeating Memphis 52-35, and captured the 2005 MAC East Division championship.
While at Bowling Green, Springer worked with Northwestern's current offensive coordinator, Mick McCall
"Without question, both myself and my family are excited to be a part of the Northwestern tradition," said Springer. "To be able to work with a man like Coach Fitzgerald and his staff is a great opportunity for me, and I'm looking forward to being part of something special here."
Springer's lengthiest tenure came at Ball State University where he spent 10 seasons with the Cardinals in a handful of capacities. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the 1993 and 1994 seasons before being promoted to wide receivers coach in 1995. Springer filled that role until the 1999 season when he resumed responsibility of the outside linebackers, a position he held for two years before being named the defensive secondary coach for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Ball State made a pair of appearances in the Las Vegas Bowl (1993, 1996) during that time.
A Fort Wayne, Ind., native, Springer earned his bachelor of science in secondary education from Butler University in 1993 after helping the Bulldogs to three Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference championships. Springer also served as a team captain of the 1991 team.
Springer and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Sophia (5) and Sydney (2).
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