Via U-M Media relations.
Hoke Announces Seven Staff Appointments
ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan head coach Brady Hoke announced today (Tuesday, Jan. 18) the hiring of seven staff members to his Wolverine coaching and support staff. Hoke named six of the nine assistant coaching positions and the appointment of his strength and conditioning coach.
Six members of the San Diego State staff joined Hoke in Ann Arbor. Al Borges will coordinate the offense and work with the quarterbacks, Dan Ferrigno will coordinate the special teams and coach the tight ends, Darrell Funk will coach the offensive line, Jeff Hecklinski mentors the wide receivers and Mark Smith has been appointed linebackers coach. Aaron Wellman also joined the Wolverines’ staff as the strength and conditioning coach.
Hoke rehired long time Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson to the same position on the staff. Jackson will begin his 20th season as a member of the Wolverine coaching staff in 2011.
“We have hired some great football coaches who will represent the University and Michigan football with great pride and respect for the tradition of this program,” said Hoke. “They are great teachers and mentors for young men and will work hard to help our players reach their goals.”
Hoke will continue to work on completing his coaching staff prior to signing day on Feb. 2.
Following are biographical sketches on the newly hired staff:
A two-time nominee for the Frank Boyles Assistant Coach of the Year award, Al Borges is in his first year as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and 24th year serving in that capacity at the NCAA level. A member of Brady Hoke’s staff at San Diego State in 2009 and ’10, he most recently helped lead the Aztecs to a 9-4 record in 2010 as their offensive coordinator.
In four years as Auburn’s offensive coordinator (2004-07), Borges was part of four bowl teams with a collective 42-9 record. He helped guide the Tigers to four consecutive top 15 finishes in the final Associated Press poll, including an undefeated season and a No. 2 ranking in 2004. During his tenure, Auburn defeated 12 nationally-ranked opponents, including nine teams ranked in the top nine. Four of his offensive players earned All-America honors and eight garnered first-team All-Southeast Conference accolades. Prior to that, Borges served as offensive coordinator at three Pac-10 schools: California, UCLA and Oregon.
Among his standout student-athletes were UCLA All-American, Davey O’Brien Award winner and Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Cade McNown, UCLA Outland Trophy winner Kris Farris, SEC Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Jason Campbell (Auburn) and All-American running back Carnell Williams (Auburn).
Borges and his wife, Nikki, have two children, Cole and Mady Jo.
DAN FERRIGNO (FUR-EEN-YO)
Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
After 21 seasons in the Pac-10 Conference and two with Brady Hoke at San Diego State, Dan Ferrigno joins the Michigan staff in 2011 as the special teams coordinator and tight end coach.
Ferrigno oversaw SDSU’s tight ends and special teams. He also oversaw the special teams units at Southern California, California and Oregon State, and served as tight ends coach for three seasons with the Golden Bears.
As the wide receivers coach at California (2006-07), Ferrigno helped the Bears post a 10-3 record in 2006 en route to winning the Holiday Bowl and a No. 14 final ranking in the AP poll. Thanks in part to wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s Pac-10-best nine touchdowns in 2006, California’s 280 points in conference play marked the second-highest total in school history.
From 2001-05, Ferrigno helped lead Oregon to four bowl games, aided by 23 100-yard receiving performances. He helped develop Keenan Howry into Oregon’s first All-Pac-10 first-team wide receiver in 16 seasons, as well as Oregon’s all-time leading receiver, Samie Parker.
Ferrigno was tight end Tony Gonzalez’s position coach at California. A first-team all-Pac-10 selection and NFL All-Pro, Gonzalez was the 13th overall pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1997 draft.
In all, Ferrigno has served as an assistant coach at California, Oregon, USC, Oregon State, Western Michigan, Pacific and San Francisco State.
Ferrigno and his wife, Shawna, have three daughters and three sons.
Darrell Funk is in his first year with Michigan football, serving as offensive line coach. He previously served under Brady Hoke at both San Diego State (2009-10) and Ball State (2008), coaching the offensive line.
His offensive lines have ranked among the nation’s best in fewest sacks allowed two of the past three seasons. The Aztecs squad finished sixth in 2010 and Ball State was listed 10th in 2008.
Funk helped the Aztecs finish the 2010 season ranked 12th nationally in passing offense, averaging just over 295 yards per game, and 16th in total offense (456.69 ypg). In his lone year at Ball State, he helped the Cardinals to a 12-2 record, the MAC West Division title and a trip to the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
A Fort Collins, Colo., native and Colorado State alumnus, Funk spent five seasons with the Rams under head coach Sonny Lubick (2003-07), including the final four working with the offensive line. He coached CSU’s special teams and tight ends his first season in 2003, after a one-year stint at Northern Illinois as tight ends coach. He also has made stops as a full-time assistant at Rhode Island (1998-2001), Mesa State College (1993-97) and Muskingum College (1990-92).
Funk was a three-year starter at CSU from 1983-86, playing on both the offensive and defensive line and at tight end. He has a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State (1988) and a master’s degree from Illinois (1990). Funk and his wife, Teresa, have two sons, Tyler and Dustin, and one daughter, Courtney.
Hecklinksi is in his first year with Michigan football, serving as the team’s wide receivers coach. He comes to Ann Arbor after spending two seasons with Brady Hoke at San Diego State as assistant head coach, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.
The Western Illinois graduate joined Hoke at Ball State in 2004 as the team’s receivers coach, before taking on added duties with recruiting in 2008. On the field, Hecklinski helped coach two of the most prolific players in Cardinal history in wideouts Dante Love, who ranked second in the country in 2007 in all-purpose yards (206.92), and Dante Ridgeway, who was an All-American and one of three finalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award in 2004.
Hecklinski was the quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator at Arizona in 2003, after two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Central Missouri State, where he helped the team to the school’s first-ever playoff appearance and bowl victory.
Hecklinski earned his bachelor’s degree at Western Illinois in 1997, where he was a quarterback and threw for over 5,980 yards to rank second in the school’s career record book. He played for the Arena Football League’s Albany Firebirds in 1988. He and his wife, Tiffany, have a daughter, Riley, and two sons, Michael and J.R.
Mark Smith is in his first year with Michigan football, mentoring the linebackers. He has eight years of defensive coordinator experience at the collegiate level, and has coached linebackers since 1988. Smith came to Ann Arbor after spending two years on Brady Hoke’s San Diego State staff where he coached the linebackers, and six seasons as Hoke’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Ball State.
In 2008, Ball State ranked 29th nationally in scoring defense, surrendering just over 20 points per game. Under his guidance, the Cardinals’ defense also was 28th in tackles for loss, 38th in pass efficiency defense, 55th in pass defense and 69th in total defense.
Before moving to Muncie, Ind., Smith was an assistant coach at Indiana State for 15 years, including his last two years as a defensive coordinator in 2001 and ’02. He helped coach six All-Americans, including NFL Draft pick Dan Brandenburg.
Smith began his coaching career at Defiance High School in Ohio, after graduating from Purdue in 1979. The Richmond, Ind., native also has a master’s degree from Bowling Green (1983). He and his wife, Kim, have three children, Heather, Eric and Craig.
Director of Strength & Conditioning
Aaron Wellman is in his first year at Michigan the football team’s strength and conditioning coach. He came to Ann Arbor after spending two years at San Diego State and five years at Ball State with Brady Hoke.
Wellman has 15 years of experience at the Division I collegiate level, including seven years in the Big Ten Conference. A safety at Division III Manchester College in Indiana, Wellman began his career as a graduate assistant at Indiana University, where he earned his master’s degree in 1998. He spent three years as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Hoosiers and was primarily involved with the football, baseball and softball teams, as well as developing individual nutrition programs for student-athletes.
At Michigan State, Wellman was involved with all aspects of the strength and conditioning program for the football team, and assisted with men’s and women’s basketball and ice hockey.
A member of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, Wellman is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He and his wife, Shellie, have a son, Grant, and a daughter, Grace.