Valparaiso University head football coach Dale Carlson has announced that Chris Bowers has been named the Crusaders’ new special teams coordinator and secondary coach. Robert Lee, who had been the special teams coordinator last season, has been promoted to defensive coordinator.
Lee will replace Tony Pierce, who took a defensive coordinator position at Gardner-Webb University.
“I am pleased that we were able to move quickly in filling the opening on our defensive staff,” Carlson said.
Bowers spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Concord University, a Division II school in Athens, W. Va., serving as as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach last season. He was a part of the coaching staff that took over a program which went 0-11 in 2008 and recorded the first winning season in 11 years in 2009. Last year, the Lions posted an 8-3 mark, the team’s best record since 1991.
Last season, Concord’s defense improved in every major category with eight new starters and only two seniors. The team finished with 31 total takeaways, and finished in the top-10 nationally in that category. Seven defensive players earned All-WVIAC honors in 2010.
Prior to Concord, Bowers spent two seasons at Defiance College as the defensive coordinator as well as the recruiting coordinator. He also has spent time at Northwestern University as an assistant defensive backs coach and at the University of Findlay as a defensive assistant. While at Northwestern, Bowers was a member of the Wildcat coaching staff for the 2005 Sun Bowl.
Bowers is a 1999 graduate of Wittenberg University with a degree in history and went on to earn his master’s degree at Findlay in education.
“I am excited that we could attract a coach with Chris’ resume to our program,” Carlson said. “He has served as a defensive coordinator at two schools and has extensive experience coaching the secondary. He was involved in turning around a program at Concord that is similar to our situation here at Valparaiso.”
Lee has been on the Valpo coaching staff for the past two seasons, serving as the special teams coordinator in 2010. He also coaches the defensive line.
“Robert brings experience as a defensive coordinator in the PFL having served in that capacity during his final four years at Butler,” Carlson said. “He is passionate about football, passionate about teaching football, and will do an excellent job leading our defensive unit. He is the perfect leader for our defense as we move forward in building Crusader football as a competitive force in the PFL.”