Football Coaches
Landon Fox
Head Coach
Matthew Symmes
Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach
David Marquis
Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs Coach
RJ Ghilarducci
Co-Defensive Coordinator / Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers Coach
Michael Brewster
Offensive Line Coach
Jackson Smith
Defensive Line Coach
Bryan Parker
Wide Receivers Coach
Jack Jarnigan
Tight Ends Coach
Nathan Richards
Director of Football Operations
Cam Burnette
Quality Control
Nicole Mioduski, LAT, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer (FB Primary)
Rose Paul, LAT, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer (FB, SWIM)
Luke Campbell
Associate Director of Sports Performance (FB, WBB)
Mason Williams
Head Equipment Manager
Sarah Hacker
Assistant Director of Football Operations
Full List
Jackson Smith

Jackson Smith

Defensive Line Coach


Jackson Smith completed the first season of his second stint on Valpo’s coaching staff in 2023, serving as the team’s defensive line coach while also working with the squad’s special teams unit.

During the 2023 campaign, the team paced the conference in several special teams categories – kickoff return average (23.16, 12th FCS), blocked punts (four, fourth FCS) and punting average (38.22, 25th). Three members of the special teams unit earned All-PFL recognition – punter Evan Matthes on the First Team, return specialist Jashon Butler on the Second Team and long snapper Kevin Spelman with Honorable Mention.

Jackson instructed defensive lineman Sam Hafner, who earned First Team All-PFL honors in addition to received Academic All-PFL First Team accolades. Hafner ranked second nationally in tackles by a defensive lineman.

During the 2023 campaign, Valpo’s defense ranked among conference and national leaders in scoring defense (24.8, second PFL, 50th FCS), total defense (318.5, second PFL, 22nd FCS) and rushing defense (123.3, first PFL, 28th FCS). The 2023 Beacons boasted the team’s best total defense and scoring defense in a traditional fall season since 2000. The group also achieved its best rushing defense in a fall season since 2007.

Smith returned for a second stint on staff after previously serving as the defensive tackles coach from February 2020 to May 2021. Since leaving the Brown & Gold, Smith gained experience at Averett University in Danville, Va. as the defensive line coach, recruiting coordinator and co-special teams coordinator. His unit led the conference in blocked punts, while he was a position coach for four all-conference selections. He also instructed Averett’s single-season and career sacks recordholder and coached the individual who led the nation for combined kickoff returns and punt returns.

Smith began his coaching career at his alma mater Elmhurst College, where he worked with linebackers (2017), the defensive line (2018) and outside linebackers/defensive ends (2019) while helping two players in his position group garner all-conference recognition. Smith graduated from Elmhurst in May 2017 after playing football from 2012-2016 including his final season as a team captain.

What They’re Saying About Jackson Smith 

David Clark Jr., Averett Defensive Coordinator: “Coach Smith did a great job as a coach and mentor for both our defensive line and special teams units. He did a great job working alongside our staff and transferring his knowledge to his players. He was a pleasure to work with, and I look forward to watching the rest of his career.”

Eli Kosanovich, Offensive Line Coach at RPI: “Jackson is a relentless worker, a tireless recruiter and one of the best friends a guy could ask for. He’s going to contribute immediately and his impact will be felt.”