Valparaiso University head football coach Landon Fox officially announced the three remaining members of his coaching staff on Wednesday.
Brandon Frase has joined the program as a nickelbacks coach, Zach Carney has been hired as a defensive line assistant who will work with the team’s defensive tackles and Cory Colder has joined the offensive staff as the running backs coach.
“We’re excited to have Brandon, Zach and Cory as part of our program,” Fox said. “All three are very intelligent rising stars in the coaching industry. We’ve continued our theme of adding individuals to our program who know how to win and come from successful backgrounds.”
Before coming to Valpo, Frase served as a varsity assistant at the high school level, first at Cuyahoga Falls High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (July 2015 – January 2018) and then at Orange High School in Pepper Pike, Ohio (August 2018 – December 2018). At both schools, he was the wide receivers and defensive backs coach. He also spent the 2016 campaign as the co-defensive coordinator at Cuyahoga Falls.
“With this being my first experience coaching at the collegiate level, I viewed Valparaiso University as a huge opportunity to continue developing my coaching skills and techniques,” Frase said. “With a brand new coaching staff from a variety of backgrounds, I will be able to learn the game in new ways and witness a new culture being built from the ground up.”
During his time at Orange, Frase helped the team to a 5-0 start for the second time in school history and to an eventual OHSAA playoff berth, the third in school history. He coached multiple players who received all-conference honors including a safety who was a 2018 first-team selection after racking up 84 tackles. Prior to his prep coaching career, Frase played wide receiver and safety at Ohio Wesleyan during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He graduated from Kent State University with a degree in physical and health education in December 2018.
“Some strengths I bring to the table as a coach include energy, discipline, passion, preparation and focus,” Frase said. “I am a committed, hard-working individual with a drive to do my job for this staff and my players with positive energy. I attack every day with preparation and attention to detail, whether it is a meeting, practice, recruiting or game. I have invested most of my life into this game both as a player and as a coach, so I am excited to be a part of Coach Fox’s staff and look forward to bringing those strengths to the team.”
Carney comes to Valpo immediately following his collegiate career as he recently graduated with a degree in sports business and coaching from the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. At Mount Union, Carney was a two-time national champion and was part of a team that lost only one regular-season game in his four years. A three-year letter winner, he was also a two-time member of the school’s honor roll.
“I came from a program where losing one game in a season is a bad season,” Carney said. “I have been exposed to a winning culture and I know what it takes to win. I bring a competitive edge to my coaching career. I believe my experience as a player on offense gives me a great amount of offensive knowledge that will help my coaching on the defensive side of the ball. I believe that will be an asset to our team in game planning for opposing offenses. I am very blessed to have an opportunity to coach with such an amazing staff in a tremendous program.”
Colder played Division-I football at East Tennessee State University after winning three consecutive state championships in high school. A lifelong running back, Colder was part of the original signing class at East Tennessee State. He was an all-state, all-district and all-region honoree at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Va. Before making his was to ETSU, he attended East Coast Prep in Barrington, Mass., where he led the team in rushing with over 600 yards in a season.
“I wanted to join the coaching staff here at Valpo because I saw it as an opportunity for me to begin my dream of becoming a college football coach,” Colder said. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I feel like my experience as a player helped prepare me for this job.”
At East Tennessee State, Colder was a part of a team that won the Southern Conference in 2018. He was second on the team in rushing in 2015 and averaged 4.1 yards per carry for his career. Prior to joining Valpo’s staff, he volunteered at his college alma mater and worked with the running backs and offensive staff. He made the school’s honor roll from 2016-2018 and served on the football team’s leadership council from 2014-2017. Colder graduated in May 2018 with a degree in sports management.
“Playing football at East Tennessee State allowed me to develop a great understanding of FCS talent and what it takes to be a playoff contender,” Colder said. “I have also played running back all of my life, so the position is very familiar to me. Prior to my senior season, we had a coaching change as well. After finishing 4-7 and second-to-last in the conference in 2017, we went 8-4, won the Southern Conference Championship and made it to the FCS playoffs in 2018. I feel like I can relate to the players at Valpo and show them that anything is possible. I bring a high energy and positive personality with the goal of encouraging our players to give their best each and every day.”
What They’re Saying About Coach Frase
Jonathan Gannon, Indianapolis Colts Defensive Backs/Cornerbacks Coach: “Brandon will bring an outstanding work ethic and a lot of juice to Valpo. He will connect with the players and get the most out of them. This is a great hire for Valpo’s program.”
Deon Broomfield, Indiana State Cornerbacks Coach: “Brandon was always eager to learn and spend extra time to perfect his craft as a player and young coach. He has a bright future in the coaching industry.”
Adam Bechlem, Orange HS Head Coach: “Brandon is hard working and passionate about football and teaching the game to young men. He is competitive and respects the work involved in winning.”
Tom Mitchen, Orange HS Defensive Coordinator: “Brandon is a young and hungry coach who is learning his way in this profession the right way. He is never afraid to learn something new and soaks everything in like a sponge. He knows the game and knows what it takes to get the best out of his players by valuing the relationships he builds with them.”
What They’re Saying About Coach Colder
Scott Carter, East Tennessee State University Director of Athletics: “Cory is one of the most natural leaders I have ever been around in my life. He is truly a team player. He was always willing to give of himself for the betterment of his team and his teammates. I have never heard him complain. There was never a role or job that he did not proudly take on and put every ounce of energy into that. I think Valpo has an unbelievable person on staff in Cory Colder who is going to be an outstanding coach as his career unfolds. This is a tremendous match for Cory. He loves the game of football and the way it forges leaders. He is going to do a masterful job at Valpo and I cannot wait to follow his career as he continues to grow to be an outstanding college football coach. I love Cory as a person, as a player and as a man and I’m going to miss him here in Johnson City, but I am very proud of him and will forever be a supporter of Cory Colder.”
Randy Sanders, East Tennessee State University Head Coach: “Cory is an awesome young man and is always a pleasure to be around. He has an outgoing personality that makes you feel good when you’re in his company. I’m really appreciative of what he meant to our team last year, and there’s no question he will be an outstanding coach.”
What They’re Saying About Coach Carney
Tom Bradley, Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Backs Coach: “Zach is going to be a great football coach. He has all of the attributes needed in this profession. He is dedicated, knowledgeable and willing to work at all the little things. His players will respect his demands for them to excel not only on the field, but in the classroom and in the community.”
Vince Kehres, University of Mount Union Head Coach: “Zach is a great young man with a passion for football who I’m confident will make a great addition to the staff at Valpo. He understands how to persevere and grind out good days. Zach will bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm each day.”
Chris Kappas, University of Mount Union Offensive Coordinator: “Zach is a hard worker with a great football mind and a passion for the game.”