UNI hires former NFL players for coaching staff

CEDAR FALLS — Head coach Mark Farley has made three additions to the University of Northern Iowa football staff for the upcoming season.

Former NFL standout Bryce Paup returns to the Panthers after leaving the program in 2016, while former University of Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin joins to coach the backfield.

Paup first was with UNI from 2013 to 2016 as the defensive line coach, and he will continue to work with the defense in his second stint.

Under Paup’s direction, UNI’s defensive line earned top-15 rankings in his second year of coaching. He led the defensive line to a No. 3 ranking in FCS football in team sacks.

Paup had an 11-year career in the NFL, earning defensive MVP honors in 1995 with the Buffalo Bills. He played for Green Bay, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Minnesota. While a student-athlete at UNI, Paup earned second team All-America honors.

Quentin Griffin comes to UNI from Missouri Southern State.

Griffin was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2002 and played on the 2001 Sooner National Championship team, scoring the lone touchdown of the game. He remains the sixth all-time rusher in OU history and fourth in all-purpose yards.

Griffin was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2003 and also played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Also hired to the football staff was Kate Deakins to take over as director of operations for UNI football. Deakins earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UNI in May of 2017. She is pursuing a master’s in post-secondary education student affairs.

Deakins will manage all operations of the football office including operating budge, team travel, quality control, NCAA compliance and recruiting related matters.