Recently hired head football coach Ken Collums has already made several key changes to his coaching staff including hiring a new defensive coordinator, resulting in a different look for next season.
Collums announced the hiring of two new assistant coaches on Saturday, Jan. 7. Darian Dulin, a former Tarleton State defensive coordinator and Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College head coach, is now ACU’s defensive coordinator/secondary coach.
Former Eastern New Mexico head coach Mike Ribaudo has been hired as the Wildcats new linebackers coach. Collums moved Nathan Young from being an offensive line coach to the running backs coach for the ‘Cats. It’s a move that gives Young more of a role in the overall game plan.
Last season’s linebackers coach, Jason Johns, was said to have resigned in order to enter private business. Former secondary coach Cody Farrell has taken a high school coaching job in East Texas.
Dulin was the head coach at Coffeyville from 2008-11. The Red Ravens recorded a record of 22-19 during that span. Coffeyville’s best season with Dulin was in 2011 when it lost to Hutchinson Junior College in the National Junior College Athletics Association Region VI semifinals.
Dulin felt the position at ACU was exactly what he was looking for.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for me,” Dulin said. “It was a no-brainer. I was at Tarleton for eight seasons playing ACU, so I knew the caliber of the program here. I felt it was something I needed for my life – a kind of refresher.”
Dulin was the defensive backs and secondary coach for Tarleton from 2000-03. In 2004, he spent a season as the defensive coordinator at Butler Community College before returning to TSU in 2005.
Collums coached against Dulin when he was at TSU. “I’d coached against him before, so that’s an instant interview,” said Collums. “I only needed to get to know him as a person. He’s got a genuine heart and he’s very humble.”
The TSU defense was stellar under Dulin. In 2005, TSU was No. 2 in the Lone Star Conference in scoring defense and No. 1 in pass defense efficiency.
In 2006, Tarleton was ranked second in scoring defense, allowing 18.1 points per game. They were also the number one rushing defense, giving up 90.5 yards per game.
Dulin plans to make things more simple for the defensive players.
“We’re going to change our base and go to a 4-3 defense,” Dulin said. “I want to let our guys play and not make them think as much. We know we can get good players.”
Collums had heard Dulin was both a good coach and recruiter.
“He’s a bulldog recruiter,” Collums said. “Darian is very confident in what he does and I want those kind of people in our program. I was going after guys that truly had a heart for this place and for what ACU stands for.”
Dulin was a former Academic All-American his junior and senior years of college.