Football Adds Two to Coaching Staff, Announces Spring Practice Dates
Feb. 23, 2006
GREELEY, Colo. - University of Northern Colorado head football coach Scott Downing announced the addition of Brian Natkin and Craig Robinson as assistant coaches to his first staff as Bears head coach as well as the dates for spring practice on Thursday.
Natkin, who will coach the offensive line, spent the last three seasons as a coach at his alma mater, the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP), working with head coach Mike Price. The past two seasons he served as a graduate assistant coach in charge of tight ends, where he coached second-team All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) selection Jonas Crafts (2004) and 2005 freshman All-American Jamar Hunt. In 2003, he was a student assistant coach working with both tight ends and the offensive line. The Miners were 8-4 in 2005, played in the GMAC Bowl and finished the year ranked ninth nationally in passing (300.6 yards/game). In 2004, UTEP was also 8-4 and played in the EV1.net Houston Bowl.
In his playing days, Natkin became one of only two consensus All-Americans in Miner history. In 2000, he led all tight ends nationally in catches with 64 for 787 yards. He finished his playing career with 172 receptions (second in school history) and 1,934 yards (sixth in school history). Natkin was a three-time first-team All-WAC selection (1998-00) and helped the team to a share of the WAC Championship in 2000. He helped the Miners clinch that title by grabbing eight catches for 110 yards in a victory over Rice. Natkin played professional football with both the Tennessee Titans (2001-02) and St. Louis Rams (2003).
Natkin, a native of San Antonio, Texas, received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 2003 and is currently in the process of completing his master's degree.
"Coach Natkin brings an outstanding knowledge and enthusiasm for coaching that we need," said Downing. "He will help mold our offensive line into a great unit."
Robinson, who will coach the defensive line, comes to the Bears program after spending the 2004 and 2005 seasons working at the University of Idaho as defensive assistant coach and administrative assistant, where he worked with current Bears offensive coordinator Chad Brown. At Idaho, Robinson was an assistant high school camp director, specialized in recruiting systems, prepared scouting reports and graded special team's performances. Robinson has worked as a defensive line coach at several camps including Idaho, Washington and Washington State.
Robinson played college football at Wenatchee Valley Junior College (1989-90) and Pacific Lutheran University (1991-92) in Tacoma, Wash. At Pacific Lutheran, he helped the Lutes to a NAIA National runner-up finish in 1991 and earned All-Northwest Conference honors as a defensive lineman. He was also named the squad's Special Teams Player of the Year.
"Coach Robinson is organized and extremely bright," said Downing. "He is on the cutting edge of technology and coaching. We are lucky to have him."
The rest of Downing's staff, which he announced on Jan. 11, includes Chad Brown (offensive coordinator), Cody Deti (defensive coordinator), Keith Grable (running backs), Darrell Perkins (defensive backs), Jared Wallen (graduate assistant) and Ahmad Lowe (graduate assistant).
Northern Colorado will begin spring practice on Saturday, March 25 and conclude the spring with its annual spring game on Saturday, April 22 at Nottingham Field. The Bears will also host a scrimmage in Denver on Saturday, April 8 at a to be announced site and a Bears Cub Clinic for children on Saturday, April 1 at Nottingham Field. A complete spring schedule with times will be available in the next few weeks.
The Bears open the 2006 season, their first in the Big Sky Conference, with UC Davis on Sept. 2.
Important Spring Football Dates
March 25 - Practice Begins
April 1 - Bears Cub Clinic at Nottingham Field
April 8 - Scrimmage in Denver
April 22 - Annual Spring Game at Nottingham Field