RICHMOND, Ky. – Mike Dietzel and Garry McPeek have joined the Eastern Kentucky football staff. Dietzel will serve as the safeties coach and McPeek will be the assistant director of football operations.
Dietzel replaces former assistant Shannon Morrison on the staff.
“We’re happy for Shannon to get the opportunity to return to his alma mater at Marshall,” said Head Coach Walt Wells. “We thank him for the great job he did here.”
Mike Dietzel has 30-plus years of coaching experience at the college and professional level. He served as the defensive backs/safeties coach at Ball State during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Dietzel helped the Cardinals to a 7-1 record in 2020, a victory over No. 23 Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference Championship game and a win over No. 19 San Jose State in the Offerpad Arizona Bowl.
Ball State ranked 15th nationally in turnovers gained (24) in 2019. In 2020, BSU was seventh in the nation in defensive touchdowns. The Cardinals led the MAC and were 29th in the country with 10 interceptions last season.
“I met Mike in the late 1990s and worked with him at Western Kentucky from 2003 to 2009,” Wells said. “I was there when he and Jennifer got married. He’s a really good teacher and a really good recruiter. Mike has seen a lot of very good players and good football. He was a key part of Ball State’s MAC Championship and bowl win. He’s been a defensive coordinator before, so his experience will help our defensive staff. His personality will be infectious to our staff and players. He’s a really good person and a really solid coach.”
Dietzel spent seven seasons at Western Kentucky (2003-09), including three as defensive coordinator. As the linebackers/secondary coach/special teams coordinator, he helped Central Michigan to bowl appearances in three of his four seasons with the Chippewas (2015-18) before joining the Ball State staff. He mentored three-time All-MAC linebacker Malik Fountain and All-MAC safety Kavon Frazier, a 2016 draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys, at CMU
Over nine seasons at Buffalo (2010-14) and CMU, Dietzel’s teams ranked second in the MAC in total defense four times. While serving as the secondary/co-special teams coach and recruiting coordinator, he helped Buffalo to the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He helped WKU to two Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff appearances and then a 7-5 record in the first year of its transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level.
Dietzel helped the 2001 Kent State team to its first winning season in 14 years while serving as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
In 2001, Dietzel served as the secondary coach/defensive passing game coordinator for the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL. His Hitmen team led the XFL in pass defense.
As the running backs/wide receivers/tight ends coach at Army (1995-99) Dietzel mentored a running backs group that led the nation in rushing in 1996 and 1998. He coached in the 1989 Rose Bowl as a graduate assistant outside linebackers coach with Michigan, where he worked under the legendary Bo Schembechler and was on a staff that included Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr.
As the inside linebackers coach at Pennsylvania (1998) he helped the team to a share of the 1988 Ivy League championship. Dietzel also coached at Colorado (1985-86), Earlham (1987) and Johns Hopkins (1994).
Dietzel played football at Otterbein University, where he was an honorable mention all-conference defensive back in 1983. He earned his bachelor’s degree in educational administration from Otterbein (1985) and his master’s in educational administration from Colorado (1986). Dietzel started the Fellowship of Christian Athletes program at Earlham in 1987. He also coached track & field in his one year at Johns Hopkins.
McPeek has more than 30 years of teaching, coaching and administration experience. He most recently served as the offensive line coach at Valdosta High School during the 2020 season, helping the team reach the GHSA 6A semifinals.
“It’s great adding Garry to our staff,” Wells said. “He has been in the state for so long and has so many connections throughout the high school and college level. Garry has a wealth of experience, not only as a coach at different levels of football, but also as an administrator. It is good to have him on board.”
From July 2015 to January 2019, McPeek was an assistant coach and athletic director in the Fayette County public school system. He launched the athletics program at Frederick Douglass High School and helped the team reach the state championship game.
McPeek was the offensive coordinator at Fannin County High School in Blue Ridge, Georgia during the 2014 season. He served as athletic director and principal at Fairview High School in Ashland, Kentucky from 2007 to 2014. During the 2004, 2005 and 2006 seasons, McPeek was the assistant principal and offensive coordinator at Boyd County High School.
In three seasons as the head coach at Lawrence County High School from 2001 to 2003, McPeek led the team to a 28-5 record.
From July 1998 to June 2001 McPeek was the athletic director and assistant football coach at Russell High School.
McPeek spent two stints on the staff of the Kentucky Horseman Arena Football Team from 2002 to 2006 and 2008 to 2010. He helped the team win four conference titles and a national championship. From 2006 to 2008 he was the head coach and general manager for the Huntington Heroes Arena Football Team.
McPeek holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in secondary education from Morehead State University. He received a master’s of science in health/physical education at Morehead State in 1996. He completed a secondary education school specialist degree at MSU in 1998 and a school superintendent certification in 2007.
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