Defensive Coaching Staff
Jason Petrino was named SIU's defensive coordinator on Dec. 10, 2018. He is a cousin to former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino and Idaho coach Paul Petrino and has 18 years of experience as a collegiate coach. Prior to SIU, Petrino spent three years as head coach of NAIA Rocky Mountain College in Montana, where he led the program to a conference championship and playoff berth in 2018. Known throughout his coaching career as a defensive tactician, Petrino took on the added responsibility of offensive coordinator in 2018, and the Battlin' Bears led the Frontier Conference in several categories, including points per game (35.0), total offense and passing yards.
Prior to Rocky Mountain, Petrino coached four seasons in the Missouri Valley Football Conference at South Dakota (2011-14) as the team's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. In his final season at USD, the Coyotes had the fourth-ranked defense in the conference. One of South Dakota's wins that season came against then five-time national champion North Dakota State in Fargo, 24-21.
Petrino played collegiately at Carroll College (Mont.) from 1996-99 and was a team captain and second-team All-Frontier Conference defensive back for the Fighting Saints. His coaching career began in 2000 at his alma mater, where he mentored the defensive backs on the 2002 NAIA National Championship team.
After three seasons at Carroll College, Petrino made the first of two coaching stints at Wyoming, spending two seasons (2003-04) as a graduate assistant for the Cowboys, before later returning as director of operations (2008-09). Petrino was part of the defensive staff that helped the Cowboys secure bowl victories in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl versus UCLA and the 2009 New Mexico Bowl versus Fresno State.
In between stops at Wyoming, Petrino served as defensive coordinator for three seasons at Division II University of Mary (2005-07) in North Dakota. In 2007, his defense ranked No. 1 in the conference in total defense, pass defense and red-zone defense.
Spencer Brown was named linebackers coach at SIU on Jan. 10, 2019. He spent the previous three seasons on North Carolina State’s staff — his first two years as a graduate assistant coaching nickels and the 2018 campaign as defensive quality control coach. The Wolfpack were 25-14 during Brown’s tenure and made three-straight bowl game appearances — the 2016 Independence Bowl, 2017 Sun Bowl and 2018 Gator Bowl.
“(Wolfpack head coach) Dave Doeren is a tremendous defensive coach and he had a lot of good things to say about Spencer’s work during the last three years at North Carolina State,” Hill said.
Prior to North Carolina State, Brown served as the linebackers coach and video coordinator at South Dakota in 2015, when the Coyote defense improved from last in the conference to top 30 in the country while transitioning from the 3-4 to the 4-3. USD defeated Carson Wentz and North Dakota State that season, snapping a 26-game home winning streak.
“Spencer worked with Coach Petrino at South Dakota and their familiarity from working together is important,” Hill said.
From 2012-14, Brown was a defensive graduate assistant at North Texas, working with the linebackers. He coached future second-team All-Pro performer Zach Orr and 2014 C-USA leading tackler, Derek Akunne. Also during his time at North Texas, Brown helped turn the Mean Green defense from last overall in the FBS in 2010 to No. 8 nationally in scoring defense and No. 17 in total defense by 2013.
Brown played lacrosse at SMU and earned his undergraduate degree in business management in 2010. In 2014, he received an MBA in marketing from North Texas.
Chuka Ndulue (CHOO-kuh en-DOO-loo-ay) was named SIU's defensive line coach on Jan. 10, 2019. He spent the 2018 season as a graduate assistant on the Nebraska coaching staff, where he served under first-year head coach Scott Frost, the 2017 AFCA Coach of the Year at Central Florida.
Ndulue played collegiately at Oklahoma from 2010 to 2014 and was a team captain and three-year starter for the Sooners. He totaled 140 tackles in his career, including 17.0 for loss and 12.0 sacks. A two-time second-team All-Big 12 selection, Ndulue set an Oklahoma defensive lineman record with 15 tackles in a game. He helped the Sooners to a 51-15 record in his career and won three bowl games and a pair of Big 12 titles.
Following his Oklahoma career, Ndulue signed with the Denver Broncos and spent a total of three seasons in the NFL before entering the coaching ranks as a volunteer assistant to the defense at his alma mater. He helped the Sooners win the 2017 Big 12 Conference title and play in a 2018 College Football Playoff semifinal.
“Chuka is one of the best up-and-coming defensive line coaches,” Hill said. “He was a big-time player at Oklahoma and then bounced around the NFL before becoming a coach. Immediately, our players will respect that. He’s been at the highest level as a player and a coach and had some outstanding mentors.”
Special Teams Coordinator / Defensive Ends
Jared Petrino enters his first season at SIU and serves as the team's special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach. He is the brother of Saluki defensive coordinator Jason Petrino.
Prior to Southern, Petrino spent three seasons at Rocky Mountain College (2016-18) where he served as defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and a defensive line coach. Under the direction of his brother and head coach, Jason, he helped lead the program to a conference championship and playoff berth in 2018. RMC was No. 1 in the league in Scoring Defense and Total Defense in 2018. In 2017, they led the nation in PATs, were fourth in Kickoff Return Yards and 11th in Field Goal Percentage nationally.
From 2013-15, Petrino coached at Black Hills State University, a NCAA Division II program located in Spearfish, S.D., where he coordinated special teams, mentored the defensive linemen and served as the defensive backs coach for two years (2013, 2014). His 2014 special teams unit finished the season ranked 12th in the nation with three blocked punts. The Yellow Jackets ranked third in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with an average of nearly 16 yards returned per interception.
In 2013, the Yellow Jackets defensive backs snagged 16 interceptions, which ranked the squad third in the RMAC. On special teams, the Yellow Jackets led the league by connecting on 92 percent of their field goal attempts.
Prior to BHSU, Petrino spent the 2012 season at Sheridan High School (Sheridan, Wyo.) and was a defensive graduate assistant and video coordinator at the University of Wyoming (2010-11).
Petrino played linebacker for Carroll College and was a member of Carroll’s back-to-back NAIA National Championship teams in 2002 and 2003. He graduated with a degree in business administration and health and physical education, with a concentration in sports management from Carroll in 2004. Petrino and his wife, Alex, have two sons, Drew and Tyler.
Marty Rodgers has coached the Southern Illinois secondary since 2016, starting with the safeties and switching to corners in 2019. He is an SIU alum who was a four-year letterwinner from 2006-09 and was a two-time All-MVFC safety for the Salukis.
In his first season as coach, Rodgers helped lead an SIU secondary that intercepted 12 passes, the most for the program since 2011. Rodgers converted Jefferson Vea, Ryan Neal and Jeremy Chinn to safety; and all three responded with career seasons. All three were among the team’s top six tacklers, with Vea racking up 60 tackles, which was second on the team.
Under Rogers' guidance, Chinn emerged as one of the nation’s top safeties, twice earning All-MVFC honors and drawing attention from NFL scouts heading into his senior year.
Before coming to SIU as a coach, Rodgers spent the previous two seasons coaching the defensive backs at North Dakota. North Dakota led the Big Sky in rush defense and opposing first downs per game in both of Rodgers seasons on the staff. The defense led the conference in total defense in 2014 and was second in 2015. In both seasons with Rodgers, North Dakota was a top-five scoring defense.
Rodgers had an outstanding four-year career as a player for the Salukis. SIU made the playoffs in all four of his seasons as a Saluki and won two conference titles. SIU reached a No. 1 national ranking in 2009 and was the first team in MVFC history to complete the regular season conference slate undefeated.
Rodgers and his wife, Tanasha, have two sons, Titan and Mylez, and a daughter, Marlee Bae.