NATCHITOCHES – Gary DeLoach, a successful defensive coordinator in three Division I football programs who has also worked at Texas A&M and UCLA in a 35-year career, will take over the defensive coordinator's job at Northwestern State, head coach Bradley Dale Peveto said Tuesday.
DeLoach follows Brad Laird, who moved into the role of Acting Director of University Advancement at NSU on July 2. The appointment of DeLoach, who will begin work next Monday, is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System. DeLoach will be assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and safeties coach.
DeLoach has been defensive coordinator for six seasons at North Texas (2000-2002, 2008-10), seven more at New Mexico State (1990-96) and seven (1983-89) at Stephen F. Austin. He was defensive backs coach at UCLA from 2003-07, serving as special teams coordinator in 2007. He was defensive coordinator in 1997 as Trinity Valley Community College went unbeaten until the junior college national championship game.
Other coaching stops for DeLoach came in the spring of 1997 in the World Football League under legendary former NFL assistant Ernie Stautner with the Frankfurt Galaxy, at Texas A&M from 1980-82, at Spring Branch (Texas) High School in 1979-80, and as a graduate assistant at SFA from 1976-78.
His 2002 defense at North Texas ranked third nationally in scoring defense and ninth in total defense, 13th in pass defense and 29th in rushing defense.
At UCLA as special teams coordinator, DeLoach helped the Bruins rank third nationally in kickoff returns, fifth nationally in field goals and 15th nationally in net punting. Through his coaching career, he has coached the defensive backs and linebackers.
At SFA in 1987, DeLoach promoted Peveto from a graduate assistant's post to a full-time job coaching defensive ends. The Lumberjacks soared to the No. 1 ranking in the FCS (then Division I-AA) in 1988 before falling 20-17 in the season finale to NSU in a battle for the Southland Conference championship, then reaching the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
"He's as good an X and O's guy as there is in our business," said Peveto. "He's very knowledgeable, intense, and great at handling players. He was that way when I coached with him 25 years ago and he's the same today. He's coached at every level. He coached high school, junior college, Division II, at the FCS level, in the FBS, in the Pac 10, in pro ball. His defenses have been tough and highly-ranked year in and year out.
"His passion to be at Northwestern State excited me and I know it will have the same impact on our players, our other coaches, and everyone who is a Demon or is thinking about becoming one," said Peveto. "This is a great day for Northwestern State football."
DeLoach said he's kept a close eye on NSU since Peveto took over following the 2008 season, but he's long since been well acquainted with Demon football and some of its richest tradition.
"I've known about Northwestern State since my first college job, at SFA as a graduate assistant in 1976, when (NSU head coach) A.L. Williams and his staff were bringing in some incredible talent. I coached at SFA from the Lone Star (Conference) to the Gulf Star to the Southland, and we lined up against Northwestern in that big rivalry game year after year.
"I've been a longtime admirer of what has gone on in Natchitoches and I'm excited to get involved with the Demons. There's great football played in the Southland Conference, outstanding talent, very good coaches. I have a lot of longtime friends coaching in that conference and they're as good as it gets," said DeLoach. "It's going to be a lot of fun."
The opportunity to reunite with Peveto was appealing to DeLoach.
"I think the world of Coach Peveto. He was a graduate assistant defensive backs coach who I moved up to fulltime as our defensive ends coach at SFA. He has the same fire and love for the game that he had back then, and he's got that program positioned for a lot of success," said DeLoach. "Northwestern has always had great players and I'm sure there are some there waiting on me."
The Demons will retain the same aggressive 4-3-4 scheme that has been in place during Peveto's first three seasons. The approach DeLoach will bring will mirror that used by Peveto and Laird, he said.
"I'm very intense and focused on the field. That's where we get our business done. I do like to have fun," he said. "Winning is fun, success is fun. I've looked at a little tape and we have good players. We can win. I can't wait to get going."