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Football Coaching Staff
Ken Wilson
Coach Info:
Position: Linebackers
Alma Mater: North Central College (Ill.), 1986
Experience: 3 Years

Ken Wilson joined Coach Leach’s staff in February, 2013 after spending the previous 23 years at the University of Nevada, 19 on the Wolf Pack coaching staff.

This past season Cougar linebackers finished one-two in tackles, with redshirt sophomore Peyton Pelluer and senior Jeremiah Allison leading the way. Pelluer had 101 tackles, fourth in the Pac-12, en route to all-conference honorable mention honors, while Allison was close behind with 97 tackles.

During his time with the Cougars, Wilson has overseen a linebacking group that in 2013 produced four of WSU’s top five tacklers led by Justin Sagote’s 106 tackles, fifth in the Pac-12 Conference, and helped develop the Cougar defense that forced 30 turnovers, second-most in the conference and the most by WSU since 2006. In 2014 Wilson coached All-Pac-12 linebacker Jeremiah Allison, who finished second on the team in tackles.

Wilson, who worked with current Cougars running backs coach Jim Mastro for seven seasons at Nevada, helped the Wolf Pack appear in 11 bowl games and claim nine conference championships during his 13 seasons on the sidelines. Wilson served the last five seasons as the associate head coach/linebackers coach and also worked six seasons with linebackers, one with safeties, one with defensive ends and a total of three seasons as the defensive coordinator.

Wilson has seen 16 of his former players sign professional contracts including six linebackers who were under NFL contract in 2012. Wilson mentored first team All-WAC selection Dontay Moch, who was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 66th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He put another defensive end into the NFL after the 2011 season as Kaelin Burnett signed with the Oakland Raiders.

In 2009, Wilson headed up the linebacking corps and oversaw the development of a youthful group that included second-team All-WAC selection James-Michael Johnson in 2009. He also coached current NFL linebacker Joshua Mauga (New York Jets) and former New York Giant and St. Louis Ram, Jerome Johnson. During the 2007 season, Wilson served as the defensive coordinator and was also the safeties coach. Nevada’s starting safeties, Uche Anyanwu and Justin Jackson, combined for 144 tackles. Overall, the defense was fourth in pass defense and fifth in total defense.

Prior to that, Wilson headed up the Pack’s inside linebacking corps while also serving as the team’s assistant head coach. In 2006, two of Wilson’s pupils - Jason DeMars and Joshua Mauga - finished second and third on the team in tackles, tallying over 110 tackles combined.

Prior to going back to coaching when Ault took over the program in December 2003, Wilson had served as an assistant athletics director/sports services at Nevada the previous four and half years. He oversaw football, men’s basketball, baseball, track and tennis while coordinating grant-in-aid for all student-athletes in Nevada’s 19-sport athletics program.

Wilson spent six seasons working with Ault from 1989-92 and 1994-95. He was also an assistant coach for Jeff Horton in 1993 and Jeff Tisdel from 1996-98, spending those final three seasons as defensive coordinator. As the nation’s youngest Division I defensive coordinator, he directed the 1996 defense to the top of the conference in every defensive category and was part of the Las Vegas Bowl victory over Ball State.

The North Central (Ill.) graduate (1986) has coached six players who signed professional contracts, three of them in the NFL, including Nevada’s all-time tackles leader, DeShone Myles, as well as Mike Crawford and Steve Bryant. Two of his pupils - Mylwa and Matt Clafton - were named to Nevada’s All-Century team at linebacker.

Wilson has coached defensive line, linebackers and secondary during his career, which also included stints at his alma mater (1986) and at New Mexico (1987-88).

Wilson and his wife, Heather, have a son, Tyler who plays football at Nevada, and a daughter, Baylie.