When Paul Wulff began putting his staff together after being named Washington State University's head football coach in December 2007, he didn't have to look far for his linebackers coach. Travis Niekamp, who coached linebackers on Wulff's staff at Eastern Washington University from 2004-07, arrived with Wulff in Pullman in a similar role. Niekamp recently completed his third year on Wulff's WSU staff and following the season, was moved into his new role as coordinator of football development.
In his first year in Pullman, Niekamp coached Louis Bland to Phil Steele's Freshman All-America Third Team honors and Greg Trent to his second mention on the All-Pacific-10 Conference Team.
In 2004, his first year at Eastern, Niekamp coached a pair of All-Big Sky Conference linebackers in Joey Cwik (first team) and Doug Vincent (honorable mention). In 2005 Cwik repeated as a first team all-conference pick and was named the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year, capping a career that saw him register 331 tackles, fourth-best in school history. Also in 2005 David Eneberg was an all-conference honorable mention selection, which he repeated in 2006. In all Niekamp coached eight different players to 10 All-Big Sky Conference honors
Before joining the Eastern Washington staff in 2004, Niekamp had spent the previous four years at the United States Military Academy, where he coached tight ends. While with the Black Knights, he coached with current WSU co-defensive coordinator Jody Sears for three seasons.
Prior to his stint at Army, Niekamp spent two seasons at his alma mater Illinois State, coaching outside linebackers in 1999 and defensive tackles in 1998. He was an All-Gateway Conference selection in 1996 and 1997, when he played as a defensive lineman, finishing his career with 170 tackles. That figure included eight quarterback sacks and 22 tackles-for-loss.
Niekamp was team captain as a senior and was a regular member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll during his undergraduate days at Illinois State. He graduated from Illinois State in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science.
A native of Stevens Point, Wis., Niekamp was selected as a National Strength and Conditioning All-American in 1997. In high school, he played in the Wisconsin All-Star Shrine Classic. He and his wife Tracy have two sons, Tye Dalton (6) and Dexter Kole (4), and daughter Brooke Ryan (3).
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