Brock Spack
Brock Spack

Position:
Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Purdue, 1984

06/05/2014

Redbird Football Program Sets Team GPA Record Again

The mark bested the team's previous high GPA of 2.759 during the Fall 2013 semester.

02/12/2014

Redbird Football Program Sets Team GPA Record

The mark bested the team's previous high GPA of 2.717 set during the Spring 2013 semester.

02/05/2014

Redbird Football Signs 24 on National Signing Day

The class bolsters depth at key positions of wide receiver, linebacker, running back and defensive end.

01/17/2014

Dicken, Keirnan Complete ISU Football Coaching Hires

Both hires have previous ties to ISU and the Bloomington-Normal community.

11/13/2013

Illinois State Closes Out 2013 on the Road Against Southern Illinois

A win would secure ISU's fifth-consecutive winning season under head coach Brock Spack.

12/19/2013

Redbird Football Season Recap 2013

11/18/2013

WJBC Redbird Recap - Illinois State vs. Southern Illinois

10/19/2013

WJBC Redbird Recap - INST vs. ISU

WJBC Redbird Recap - INST vs. ISU

08/05/2013

Football Media Day

05/09/2013

The Next Step - Spring Camp - Episode 2

The Next Step - Spring Camp - Episode 2

03/29/2014

2014 Redbird Football Spring Practice (March 29)

Illinois State Football 2014 Spring Practice Day 1

09/29/2012

Illinois State Football at South Dakota (9/29/12)

Illinois State Football at South Dakota (9/29/12)

09/22/2012

Football at Western Illinois (9/22/12)

Illinois State football at Western Illinois

09/08/2012

Illinois State Football at Eastern Michigan (9/8/12

Illinois State Football at Eastern Michigan (9/8/12

06/26/2012

Redbird Road Trip #ISUChicagostyle

Shots from all the events a part of the Redbird Road Trip in Chicago.

Interview with Spack
PC: Spack Announced as Head Coach
Press Conference Photo Gallery
Spack Quick Facts
Coaching Ledger
What They Are Saying About BrockSpack
Spack In The News



When Brock Spack was named the 20th head coach in Illinois State football history prior to the 2009 season, he brought with him a belief that Illinois State football was a "sleeping giant" - a program that had all of the tools and resources to be a powerhouse in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), but was lacking the bravado and the foresight to see itself that way. After four-straight winning seasons and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs, the giant may be waking up.

Spack has led the Redbirds to at least one win against every Missouri Valley Football Conference member over his five seasons as head coach and picked up wins against eight nationally-ranked teams. A lot of that success has been due to winning tough games at home. In five seasons under Spack, the Redbirds have posted a 22-6 record at home including a perfect 5-0 record at the newly renovated Hancock Stadium in 2013. His 2012 team was also tough on the road, posting a 5-0 record during the regular season and finishing 6-1 overall including the playoffs.

Spack's tough, no-nonsense approach seemed to be embraced by his team and the results on the field have been impressive. In his five seasons as head coach, Spack has helped 48 players earn All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors and has mentored 15 players who were named to the league's All-Newcomer team.

In 2012, Spack led the Redbirds to a 9-4 record and the fourth winning season in a row. ISU made just its fourth FCS playoff appearance in school history, defeating perennial powerhouse Appalachian State on the road in the second round. The Redbirds advanced to the quarterfinals for the third time in school history, before eventually ending their season at Eastern Washington. The team also defeated FBS foe Eastern Michigan early in the season, marking the first win over a FBS program since 1991. For his efforts, Spack was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award presented by The Sports Network.

The Redbirds were ranked as high as No. 9 in the country and saw a school-record eight players land on the Missouri Valley Football Conference First Team at the end of the season. Defensive end Nate Palmer was also drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and five more seniors signed un-drafted free agent deals with NFL teams. Senior Matt Brown was named the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year, while setting every passing record in school history, and Tyrone Walker set school records for career receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns.

After leading the `Birds to their fourth-straight winning campaign, Spack became the ISU first head coach to guide his team to three-consecutive winning seasons since Edwin Struck led the Redbirds to six-straight winning seasons from 1945-1950.

ISU finished the 2011 season with a 7-4 overall record, securing the team's third-straight winning season for the first time since the team posted three-straight from 1998-2000. Illinois State was ranked No. 20 in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 final poll and was ranked as high as No. 14 during the regular season by TSN. Much of that success was due to Spack taking over the Redbird defense as defensive coordinator prior to the season and turning it into one of the top units in the country.

After finishing the 2010 season with a defense that ranked No. 112 out of 117 teams (446.27 ypg), the 2011 Redbird defense helmed by Spack finished the season No. 9 out of 120 teams (294.82 ypg). ISU finished with the No. 5 rushing defense in the country (85.73 ypg) and allowed just 19.18 points per game, ranking them 13th in the FCS in scoring defense, up from a No. 113 ranking in 2010 after giving up 39.64 points per game to opponents.

The defensive turnaround was aided by a pair of impact transfers from Illinois, Evan Frierson and Palmer. Frierson listened intently to Spack, who oversees the Redbird linebackers, and was named an All-MVFC First Team and MVFC All-Newcomer Team selection after recording 15.0 tackles for loss (T-10th on single-season list) and 6.5 sacks (T-14th on single-season list).

Palmer led the Valley with 9.5 sacks (5th on single-season list) and earned a spot on the All-MVFC Second Team and MVFC All-Newcomer Team for his efforts. Spack also watched Eric Brunner finish his career as one of the top interior defensive linemen in the country. A two-time All-MVFC First-Team pick, Brunner ended his senior season with career-high numbers in tackles (55), sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (13). A new offensive approach has also resulted in record-setting numbers for the Redbirds over the past two seasons. The ISU passing offense ranked third in the Valley with an average of 199.6 yards per game in 2011 and was second in the league in rushing offense with 183.4 yards per game on the ground, an improvement of nearly 50 yards per game from 2010.

The Redbirds' 321 points scored in 2010 were the seventh-most in school history and team's highest total since scoring 324 in 2007. It was just the 10th time in school history that ISU scored more than 300 points in a season.

Those numbers bested the impressive numbers set by the Redbird offense in Spack's first season at the helm in 2009. Illinois State's revamped offense set a school single-season record with a 66.3 completion percentage and also ranks second in completions (272), fourth in passing yards (246.4) and sixth in passing yards (2,710) on the ISU single-season charts.

The 2010 season started well for the Redbirds, who jumped out to a 3-1 record after wins thrilling wins at home against Central Missouri and Missouri State and a tough road win at No. 20 South Dakota State. That start earned ISU its first national ranking since 2007, climbing as high as No. 19 in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll and No. 23 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25 Poll. In addition, with wins over No. 14 North Dakota State and No. 20 South Dakota State, the Redbirds beat a pair of ranked foes in the same season for the first time since 2006. He also watched senior kicker Zach Kutch evolve into one of the best kickers in the nation, as he led the country in field goals made (24) and field goals per game (2.0) while earning All-America plaudits from the Associated Press, College Sporting News and The Sports Network.

Spack came to Illinois State following 12 seasons as the defensive coordinator at Purdue, where he guided the Boilermakers to the top-ranked defense in the Big Ten Conference in 2002 and the 13th-best defense in the nation in 2003. He coached in 11 bowl games while at Purdue, including a Rose Bowl appearance in 2001. In June of 2008, Spack was recognized as of the top linebacker coaches in FBS football by Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com and twenty-seven of his former players went on to play in the NFL.

From 2000 to 2004, the Purdue defense became one of the stingiest units in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers were tops in total defense in 2002 (317.2 yards per game) - the first time they had been No. 1 since 1967 - after ranking third in 2000 and 2001. They were third in 2003, as well, and ranked 13th nationally.

As defensive coordinator at Wyoming in 1995 and 1996, Spack recharged the defense, which improved from fifth to second in total defense in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The Cowboys topped the WAC in sacks during his two years, including a school-record 46 in 1996.

Spack was Purdue's inside linebackers coach from 1991 to 1994 and was a graduate assistant coach for the Boilermakers in 1984 and 1985. From 1987 to 1990, Spack was an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois (linebackers/defensive line/recruiting coordinator) and in 1986, was at Wabash College.

Spack graduated from Purdue in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in social studies. He earned a master's degree in physical education from Eastern Illinois in 1990. Spack played linebacker for the Boilermakers from 1980-83, earning first-team All-Big Ten and honorable mention All-America honors as a sophomore. He was a three-year starter and currently ranks fifth on the Boilermakers' career tackles list with 384.

A native of Rockford, Ill., Spack and his wife, Aimee, reside in Bloomington. Their daughter, Alicia, was a collegiate softball player at Purdue and now works with the softball program at Kansas and their son, Brent, is a junior linebacker for the Redbirds.
THE BROCK SPACK FILE

PERSONAL

  • Age: 50 (born Jan. 5, 1962)
  • Alma Mater: Purdue University, 1984, B.S. in social studies; Eastern Illinois, 1990, M.S. in physical education
  • Playing Experience: Purdue University, 1980-83
  • Family: Wife, Amy; daughter, Alicia; son, Brent.

    COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • 1984-85 - Purdue (Graduate Assistant Coach)
  • 1986 - Wabash College (Assistant Coach)
  • 1987-90 - Eastern Illinois (Assistant Coach)
  • 1991-94 - Purdue (Assistant Coach
  • 1995-96 - Wyoming (Defensive Coordinator)
  • 1997-2008 - Purdue (Defensive Coordinator)
  • 2009-Present - Illinois State (Head Coach)

    BOWL GAMES COACHED

  • 1984 - Peach Bowl (Purdue lost to Virginia, 24-27)
  • 1997 - Alamo Bowl (Purdue defeated Oklahoma State, 33-20)
  • 1998 - Alamo Bowl (Purdue defeated Kansas State, 37-34)
  • 2000 - Outback Bowl (Purdue lost to Georgia, 25-28 [ot])
  • 2001 - Rose Bowl (Purdue lost to Washington, 24-34)
  • 2001 - Sun Bowl (Purdue lost to Washington State, 27-33)
  • 2002 - Sun Bowl (Purdue defeated Washington, 34-24)
  • 2004 - Capital One Bowl (Purdue lost to Georgia, 27-34 [ot])
  • 2004 - Sun Bowl (Purdue lost to Arizona State, 23-27)
  • 2006 - Champs Sports Bowl (Purdue lost to Maryland, 7-24)
  • 2007 - Motor City Bowl (Purdue defeated Central Michigan, 51-48)

    BOWL GAMES PLAYED IN

  • 1980 - Liberty Bowl (Purdue defeated Missouri, 28-25)

    HIGHLIGHTS AT PURDUE

  • Named one of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision's (FBS) top linebacker coaches by Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com in June 2008
  • Led Purdue to the No. 1 defense in the Big Ten Conference in 2002 (317.2 yards per game)
  • Purdue's defense ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten Conference in 2000, 2001 and 2003
  • Led Purdue to the 13th-best defense in the nation at the FBS level in 2003
  • Twenty-seven of Spack's former players at Purdue went on to play in the NFL

    WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT BROCK SPACK

    Joe Tiller, former head football coach at Purdue University
    "Brock is certainly ready to be a head coach. He's a no-nonsense, high-intensity guy who has a great passion for the sport of football. He also has great compassion for people. The defenses that he has coached were really the stability point for Purdue throughout his time as one of my assistants, even though we were known more as an offensive team. Illinois State is getting a very good coach in Brock Spack."

    Kirk Ferentz, head football coach at the University of Iowa
    "I've admired Brock's work for many years now. He was a very good football player for Purdue. More recently, I've had great admiration for what he has done with the Purdue defensive unit. The success that Purdue has had under Brock and (former head coach) Joe Tiller is well documented. I think of Purdue's recent success as being similar to what the San Francisco 49ers did under Joe Walsh. The 49ers had the `West Coast Offense.' But the common denominator, the thing that got them to the Super Bowl, was the fact that they played great defense, as well. I see Purdue as being very similar to the 49ers in that way.

    "Under Joe Tiller, Purdue had a tremendous offense, but it also had a great defense, and that was guided by Brock Spack. Purdue has had an awful lot of great football teams, and Brock has been a part of many of those great teams. I think he's an outstanding coach, and he'll do an outstanding job at Illinois State."

    Lloyd Carr, former head football coach at the University of Michigan
    "I first met Brock when I was an assistant at Illinois in 1978. I tried to recruit Brock to come play at Illinois, and of course, he went to Purdue. During his career at Purdue, Brock was an outstanding player and leader. He was always one of those guys who I would have loved to have hired (as a coach) myself because I think he's got everything it takes to be an extremely successful head coach. The reason I believe that is because he was such a great assistant coach. He has a great background, having worked for Joe Tiller at Purdue. Purdue had some great defenses while Brock was the defensive coordinator. The Boilermakers could not only hurt you on offense, but also on defense.

    "Brock has a great background in college football. He is a bright guy and works very hard. You talk to the guys that he's coached and they would tell you that they respect him, like him and enjoyed playing for him. His background as an outstanding linebacker and coach in the Big Ten has prepared him to be Illinois State's head football coach."

    Barry Alvarez, athletics director at the University of Wisconsin and former head football coach at the University of Wisconsin
    "Brock Spack is a great hire for Illinois State and its football program. I've known Brock since he was a senior in high school. I was coaching at the University of Iowa and tried to recruit Brock. I didn't get him, as he went to Purdue, but I've followed him throughout both his college playing career and now his coaching career. I was always very impressed with his coaching career. When (Wisconsin head football coach) Bret Bielema was hired here, we talked to Brock and tried to get him to come to Wisconsin as the defensive coordinator. Brock is a highly respected coach in the Big Ten Conference, a terrific defensive coordinator and relates well to both student-athletes and fellow coaches."

    Jim Tressel, head football coach at Ohio State University
    "Brock is one of the finest defensive minds in the nation. He will give Illinois State his all."

    Tom Dienhart, Rivals.com/Yahoo Sports Senior National College Football Writer
    "Brock is a fantastic combination of passion and football acumen and someone that is ready to be a head coach. He's a tough, hard-nosed, bluecollar coach with Midwestern values who knows what it takes to build a winning program. I fully expect him to make Illinois State into a prominent FCS program."

    Rosevelt Colvin, New England Patriots linebacker and former Purdue University linebacker
    "I played a couple of years under Coach Spack, and what I saw from him was a passion for football, a passion for winning and defi nitely an ability to motivate his players to be their best, both on-and-off the fi eld. I'm sure he will bring a fi ery spirit to the Illinois State football program. Coach Spack holds himself in the highest regard, and I'm sure he will be a great asset to Illinois State football."

    Stuart Schweigert, Detroit Lions defensive back and former Purdue University defensive back
    "Coach Spack and I have a special relationship. He was my recruiting coordinator out of high school. Coach Spack did a great job of being very honest and up front with me about my playing opportunities at Purdue. Coach Spack is a blue-collar type of guy. When guys are on the fi eld or in the meeting room, Coach Spack expects them to work hard and to go out on the fi eld and get the job done. He's one of the fi rst guys on the sideline to congratulate you when you make a great play. He knows his football, has been around the game a long time and is a great coach. He's there to teach guys how to be great students and athletes, and to help them achieve their goals."

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