NAIA
NAIA
 
2016 Football Coaches
Zak Willis Image
Zak Willis
Head Coach - 3rd Season
Alma Mater: Furman University, 1990

 

  • Zak Willis enters his third season at the helm of the Union football program in 2015, joining the staff in April of 2014. He is the 11th head coach in program history and eighth to man the post since the sport was reinstated at Union in 1984.
  • In addition to being the head coach, Willis oversees and coaches the quarterbacks.
  • In two seasons, the Bulldogs are 2-18 overall and 2-9 in Mid-South Conference East play.
  • Union went 1-9 overall and 1-4 in MSC East play in 2015. The Bulldogs ranked seventh in the NAIA in first downs per game (24.1), ninth in fourth-down conversions (63.9 percent) and 32nd in rushing offense per game (183.6 ).
  • In Willis' first season at Union in 2014, the Bulldogs posted a 1-9 record, 1-5 in the MSC East. That one win though, was a historic one, as Union knocked off rival Cumberlands (Ky.) for the first time since 2011 in the first night game at the newly christened Williamson Stadium.
  • Offensively, Union was one of the best teams in the NAIA all season long in Willis' first season, ranking fifth all-time in program history in points per game (30.5) and total points (305). Nationally, Union ranked 27th in points per game, 35th in total points and 36th in yards per game (391.9).
  • One Bulldog has earned All-MSC East First Team Honors honors under Willis with eight others making the All-MSC East Second Team. In 2014, Jake Johnston was honored for his work in the classroom after being named Capital One Academic All-District® Football Team in the College Division.
  • This is the third head coaching post for Willis, who previous manned the programs at Mid-South Conference East rival Pikeville (Ky.) and NCAA Division II Newberry (S.C.). Willis owns a career record of 55-52
  • He was Pikeville's first-ever head football coach, and he led the Bears to a 15-13 mark during his tenure.
  • When he arrived at Newberry, the Wolves were coming off a 1-10 record and in the midst of an 18-conference game losing streak. Willis posted a 39-25 overall mark at Newberry, leading it to its first conference title ever and to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2006. Newberry was the SAC Co-Champions in 2008.
  • Willis has also served as a member of the staff at South Carolina, Michigan State and Miami (Ohio).
  • A 1990 graduate of Furman (S.C.), Willis was a member of the Paladians football team for three seasons, including the 1988 NCAA I-AA National Champion squad.
  • Willis is married (Sara) and has three children: two sons – Zakary (15) and Baxley (3) and a daughter – Reagan (7).

Zak Willis Year-by-Year

Year School Record Pct. Notes
2015 Union (Ky.) 1-9 .100  
2014 Union (Ky.) 1-9 .100  
2008 Newberry (S.C.) 6-4 .600  
2007 Newberry (S.C.) 9-2 .818  
2006 Newberry (S.C.) 11-2 .846 South Atlantic Conference Champions; NCAA Division II Tournament Participant; Advanced to Second Round of Southeast Region
2005 Newberry (S.C.) 5-4 .556  
2004 Newberry (S.C.) 5-6 .455  
2003 Newberry (S.C.) 3-7 .300  
2002 Pikeville (Ky.) 5-5 .500  
2001 Pikeville (Ky.) 3-7 .300 First Season Playing Four-Year Schools
2000 Pikeville (Ky.) 7-1 .875 First Year of Playing Football at Institution

 

 
Andre Linn Image
Andre Linn
Assistant Coach - 16th Season

 

  • Andre Linn is entering his 16th season as an assistant of the Bulldog football team.
  • Linn serves as the assistant head coach and is the offensive coordinator, the recruiting coordinator and the offensive line coach.
  • In previous years, he served as the defensive coordinator.
  • In 2006, the Bulldog defense had four First Team All-Conference selections as it held opponents to just 232 points - the 10th lowest point total allowed in program history. In addition, there have been 16 First Team Defensive All-Conference since Linn has been the defensive coordinator.
  • During his first two seasons, he served as the defensive line coach before coaching the linebackers and being named the defensive coordinator in 2003. In 2004, Linn was again the defensive coordinator along with coaching the defensive backs.
  • Prior to coming to Union in 2001, Linn spent two seasons as the defensive line coach at Randolph Macon (Va.) College. He spent one season at Juniata (Penn.) College as the offensive line coach.
  • Linn received his B.S. in accounting from Juniata in 1998 and was a four-year letterman for the Eagles, earning first team All-Conference honors in 1997. He received his M.A. in education in 2002 from Union.
  • Linn is married to the former Amy Jo Killion, and the couple has three children – two daughters, Lillian and Lilah, and a son, Logan.
 
John Gray Image
John Gray
Assistant Coach - 13th Season

 

  • John Gray is beginning his 13th season at Union, serving as the defensive coordinator and the defensive line coach. In 2004, he headed up the linebacking corps.
  • The Bulldogs produced their first first team All-Conference selection on the defensive line under Gray in 2008. Union had not had a defensive lineman receive that honor since 1997. Union had another first-team All-Conference selection from the defensive line in 2010. In addition, there have been 16 first team defensive All-Conference since Gray has been working with the Bulldog defense.
  • The Union defense limited opponents to 232 points in 2006 - the 10th lowest point total allowed in program history.
  • The Danville, Ky. native received his bachelor's from the University of Tennessee at Martin in August of 2004. He played four seasons (1999-03) for the Skyhawks and was a team captain in 2003.
 
Brett Banfield
Assistant Coach - 1st Season

 

  • Is entering his first season on the Bulldog coaching staff.
  • Serving as the special teams coordinator and the wide receivers coach.
  • Prior to coming to Union, Banfield spent one season as Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., as the running backs coach and the assistant director of football operations.
  • In 2014, he was the running backs coach, assistant special teams coordinator and assistant director of football operations at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.
  • Was the head coach for the Durham County Presidents American Football Club in Durham, England, in 2013. Banfield oversaw the program through a change to a more modern offensive attack, implementing a spread, no-huddle offense. Also introduced an aggressive 3-4 base defense.
  • Spent two seasons coaching in the high school ranks. Was the running backs coach for Santa Fe High School in Alachua, Fla., in 2012, and the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator fr Lake Wales High School in Lake Wales, Fla., in 2013.
  • Graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 with a bachelor's in history and a master's in sports management in 2013.
  • Served as a student volunteer assistant at the University of Florida in 2011-12. Primary duties included breaking down of the offensive game film of opponents.
  • Was a wide receiver and long snapper for Durham University in Durham, England, and played semi-pro ball in Perth, Australia, for the Rockingham Vipers.
 
C.J. Hunnicutt Image
C.J. Hunnicutt
Assistant Coach - 4th Season

 

  • Beginning his fourth season as a member of the Bulldog staff.
  • Serves as the linebackers coach.
  • Played three seasons for the Bulldogs (2010-12) on the defensive line. Played in 23 total games, making 79 total tackles (28 solo, 51 assisted) with 12.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks.
  • Top season came in 2012 when he recorded 49 total tackles and a team-high 2.5 sacks.
  • Married to the former Erin Karlsgodt.
 
Brian Clark Image
Brian Clark
Grad Assistant - 2nd Season

 

  • Beginning second year as a member of the Bulldog coaching staff, serving as the running backs coach.
  • Graduated from Union with a bachelor of science in criminal justice in May 2015.
  • Was a four-year member of the Bulldog football team.
  • Finished career with 1,025 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Ran for a career-high 531 yards in 2013.
 
Leo Rumbaugh Image
Leo Rumbaugh
Student Assistant - 2nd Season

 

 

 

  • In his second season on the Bulldog coaching staff.
  • Is the H Backs coach after coaching the tight ends in 2015.
  • Graduated from Union in May of 2016 with a degree in health sciences.
  • Before coming to Union, Rumbaugh served as a medic in the United States Army while stationed in Germany.
  • In Germany, Rumbaugh was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Kaiserslautern Pikes of the German 3rd league. Under Rumbaugh's control, they were the highest scoring offense in the league.
  • Married to the former Dawn Evans. They have four children together: Brooklynn (17), Logan(14), Alexia(12) and Aiden(8).