Zak Willis is in his first season at the helm of the Union football program, 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.
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 55-37.
He was Pikeville's first-ever head football coach, and he led the Bears to a 16-12 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.
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 (13) and Baxley (20 months) and a daughter – Reagan (5).
Andre Linn is entering his 13th season as an assistant of the Bulldog football team.
This marks the first year Linn will serve as the offensive line and special teams coach. For the past 10 seasons, he served as the team's 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.
In addition to being the defensive coordinator, Linn will serve as the defensive backs coach. Linn coached the linebackers in 2005-06 and in 2008-09.
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 is beginning his 10th season at Union, serving as 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.
Marco Knorr is entering his ninth season -- eighth consecutive, with the Bulldogs. His time with the Bulldogs was split up by a two-year stint working in NFL Europe. Knorr is beginning his second year as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Under his watch, Knorr has had seven players earn All-Mid-South Conference First Team honors with one being named the MSC East Offensive Player of the Year.
Prior to returning to Union, Knorr spent 2005 as the running back coach of the Colonge Centurions of NFL Europe. In spring of 2006, he served as both the running back coach and the special teams coordinator of the Centurions.
In 2004, he served as the Bulldogs' passing game coordinator.
Before coming to Union the first time, Knorr was the running back coach at Illinois Wesleyan University for two seasons. He also spent time in Germany playing and coaching on the Kiel Hurricanes, a semi-pro team.
Knorr played two seasons for Urbana (Ohio) University and finished his career at West Virginia University Tech. At Urbana, he was a Second Team All-Conference selection and named to Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette's NAIA All-American Team as an honorable mention in 1999. Knorr received 2002 BB&T WVIAC Senior-Scholar Award while at WVU Tech.
He received his B.S. from WVU Tech in 2002 and his M.S. from Illinois State University in 2004.
Knorr is married to the former Kellie Smith. The couple has two children.
Jonathan Abel is entering his second year as a member of the Bulldog coaching staff and will serve as the wide receivers coach.
Abel is very familiar with the Mid-South Conference as he was a four-year member of the Lambuth (Tenn.) University football team from 2005-08 where he played wide receiver. A three-time MSC Academic All-Conference Team member, Abel was named as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete in 2008. He graduated from Lambuth in 2009 with a bachelors in psychology.
After leaving Lambuth, Abel obtained a masters in forensics psychology from Marymount (Va.) University.
A native of Collierville, Tenn., Abel served as a coach for the Collierville High football team in 2011.
Terron Cheadle is beginning his second season on the Bulldog staff and will coach the strikes. Last season, he worked with the linebacking corps.
A former Bulldog himself, Cheadle played two seasons for Union on the offensive line. Prior to coming to Barbourville, he played at Antelope Valley College, a junior college in Lancaster, Calif.
Cheadle graduated from Union in May of 2012 with a degree in history and political science. He is currently working on his masters in education.