EIU Opens Spring Practice; Completes Staff

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Published on April 3 2013 2:16 pm
Last Updated on April 3 2013 2:16 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – The defending Ohio Valley Conference Champion Eastern Illinois football team opened spring practice Tuesday afternoon with a helmets only practice.  The 15 allotted NCAA practices for the spring season will conclude Saturday, April 27 with the spring game currently scheduled for 12 p.m. at O’Brien Field.

“It’s exciting to be back on the practice field,” said quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.  “It’s going to be a fun year.  Last year the system and coaching staff were all new to the team.  This spring we are lot more comfortable and can work on improving on both sides of the ball.”

“We have a different feel around our football team this spring” said head coach Dino Babers as he enters his second season leading the Panthers.  “There is a comfort level with the players and coaching staff.  I think we are going to have a little bit of a target on our backs this season.  It’s going to be exciting to see if we can duplicate the success we had last year.”

In addition to opening spring practice on Tuesday, Babers announced the hiring of Chanterius Brock to fill out his coaching staff for the 2013 season.  Brock will coach the defensive secondary after several years as an assistant and head coach in the Michigan High School ranks.

Brock served as the head coach at South Lake HS in St. Clair Shores, Mich., last year leading the team to a state playoff appearance with 15 of 25 players making the honor roll.

Prior to that head coaching opportunity Brock served one season as the defensive coordinator at Oak Park HS in Michigan and two years as the defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Madison HS in Madison Heights, Mich.  At Madison HS he helped coach the team to three straight Michigan Division 5 state playoff appearances.  His 2010 defensive unit forced 36 turnovers with three players earning All-State honors including Mr. Michigan Football Finalist Valdez Showers, currently a cornerback at the University of Florida.  Brock coached at Denby HS in Detroit in 2007 serving as the linebacker coach for a team that finished second in the Detroit Public League making the Division I playoffs.

He is a graduate of Marygrove College.  In addition to his high school coaching experience, Brock was the co-founder and director of player recruitment for the Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy & Maximum Exposure Showcase.