Miami University head football coach Chuck Martin has announced the addition of Spence Nowinsky to his coaching staff. Nowinsky will serve as the team’s co-defensive coordinator and linebacker’s coach.
Nowinsky spent the last nine seasons at Illinois State, including the final four as the Redbird’s defensive coordinator. He was also the team’s assistant head coach and mentored the defensive line.
Since taking the helm of the ISU defense, the Redbirds’ defense has improved statistically every year. In 2014 the defense allowed an average of 345.5 yards per game and this past season the Redbirds defense ranked 16th nationally, allowing 306.7 yards per game. In 2017, ISU ranked 13th in sacks (33), 14th in rushing allowed (108.4) and 23rd in points (19.4).
Nowinsky’s trademark to this point has been getting pressure on the opposing quarterback. In four years, ISU’s defense racked up 131 sacks, which helped the Redbird force 70 turnovers in that span. Illinois State was also strong on third downs, allowing a conversion rate of just 34-percent over the past four seasons.
Under Nowinsky, six players earned first-team all-conference honors and another was a two-time first-team All-American back in 2012 and 2013.
Nowinsky came to Illinois State following two years as the associate head coach and defensive line coach at NCAA Division II member Emporia State. He had prior experience coaching at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level, including assistant coaching positions at Western Athletic Conference (WAC) member Idaho (2003) and Wisconsin (1999-2002).
Prior to coaching at Emporia State, Nowinsky spent three seasons at his alma mater, Minnesota State, where he coached the defensive line during the 2004 and 2006 seasons. In 2005, Nowinsky coached the Mavericks’ offensive line.
Nowinsky spent the 2003 season as a defensive line coach for Idaho. He began his collegiate coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant at Wisconsin from 1999-2002. The Badgers won the 2000 Rose Bowl with a 17-9 victory over Stanford. Nowinsky was an assistant coach at Wittenberg-Birnamwood (Wis.) High School from 1997-99 and began his coaching career in 1995-97 as an assistant at Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (Minn.) High School.
Nowinsky played football at Minnesota State from 1991-94 as a defensive lineman. He and his wife, Jen, have two sons, Tommy and Jack.