McNeese football announces coaching staff additions under first-year Head Coach Sterlin Gilbert

McNeese football announces coaching staff additions under first-year Head Coach Sterlin Gilbert

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Cowboys have officially added all new faces to the 2019-2020 coaching staff.

The positions are listed below:

Director of Football Operations, Jimmy Fowler


Offensive Coordinator, Matt Mattox

Derek Shay will be the new Tight Ends Coach. Shay graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2013. Prior to EIU, Shay played collegiately for one season at Western Illinois University before transferring to EIU to finish out his college career in coaching. During his two seasons at EIU, Shay worked with the offensive line and tight ends.

Following graduation, Shay joined current Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers' staff at Bowling Green as an Offensive Graduate Assistant.

He then went on to serve as the Co-Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis.

In 2017, Shay joined the IMG Academy as their Offensive Line Coach.

Lanear Sampson will join the Cowboys as one of their two Wide Receiver Coaches. Sampson played receiver at Baylor, where he was a four-year starter from 2009-2012. He finished his career fifth on the all-time receptions list (165) and 10th in career receiving yardage (1,905).

Following his college career, Sampson spent time in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2015, he signed with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League.

Sampson then went on to be an offensive graduate assistant at Syracuse. In 2017, he moved to the position of Quality Control Coach for the Orange.

In 2018, Sampson accepted a position as Assistant Coach/ Wide Receivers Coach at Missouri State where he spent the last year.

The Dino Babers' coaching tree continues to impress as Jeff Lepak will work alongside Sampson as the Pokes' second Wide Receiver’s Coach. Lepak, a native of Texas, also played receiver at Baylor from 2010-2012, before transferring to play tight end at Eastern Illinois in 2013. Lepak caught 81 passes for more than 1,000 yards and nine TDs in two seasons with the Panthers, including 51 catches and eight TDs in 2013.

After college, Lepak linked up with Babers in 2015 as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green and then followed him to Syracuse the next year as a Recruiting Operations Assistant before taking on a new role as Special Teams Quality Control Coach in November 2016.


Jim Gush will be the new Cowboy Defensive Coordinator. Gush, a 35-year coaching veteran, has spent the last six seasons with Baylor as the Assistant Linebackers Coach/ Defense Recruiting Coordinator.

Prior to Baylor, Gush spent time at Garden City Community College (12 years, three as HC and nine as DC), Kansas State (three seasons), SMU (six seasons as DC).

Gush began his coaching career at Albany in 1983 where he coached defensive backs. He then moved to Iowa State in 1984 as a graduate assistant on Bennett’s defensive staff serving as Special Team’s Coordinator and Assistant Defensive Backs Coach before moving to Garden City.

Cris Dishman, A 13-year NFL veteran, All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler as a player will be the Pokes new Defensive Backs Coach.

Like New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, Dishman played collegiately at Purdue, where he earned 1987 All-Big Ten honors as a senior under current Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.

From 2009 to 2012, Dishman was a Secondary Assistant Coach for the San Diego Chargers, where in 2011 he coached Eric Weddle to his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Prior to that, Dishman spent two seasons at Menlo College in Northern California, where he was the Defensive Backs Coach and later on the defensive coordinator.

Dishman also spent time coaching with the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins. He spent the 2005 season coaching DBs for the Berlin Thunder of the NFL Europe League.

Dishman was drafted in the fifth round of the 1988 NFL Draft by Glanville’s “House of Pain” Houston Oilers. He spent 13 seasons in the league, including stops at Washington (1997-98), Kansas City (1999) and Minnesota (2000). Dishman went on to retire in 2000 totaling 43 career interceptions (31 with the Oilers), 668 tackles, 16 fumble recoveries and six touchdowns (three interception returns, three fumble returns) in 199 games played.

Following his impressive playing career, Dishman spent four years at Baylor, as an Assistant Coach, working specifically with the safeties.

Dishman spent this past year (2018) as the Defensive Backs Coach of the Montreal Alouettes (CFL) in Montreal, Canada.

Nich Graham will be joining Dishman as DB Coach.

Graham, a former Division I standout (TU), went on to play six years of professional football, spending the first three years with the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts. He was out of football for a year and then returned to the CFL for three seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Graham spent the last three seasons at Central Oklahoma as a Defensive Backs Coach.

Prior to that, Graham spent three years as an assistant at Tulsa. Graham also served as a Student Assistant Coach for the Golden Hurricane in 2013 before spending the 2014 and 2015 seasons as defensive analyst.

Last, but certainly not least, McNeese welcomes new Linebackers Coach, Brody Trahan.

Trahan, a 2013 graduate of Baylor, lettered all four seasons as linebacker and was a team captain during the 2013 season. From 2010-13 he played in 52 games, totaling 104 tackles, including 42 during his senior campaign, while earning the title of Big 12 Champion.

After graduation, Trahan transitioned into coaching, spending three seasons at his alma mater as a graduate assistant and defensive analyst.

The past two years Trahan spent in New York as the Linebacker Coach for ITHACA College.

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