POSTED: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 5:56pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 10:42pm
Former UTEP consensus All-American, Brian Natkin, has been named as the offensive line coach, head coach Mike Price announced on Tuesday. Natkin replaces co-offensive coordinator Bob Connelly, who recently departed to Arizona State.
“We are deeply honored and humbled to have one of the true stars of Miner football returning as part of our coaching staff,” Price said. “Brian brings experience as an offensive line coach after working at Midwestern State. He has recruiting ties in the state of Texas, which is a tremendous asset. We are very excited to welcome him back.”
Natkin returns to his alma mater after a five-year stint at NCAA Division II Midwestern State. The Mustangs were a combined 41-15, including 10-1 in 2011, and claimed the Lone Star Conference title in 2009. He mentored three All-Americans (Tony Burson, Lance Calloway and Amini Silatolu) and numerous all-conference selections.
In 2011 the offensive line surrendered just nine sacks in 11 games and the Mustangs led the nation in total offense (531.9 ypg) and scoring (48.6 ppg) and ranked second nationally in rushing (323.5 ypg).
Prior to his stint at MSU, Natkin coached one season at Northern Colorado where he developed an offensive line that paved the way for 1,000-yard rusher Andre Wilson.
“It’s great to be back in El Paso,” said Natkin. “My wife and I love it here. We are both graduates of UTEP and it’s really good to be back in a city we lived in for seven years. I’m excited to work on a great staff with coach Price. I’m ready to get to work, meet the players and get to recruiting.”
Natkin served as a graduate assistant at UTEP in 2004 and 2005, working with the offense and tight ends. While at UTEP, he tutored second-team All-WAC performer Jonas Crafts (2004) and honorable mention freshman All-American Jamar Hunt (2005).
One of two consensus All-Americans in program history, Natkin led all tight ends nationally with 64 catches for 787 yards in 2000. He ended his career with 172 receptions for 1,934 yards. He was a three-time first team All-WAC selection (1998-2000).
Following his career at UTEP, Natkin spent time in the NFL with Tennessee (2001-02) and St. Louis (2003). He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UTEP in 2003 and his master’s in business in 2005. The San Antonio native is married to the former Stacey Zimmerman, a former volleyball standout at UTEP. The couple has two children – Brock and Lauren.