Toledo defensive coordinator expected to be named Southeast's football coach Wednesday

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tom Matukewicz, right, shakes the hand of Fresno State coach Pat Hill after leading Northern Illinois to a win over Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl in 2010. Matukewicz, who is expected to be named Southeast's football coach on Wednesday, served as NIU's interim head coach for the game. NIU won 40-17. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

Toledo defensive coordinator Tom Matukewicz is expected to be named Southeast Missouri State's new football coach today.

Toledo Blade reporter Ryan Autullo, who covers the Toledo football program, confirmed the news on Tuesday afternoon.

Southeast issued a press release Tuesday afternoon saying it will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday "regarding the future" of the program.

Matukewicz has been the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Toledo for the past two seasons.

Toledo, which competes in the Mid-American Conference in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, finished 7-5 this season but was not invited to a bowl.

Toledo ranked 12th in total defense among MAC teams in Matukewicz's first season at the school. The Rockets improved to ninth overall this year, ranking fifth in rushing defense and 10th in passing defense.

Matukewicz, who most often simply goes by "Coach Tuke," spent the previous four seasons at Northern Illinois University, where he was linebackers coach. He served as the interim head coach for NIU's win over Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl in 2010 after head coach Jerry Kill took a position at Minnesota.

Matukewicz followed Kill to NIU after he worked for him at SIU Carbondale. He coached at SIU from 2001 to 2007 and was named the Football Championship Subdivision Assistant Coach of the Year in 2007. He served as the Salukis' linebackers coach and running game coordinator.

According to his bio on the NIU athletics website, Matukewicz was born in St. Joseph, Mo., on Aug. 5, 1973, but Silver Lake, Kan., is listed as his hometown in multiple online biographies and is where he graduated from high school.

Matukewicz will replace Tony Samuel, who was fired on Nov. 26.

Southeast athletic director Mark Alnutt said during an interview with the Missourian earlier this month that he planned to conduct the search for a new coach largely on his own, relying on the administrative help of one university employee and what he described as a considerable network of professional connections. He said he would use the connections to both vet candidates who applied for the job or he already was familiar with as well as to help him identify additional candidates.

"When things like this happen -- that's why I never underestimate having a strong network -- you have people in the industry that call you about a person -- people that you trust, that you respect, that you admire, whatever the case is, calling you, 'Hey, have you thought about this guy?'" Alnutt said earlier this month. "And then you do your research on that guy and say, 'Well, you know, this might not be a bad fit.Let me call this other person.'"

Alnutt said he planned to bring three or four finalists to campus for interviews.

"Through the interview process each candidate will meet with the president and then I will make the recommendation to the president," he said.

The new coach will take over a program that has had just three winning season since moving to Division I in 1991.

Samuel had two years remaining on a five-year contract that he signed in 2010 when he was fired. He compiled a record of 31-60 during his eight seasons at Southeast and produced just one team with a winning record. The Redhawks finished 9-3 in 2010 and claimed the Ohio Valley Conference title.

Samuel was named OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year, Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, which is given to the FCS national coach of the year, and American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year following that season.

Samuel was hired to replace Tim Billings, who resigned following the 2005 season. Billings coached from 2000 to 2005 and finished with an overall record of 25-43. He also had just a single winning season. That team finished 8-4 in 2002 and Billings was named OVC Coach of the Year.

Billings replaced John Mumford after he resigned. Mumford was the defensive coordinator at Southeast in 1989 and was the head coach from 1990 to 1999

He was 40-70 in his career at Southeast and had one winning season in 1994, when Southeast finished 7-5 and Mumford was named OVC Coach of the Year.

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