Hastings, NE - Hastings College Football Coach Tony Harper has announced the hiring of the new defensive line coach EJ Valentine effective immediately.
Previously, Valentine was the defensive coordinator at Texas College this past season and prior to that he was the co-defensive coordinator at Bacone College from 2011-2014.
"We didn't want to go to fast with the hiring process as we wanted to make sure we made the right hire," Harper continued. "I asked the coaches if they knew of anybody to bring a name forward. Coach Kimura and Coach Valentine had worked at different show case camps in the past. Coach brought him up so I gave him a call. It was a great conversation and he was exactly what we are looking for. He has the NAIA experience down at Bacone and at Texas College but he also played at Central Missouri State where he was an All-American. So we are extremely excited and very fortunate to get a coach with his experience."
Coach Valentine talked about what it means to him to coach here at Hastings College, "Texas College gave me an opportunity and I appreciated that," Valentine said. "Coming here to Hastings is a dream come true, I'm excited to be here and I'm looking forward to working with young men in both recruiting and getting our team to be a great football team."
Coach Valentine brings a few different perspectives through his All-American playing days at Central Missouri State along with his coaching experience which Coach Harper feels will be added value to this coaching staff. "Because he's been at different places, he's run different schemes, he played in different schemes so I think he is going to bring a different idea to it overall with what we are trying to do with the stack," Harper said. "I know what we want to do in the back end at linebacker but all the different things he's done in the past with his D line is just to add to that. It also helps to have a guy that has been a defensive coordinator before so we can bounce different ideas off each other."
Valentine is looking forward to going up against some of the best competition in the country because of what the Great Plains Athletic Conference has to offer. "That is one of the things that drove me to come here is that the conference is strong, we've got a lot of great teams in there," Valentine said. "Hastings is doing a great job and I feel with me being here and helping out is going to help us compete against the best the GPAC has to offer."