CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University football coach Nick Hill completed his coaching staff Thursday with the addition of a pair of Power 5 conference assistants — linebackers coach Spencer Brown (North Carolina State) and defensive line coach Chuka Ndulue (Nebraska). They join defensive coordinator Jason Petrino as the Salukis look to reshape their defense.
Brown spent the last three seasons on North Carolina State's staff — his first two years as a graduate assistant and 2018 as defensive quality control coach. The Wolfpack were 25-14 during Brown's tenure and made three-straight bowl game appearances — the 2016 Independence Bowl, 2017 Sun Bowl and 2018 Gator Bowl. They had the ACC's No. 3-ranked run defense in the ACC.
"(Wolfpack head coach) Dave Doeren is a tremendous defensive coach and he had a lot of good things to say about Spencer's work during the last three years at North Carolina State," Hill said.
Prior to North Carolina State, Brown served as the linebackers coach and video coordinator at South Dakota in 2015, when the Coyote defense improved from last in the conference to top 30 in the country.
"Spencer worked with Coach Petrino at South Dakota and their familiarity from working together is important," Hill noted.
From 2012-14, Brown was a defensive graduate assistant at North Texas, working with the linebackers. He coached future second-team All-Pro performer Zach Orr and 2014 C-USA leading tackler Derek Akunne.
Ndulue spent the 2018 season as a graduate assistant on the Nebraska coaching staff, where he served under first-year head coach Scott Frost, the 2017 AFCA Coach of the Year at Central Florida. Ndulue played collegiately at Oklahoma (2010-14) and was a team captain and three-year starter.
He totaled 140 tackles in his career, including 17.0 for loss and 12.0 sacks. A two-time second-team All-Big 12 selection, Ndulue set an Oklahoma defensive lineman record with 15 tackles in a game. He helped the Sooners to a 51-15 record in his career and won three bowl games and a pair of Big 12 titles.
Ndulue signed with the Denver Broncos and spent a total of three seasons in the NFL before entering the coaching ranks as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater. He helped the Sooners win the 2017 Big 12 Conference title and play in a 2018 College Football Playoff semifinal.
"Chuka is one of the best up-and-coming defensive line coaches," Hill said. "He was a big-time player at Oklahoma and then bounced around the NFL before becoming a coach. Immediately, our players will respect that. He's been at the highest level as a player and a coach and had some outstanding mentors."