WKU confirms hire of Bryan Ellis as offensive coordinator

WKU’s new head coach Tyson Helton (left) shares a smile with WKU athletic director Todd Stewart (right) during Helton’s first press conference as the new head coach of the Hilltoppers at the Harbaugh Club in Houchens-Smith Stadium Nov. 27 in Bowling Green. “It’s not about making championships,” Helton said. “Its about making champions.” Helton comes to WKU after working for Tennessee and Southern California.

Jeremy Chisenhall

Tyson Helton is bringing another former Hilltopper back to the Hill. 

Former WKU assistant coach Bryan Ellis will be the Hilltoppers’ next offensive coordinator under Helton, the program announced Tuesday. 

Ellis was Southern California’s quarterbacks coach in 2018. He also served as an assistant with the Trojans in 2017 after leaving WKU. He was a Hilltopper assistant from 2014-16, and called plays for WKU in the team’s 51-31 win over Memphis in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 20, 2017. 

“From the beginning, we wanted this coaching staff to be comprised of men who can not only be excellent teachers for our student-athletes but also great mentors and motivators,” Helton said in a press release. “I believe we have accomplished that to this point in the process. Our offensive staff will bring an exciting brand of football back to The Hill, and our defensive staff is comprised of veterans who have the total trust of our players.”

Junior Adams was the previous offensive coordinator, but former head coach Mike Sanford called plays for the team in 2018. 

Helton will return the following staff members: defensive coordinator Clayton White, linebackers coach Maurice Crum, defensive ends coach Jimmy Lindsey, defensive tackles coach Kenny Martin, offensive line coach TJ Woods and strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp. 

Nick Uhlenhopp, the assistant athletic director for football operations, will also return, as will recruiting staffers Zach Grant and Taylor Brown. 

Sports Editor Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]opper.wku.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.