Turner Continues Building Staff with Defensive Coordinator Josh Conklin
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1/14/2013 12:00:00 PM

Miami, Fla. (FIUSports.com) – FIU football Head Coach Ron Turner has announced the hiring of Josh Conklin as the Panthers’ new Defensive Coordinator.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with Coach (Ron) Turner and start the process of developing our players defensively at each position group,” said Conklin. “Coach Turner is a huge quality guy to want to work for. It’s a great opportunity to be here in the state of Florida and have the players right there in your backyard who can help you win games.”

Conklin most recently served as safeties coach at the University of Tennessee during the 2012 season under former Head Coach Derek Dooley. Prior to Tennessee, Conklin served as defensive coordinator and safeties coach at The Citadel in 2010 and 2011.

“I’m excited to have Josh (Conklin) join us as defensive coordinator,” said Turner. “He is a bright and enthusiastic coach that is also a tremendous communicator. I’m also excited about the aggressive style of defense he wants to implement.”

While with The Citadel, Conklin's Bulldogs defense ranked third in the Southern Conference in total defense. In 2011, seven of 11 Bulldogs opponents were limited to fewer than 20 points, and two years ago, eight of 11 foes scored fewer than 20. The Citadel allowed averages of 23.4 points and 343.8 yards an outing to rank second and third, respectively, in the league in 2011. In his first season in 2010, the Bulldogs ranked third in the conference in total defense, allowing 338.4 yards per game.

Also during Conklin's tenure with The Citadel, cornerback Cortez Allen was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 NFL Draft and played in 15 games as well as the NFL Wild Card playoff game against the Denver Broncos. Defensive end Erik Clanton, who finished tied for 12th in the FCS in sacks in 2010, earned a free agent opportunity with the Steelers after originally signing with the Montreal Alouettes.

Prior to joining the staff at The Citadel, Conklin spent three seasons coaching defensive backs (2007-09) at Wofford and added special teams to his responsibilities in his final season in Spartanburg. With Conklin on the staff, the Terriers led the Southern Conference in scoring defense in 2007 while intercepting a conference-high 20 passes and adding 13 picks the following season.

Conklin began his coaching career at South Dakota State, serving as a graduate assistant in 2003 and 2004 before being elevated to a full-time position coaching the secondary and special teams during the 2005-06 seasons.

The South Dakota State secondary ranked second in the Great West Conference in pass defense in 2006, while Conklin's kickoff return and kickoff coverage teams were the top-ranked units in the conference. That season saw the Jackrabbits finish the year ranked 21st in the nation by the College Sporting News.

Conklin graduated from Dakota State University in 2003 with a degree in physical education. He started at linebacker his junior and senior seasons and was an Academic All-American. He also received a master's degree in sports administration from South Dakota State in 2008.

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About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports. Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.

About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls nearly 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.

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