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Inside the Headset with the AFCA

Jul 25, 2019

This week on Inside the Headset we speak with Travis Niekamp, Defensive Coordinator for Illinois State University. We discuss the transformation of the Illinois State football program, his development as a coach on both sides of the ball, and how he strives to prioritize his family while also being a coach.

Coach Niekamp's career began at his Illinois State, his alma mater, as an outside linebackers and safeties coach (1998-1999). In 2000, he joined the staff at Army working with the tight ends (2000-2003). Niekamp served as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Eastern Washington (2004-2007) before moving to Washington State to coach linebackers (2008-2011). He later joined Louisiana-Monroe to initially coach the tight ends, but crossed back over to the defensive side to coach linebackers and special teams after his first season, and he eventually served as the co-defensive coordinator (2012-2015). Niekamp coached linebackers and special teams at Montana (2016-2017) prior to being named the defensive coordinator at Illinois State in 2018.

  • [0:25] Start of interview
  • [1:25] Playing at Illinois State
  • [3:28] Coaching at alma mater
  • [6:27] Development of program
  • [9:27] Transition from player to coach
  • [13:53] Advice to GAs
  • [16:36] Being flexible as a coach
  • [21:24] How transitioning to a new job impacts family
  • [26:45] Prioritizing family alongside coaching football

You can follow Travis Niekamp on Twitter.

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