Naggi Named Defensive Coordinator

SALEM, OR- Bearcat Head Football Coach Mark Speckman announced this week that Nate Naggi, a former player at the University of Oregon, has been named the new Defensive Coordinator for Bearcat football.

Naggi replaces Chris Prange who has accepted a position to coach in Austria and intends to pursue a master’s degree.

Naggi (pronounced Nay-gee) comes to the Bearcats after two years coaching at Quincy College, an NAIA school in Illinois. Five years ago, after completing his playing career at the University of Oregon, Naggi was assistant linebacker coach here at Willamette. He was a graduate assistant coach at the U of O in 2001 and 2002 when the Ducks won the Fiesta Bowl.

Naggi, who’s parents live in Portland, said coming back to the West coast was a priority.

“I enjoyed my time at Quincy, but coming back here gets me closer to family and closer to the football contacts I developed as a player and as a coach at Oregon,” said Naggi. “It’s great to be able to pick up the phone and talk football with the coaches at Oregon and around the area. It’s good to be back at Willamette.”

Naggi said he runs a defense very similar to the one already in place here. “I may have a few modifications, but the basic foundation and the terminology is the same and I think that was important to Coach Speckman and to Coach Horner.”

Naggi will face a tough job next season as the Bearcats lose their entire defensive line. Recruiting is a top priority as he gets settled in, as is watching film from last season.

“It will help to be able to lead spring drills. We’ve got some talented kids coming back and hope to have a good recruiting season. This is a place we can continue to win with a lot of great kids and good athletes. I’m excited to get started.”

Nate Naggi

Nate Naggi