DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF
Asst. Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator
Someone with deep ties to North Dakota, Brett Holinka joins the University of Mary as defensive coordinator in December 2017 after three seasons at fellow Northern Sun member Winona State University and two at NCAA Division I Rutgers.
Holinka spent three seasons (2015-17) at Winona State as Special Teams Coordinator and linebackers coach. He helped lead the Warriors to a 10-2 record in 2017 and an NCAA playoff berth with WSU ranked first in the NSIC in punt returns, kick returns and kick coverage. In 2016 Winona State ranked second nationally in punt return and sixth in blocked kicks. Defensively the Warriors led the NSIC in scoring defense, total defense, takeaways, 3rd down efficiency, red zone efficiency and opponent pass efficiency. He coached LB Mike Imperiale to All-NSIC first team honors in 2016 and 2017 and Jake Balliu to first team all-conference honors as a return specialist.
After starting his collegiate coaching career at the University of St. Thomas for two seasons (2010-11) on two Tommies teams that reached the quarterfinals (2010) and semifinals (2011) of the NCAA Division III playoffs, Holinka was a Winona State University graduate assistant linebackers coach during the 2012 season. He started his coaching career as a linebackers coach for Trinity High School in Dickinson, ND, in 2009.
A 2009 University of North Dakota graduate with a degree in physical education and exercise science, Holinka was an All-Great West linebacker (2008). He earned All-North Central Conference honorable mention linebacker in 2007 and was a member of two NCC conference championship teams (2005, 2006). While at UND he played for current University of Mary Athletic Director Dale Lennon.
Assistant Coach / Defensive Line / Recruiting Coordinator
Heading into his sixth season at the University of Mary, Ben Davis coaches the defensive line and oversees recruiting. The 2017 season will be his second consecutive season coaching the defensive line for the Marauders.
In 2016 Davis coached a Marauders defensive line that was anchored by defensive tackle Brock Pittsley, an all-conference performer, who recorded seven sacks, the 3rd most in the NSIC.
Davis originally came to UMary in 2013 as a graduate assistant coaching the running backs. He moved to defensive ends coach for the 2014 season, when he worked with Marauders all-conference defensive end Troy Guptill who finished fourth in the NSIC that season in sacks with ten. After a brief stint at UW-Stout, he returned to coach the Marauders full time in the spring of 2015 as the offensive line coach. With the transition of offensive philosophy, he returned to his home on the defensive line for the 2016 season.
Ben started his collegiate coaching experience at his alma mater in 2012, where he guided the MacMurray College Highlanders starting running back to second team all-conference honors.
A starter at both defensive end and nose tackle at MacMurray, Ben earned UMAC academic all-conference honors in 2010 and was recognized by the Highlanders athletic department for maintaining the highest academic achievement during the 2011 academic year.
Ben graduated from MacMurray College in 2011 with a degree in Sports Management and a minor in coaching. He earned a master's degree in Business Administration from UMary in 2014.
Asst. Football Coach - Defensive Backs
After both playing and coaching at Winona State University, Matthew Splon joined the University of Mary football coaching staff in December 2017 as defensive backs coach.
Splon spent the last three seasons (2015-17) coaching outside linebackers at Winona State alongside Marauders defensive coordinator Brett Holinka. In 2017 Splon helped coach the Warriors to a 10-2 mark and a spot in the NCAA Division II playoffs. The WSU defense led the NSIC in pass efficiency defense (96.5), finished second in the NSIC in scoring defense (14.6 ppg) and takeaways (36) and allowed just 308.5 yards of offense per game. In 2016 the Warriors were 8-3 and led the NSIC in scoring defense (17.6 ppg), total defense (318.2 ypg), pass efficiency defense (99.8), forced turnovers (28) and turnover margin (+13) and was second in the league in pass defense (182.7 ypg). Splon coached LB Nick Pridgeon to a pair of all-conference honors (2nd team All-NSIC South 2017, honorable mention 2016).
As a student-athlete at Winona State, Splon was a three-time Northern Sun all-academic team selection (2011-13) and a Presidential Scholar Athlete (2011-13). He was voted by his teammates to the NSIC Leadership Council (2011-13) and was twice named the team’s most valuable special teams player (2012-13). Splon, a member of the 2012 Mineral Water Bowl championship team, was coached one season by University of Mary alumnus Marquice Williams, who is now an assistant coach in the NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers. He graduated from Winona State in 2014 with a degree in business administration.
Graduate Assistant Coach / Linebackers
Possessing coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and high school level, Randy Bandelow just wrapped up his second season as the UMary graduate assistant cornerbacks coach.
In his first season with the Marauders in 2016, Bandelow assisted with a secondary that included all-conference junior cornerback Jacob Parker.
In 2017, Bandelow coached a cornerbacks group that include two of the team’s top six tacklers in seniors Jacob Parker and Brady Zittleman. The cornerback group batted down 21 passes and had three sacks. Bandelow also assisted with a Defensive Back group that included leading tackler and all-conference sophomore Noah Krebs.
A native of Surprise, Arizona, Bandelow spent the 2015 season as the head video coordinator and assistant coach at Scottsdale Community College. At the same time he also coached defensive backs at Raymond S. Kellis High School in Arizona.
Bandelow began his coaching career in 2014 as a video and coaching intern for the Arizona Rattlers, the 2014 ArenaBowl champions.He graduated with honors from Grand Canyon University in 2015 with a degree in sports management and is set to receive his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Mary in 2018.