DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF
Co-Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers Coach
Ben Davis, after spending a season away following five years on the University of Mary coaching staff, returned to the Marauders ih February 2019 as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Davis coached at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, during the 2018 season. After starting as the defensive line coach for the Eagles, Davis was promoted to defensive coordinator at the NCAA Division III school in the fifth week of the season. Benedictine finished second in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in sacks and defensive tackle Jack Drummond was a second team all-conference selection, one of two Eagles defensive players to receive all-league honors.
In 2016 and 2017 Davis coached a Marauders defensive line that was anchored by defensive tackle Brock Pittsley, an all-conference performer in 2017 who recorded seven sacks (3rd most in the NSIC). During which time UMary jumped eight slots in sacks on the Northern Sun leaderboard.
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 and was also in charge of kickoff returns and field goals on special teams. The UMary offensive line allowed sacks on just 4.84 percent of dropbacks, the fifth-best figure in the league. With the transition of offensive philosophy, he returned to his home on the defensive line for the 2016 season.
He started his collegiate coaching experience at his alma mater in 2012, where Davis 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, Davis 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.
Davis 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.
Co-Defensive Coordinator / Recruiting Coordinator / Defensive Backs Coach
Following a first season at the University of Mary where the Marauders quadrupled their interception total from the previous year, Matthew Splon was elevated to Co-Defensive Coordinator in February 2019. He is also the Marauders recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Splon joined the Marauders in Dec. 2017 as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator. In 2018, the UMary defense intercepted nine more passes than the previous year, improving from three to 12 in Splon’s first season working with the UMary backfield.
After both playing and coaching at Winona State University, Matthew Splon joined the UMary football coaching staff in December 2017 as defensive backs coach.
Splon spent 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.
Academic Coordinator / Defensive Line Coach
Entering his 2nd year on staff. A former NCAA Division I defensive lineman with three years coaching experience in the Northern Sun and four overall at the college level, Tristian Johnson joined the University of Mary football staff as the defensive line coach in July 2018.
Johnson spent three seasons in the NSIC as the defensive line coach at MSU Moorhead (2015-17) where his players earned five all-conference honors, two all-region accolades and one conference player of the week honor. In 2017 senior Jake Busse and sophomore Miles Baggett both earned All-NSIC North first team honors under Johnson’s tutelage. Busse was also a first team selection in 2016 and 2015. Ryan Dahleen joined Busse as an All-NSIC selection in 2016 and the pair received Don Hansen All-Super Region 3 third team honors as the Dragons placed second in the NSIC North, the program’s best-ever finish. Dahleen also picked up NSIC defensive player of the week honors that season. In Johnson’s first year atMSUM in 2015 the Dragons had their first winning season in a decade.
Assist. Defensive Backs Coach
Entering his 2nd year on staff, Rufus Saylee joined the University of Mary coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 2018 and works with defensive backs. A native of Brooklyn Park, MN, Saylee played defensive back at Bemidji State. After his career ended he joined the Beavers staff as a student coach, helping the squad win the Mineral Water Bowl in 2016. While at BSU Saylee coached three All-Northern Sun defensive backs.