Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

June 6, 2014

Heading back home

Valdosta State defensive coordinator Wallace departing for Iowa

VALDOSTA — For the second straight year, Valdosta State is losing a defensive coordinator.

A year after co-coordinator Earl Chambers left to join the James Madison staff, Blazers’ defensive coordinator Seth Wallace informed VSU of his departure Thursday. Wallace, who was the co-coordinator prior to Chambers leaving, is headed to the University of Iowa, where he will serve as an assistant as well as the Hawkeyes’ recruiting coordinator.

Prior to joining the Valdosta State staff in 2009, Wallace spent three years as a defensive graduate assistant with the Hawkeyes, working primarily with the secondary. He also assisted with special teams during his previous three-year stay at Iowa.

“We are excited to have Seth return to Iowa,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in a release, announcing Wallace’s hiring. “Seth did a tremendous job here as a graduate assistant and has distinguished himself serving in several roles at Valdosta State. Seth is an excellent teacher, highly organized, knowledgeable and is an outstanding person. We are thrilled to welcome Seth and Erica back to Iowa."

Valdosta State coach David Dean was unavailable for comment after spending the day in Columbus, conducting one of the Blazers’ minicamps at Hardaway High School.

After joining Dean’s staff, Wallace spent the first four years coaching the Blazers’ secondary. Last year, though, the 30-year-old Wallace took over the reigns of Valdosta State’s defensive line which Chambers previously coached. However, Wallace was back in control of the VSU secondary during the Blazers’ spring drills.

“My wife and I, along with our son Landry, are excited to be rejoining the Iowa football family,” Wallace said in the Iowa release. “Coach Ferentz, coach Norm Parker and coach Phil Parker provided a wonderful opportunity for me in 2006 when I began my graduate assistantship with the Iowa football program. I am thankful to coach Ferentz for the opportunity to return, and I look forward to working alongside the coaching staff in the future.”

Wallace, while a native of Danville, Ky., attended high school in Grinnell, Iowa, where his father was the football coach and athletic director. He then started for four years at Coe College in Grand Rapids, Iowa, which is also where he began his coaching career in 2001. From there, Wallace moved on to Lake Forest, a Division III school in Illinois, where he coached the secondary and served as special teams coordinator prior to becoming the Foresters’ offensive coordinator for two years before heading to Iowa for the first time.

Wallace’s departure will lead to a second new coach on the VSU staff as Dwight Smith is the Blazers’ new defensive line coach. Smith was hired after Doug Belk, the former Lowndes High and Carson-Newman quarterback, left to take a graduate assistant position at Alabama. Belk coached the VSU secondary last season after previously working on the VSU staff as a grad assistant.

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