Steven Wilks will mentor the defensive secondary in his first year as an assistant coach at Washington. He is one of three assistant coaches that Tyrone Willingham brought with him from his Notre Dame staff.
The 2005 campaign marks Wilks' 11th season as a coach. His resume includes stints as a defensive coordinator, a head coach and a defensive backs coach.
The 2004 season was Wilks only year at Notre Dame. He made the move to South Bend after working for Gregg Brandon at Bowling Green in 2003. That season Wilks helped the Falcons become the first team in school history to finish in the final national polls (23rd in both Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today) after a 28-24 Motor City Bowl win over Northwestern that pushed the Falcons' record to 11-3.
In 2003, Wilks helped junior defensive back Keon Newson lead the Mid-American Conference in forced fumbles (with six) and senior All-America cornerback Janssen Patton lead the league in interceptions (with seven, giving him 18 in his career). The Falcons ranked second in the MAC in both total defense and scoring defense.
Wilks came to Bowling Green after spending the 2002 season as East Tennessee State's co-defensive coordinator under head coach Paul Hamilton. At East Tennessee State, three members of the Buccaneers' secondary earned all-Southern Conference honors in 2002, including two (Tony Tiller and Gerald Sansabaugh) that earned first-team honors. Under Wilks' direction, East Tennessee State led the league in turnover margin (plus-0.83 per game) and ranked second in pass efficiency defense (104.0 rating), while permitting only 156.2 passing yards per game.
Wilks also coached defensive backs at Appalachian State (2001) and Illinois State (2000). Working under head coach Denver Johnson in 2000, he helped Illinois State to a 7-4 record and a final ranking of 24th in The Sports Network NCAA I-AA poll while coaching a pair of defensive backs (Ryan Szokola and Sam Young) to all-conference honors. At Appalachian State under head coach Jerry Moore, Wilks contributed to a Mountaineer unit that finished 10-4 overall and advanced to the second round of the NCAA I-AA playoffs. Appalachian State finished fourth in the final 2001 TSN I-AA poll.
In 1999, Wilks served as head coach at Savannah State University in Georgia. He also coordinated defenses at Savannah State (1997-98) and Johnson C. Smith University (1995-96) in Charlotte, N.C. At Savannah State, his 1998 defense led the nation in total defense (166.3 yards per game) in Division II and American Football Quarterly honored him as the Division II defensive coordinator of the year. That same year he saw four players earn all-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors, including linebacker Reginald Jackson, the SIAC player of the year.
As a player, Wilks played for the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League in 1993 as a defensive back/wide receiver, helping the team to a playoff berth. He was invited to training camp with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks in 1992. A 1992 graduate of Appalachian State and a defensive back in football from 1987-91, he recorded 103 career tackles with four interceptions and four blocked kicks. The Mountaineers played in the NCAA I-AA playoffs in both 1989 and 1991, finishing with respective 9-3 and 8-4 marks.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., Wilks holds a bachelor's degree in communications. He and his wife, Marcia, have a daughter, Marissa.
Year School/Team Assignment
1995 Johnson C. Smith Defensive Coordinator
1996 Johnson C. Smith Defensive Coordinator
1997 Savannah State Defensive Coordinator
1998 Savannah State Defensive Coordinator
1999 Savannah State Head Coach
2000 Illinois State Defensive Backs
2001 Appalachian State Defensive Backs
2002 East Tennessee State Co-Defensive Coordinator
2003 Bowling Green State Defensive Backs
2004 Notre Dame (Insight Bowl) Defensive Backs