FLORENCE — Former University of North Alabama student-athlete and assistant coach Brett Borden is returning to UNA after accepting the position of defensive coordinator under new head coach Chris Willis.

Borden, who played linebacker for the Lions in 2004 and 2005, served as UNA’s defensive line coach in 2012 and 2013 but has spent the last three seasons in private business. He began his coaching career at UNA in 2006 as a student assistant coach with the Lions and has also had coaching stints at Independence (Kan.) Community College, Milsaps College, Troy University and Spain Park High School.

“Brett is a great fit for our staff,” said Willis. “He has a tremendous knowledge of the game, is an extremely hard worker and he is someone I know I can trust to do everything he can to help us be successful. He hasn’t been here since 2013 but it was like he never left when he walked back in the door. I feel in a lot of areas he has more knowledge of the game than I do, so it’s like replacing myself as defensive coordinator and gaining something there. That will allow me to concentrate more on being a head coach and not having to concentrate as much on the defense. He always stays a step ahead and anticipates the next move.”

Other Changes
Willis also announced other staff changes, with offensive coordinator Steadman Campbell adding the assistant head coach title and defensive backs coach Blake Farris also becoming special teams coordinator. Gabe Poe will continue to coach linebackers, Zach Lisko will work with the defensive line and serve as recruiting coordinator, Scott Harper remains as offensive line and run game coordinator and Courtland Hays and David Lundberg will work as graduate assistants. Mike King continues to coach the UNA kickers.

Willis is in the process of hiring a receivers coach after the departure of Ryan Aplin.

After playing linebacker for the Lions from 2004-05 and helping the Lions to an 11-3 record in 2005 that included a Gulf South Conference Championship and a spot in the semifinals of the Division II Playoffs, Borden began his coaching career at UNA under Mark Hudspeth. Borden worked with the linebackers and the strength and conditioning program as UNA won the 2006 Gulf South Conference championship. The 2006 Lions went 11-1 and UNA followed with a 10-2 mark in 2007, reaching the playoffs both sasons.

Borden served as linebacker coach at Independence Community College in Kansas in 2008 and spent the 2009 season as linebacker coach at Millsaps College where he helped lead the team to the 2009 SCAC championship and coached the conference defensive player of the year.

In 2010 season, Borden was at Troy University as a defensive graduate assistant, coaching the defensive backs. While there he was part of the 2010 Sun Belt Conference and R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl championships.

Prior to coming back to UNA in 2012, Borden spent the 2011 season at Spain Park High School as the linebacker and strength and conditioning coach.

At UNA in 2013 he helped lead the Lions to a 10-3 record that included a share of a Gulf South Conference Championship and a trip to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.

A native of Phil Campbell, Ala., Borden was a two-time all-state pick at quarterback in high school and was an all-state quarterback at Northeast Mississippi Community College in 2002. He went on to play in the Mississippi Junior College All-Star Game in 2003. He earned a B.S. degree in Physical Education from UNA in 2007.

Brett Borden Coaching Experience
Yrs Position School
2006 Student Asst. North Alabama
2007 Student Asst. North Alabama
2008 Asst. Coach Independence CC
2009 Asst. Coach Milsaps
2010 Graduate Assistant Troy
2011 Asst. Coach Spain Park H.S.
2012 Asst. Coach North Alabama
2013 Asst. Coach North Alabama

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