Former Rice quality control coach Eli Wicklund joined the Bison staff in the spring of 2016. After one year working with the Bucknell running backs, he will move to the defensive side of the ball in 2017 and coach the cornerbacks.
In his first season with the Bison, Wicklund coached a pair of running backs who exceeded 600 rushing yards: junior Joey DeFloria (1,070) and freshman Chad Freshnock (604). DeFloria’s total ranks eighth in school history and is one of just 10 1,000-yard campaigns recorded by a Bison running back.
Wicklund has previous collegiate coaching experience at Miami (Ohio), North Park University and Rice. Wicklund joined the Rice coaching staff in the spring of 2014 and spent two years as quality control coach.
Wicklund coached the defensive backs for one season at North Park University in Chicago before his stint at Rice. In 2013, the Vikings had their best finish in the conference since 1971. That same season, he coached junior cornerback Phillip Pendleton to Second Team All-Conference honors. He also served as the team’s video coordinator and equipment manager.
Wicklund joined the Vikings from Miami University, where spent eight seasons with the RedHawks in a variety of roles, concluding his tenure as a defensive graduate assistant working with the defensive backs and linebackers.
A 2009 graduate of Miami (B.S. in sports studies with minors in coaching and English literature), Wicklund joined the staff that same year in dual positions as a recruiting and defensive intern.
As an undergraduate, Wicklund held a variety of positions and responsibilities. As a senior in 2008, he moved onto the field during practices as student assistant with the wide receivers and into the press box on game days assisting with opponent charting all the while continuing with the responsibilities of student defensive quality control off the field. He started as a freshman video staff volunteer in 2005.
Wicklund’s wife, Lauren, is Bucknell’s associate director of athletics for leadership development. They have one daughter, Sydney.
RECRUITING AREAS: Greater Columbus (Ohio) Area, Greater Cincinnati Area
Alternate Areas: Greater Chicago Area, Indiana (Indianapolis), Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan