Feb. 19, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Brad Salem, who compiled a 31-26 record in five seasons as head coach at NCAA Division II Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., has been named running backs coach at Michigan State, fourth-year Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio announced Friday, Feb. 19. Salem, who spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Michigan State in the mid-1990s, replaces Dan Enos, who resigned Jan. 12 to become head coach at Central Michigan.
The 39-year-old Salem led Augustana College to back-to-back 8-4 records and consecutive trips to the Mineral Water Bowl in 2008-09. The eight wins matched the school single-season record. In its first two seasons as members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, Augustana finished fourth and tied for third, respectively, in the final standings and had 10 players earn South Division first-team all-conference honors.
After getting off to a 3-0 start in 2009, the Vikings made their first appearance in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Top 25 since 1989. Augustana finished fifth in the NSIC in total offense last season, averaging 400.9 yards per game.
"We're very excited to have Brad Salem join our coaching staff," Dantonio said. "The fact that Brad has a Spartan background is extremely important to us. He spent two years on the Michigan State campus as a graduate assistant under outstanding head coaches George Perles and Nick Saban and had the opportunity to work directly with some excellent offensive minds in Morris Watts and Gary Tranquill.
"In addition to his extensive knowledge on the offensive side of the football, Brad has five years of successful head coaching experience. He has dealt with issues at all levels of a program, and that background will be a tremendous asset to us. His Augustana teams won eight games each of his last two seasons and made back-to-back bowl appearances. He's an innovative offensive coach, outstanding teacher and communicator.
"Brad and his family will be a great fit in our campus community."
"I'm thrilled to be headed back to Michigan State, especially to work with Mark Dantonio, who has been a positive influence in my life," Salem said. "I'm also excited about the opportunity to work with a great coaching staff along with a talented football team. Coach Dantonio and his staff have put together outstanding recruiting classes back to back.
"After spending three years as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, I have great passion for the school, and this institution will sell itself to prospects throughout the Midwest. Michigan State has it all: a great coaching staff, remarkable football facilities, a beautiful campus and outstanding academic programs. I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work."
In 2008, Augustana won six of its last eight games, including a 37-16 victory over Missouri Western State in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Mo., as the Vikings rushed for 281 yards and five touchdowns against the Griffons. Augustana ranked among the NSIC leaders in rushing offense (third at 203.7 ypg.), scoring offense (third at 30.8 points per game) and total offense (fourth at 379.7 ypg.) in 2008.
In his first season as head coach in 2005, Salem guided Augustana to a 6-5 record - the program's first winning season in three years.
Prior to being promoted to head coach, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach under Jim Heinitz, serving as quarterbacks coach in 2003 and offensive coordinator in 2004.
Before returning to his alma mater in 2003, Salem coached the quarterbacks at O'Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, S.D., during the 2002 season.
He previously spent three years as passing game and recruiting coordinator at South Dakota (1999-2001) and two seasons as offensive and recruiting coordinator at Luther College (1997-98) in Decorah, Iowa.
In 1996, Salem filled the role of defensive coordinator at Everett High School in Lansing, Mich. From 1994-95, he served as a graduate assistant under George Perles and Nick Saban at Michigan State, working with the quarterbacks and wide receivers.
A native of Sioux Falls, S.D., Salem launched his coaching career in the European Professional League in Paris, France, where he was the offensive coordinator for Robinson Sphinx in the spring of 1993. That fall, he worked with the defensive backs as a student coach at Augustana.
Salem began his collegiate playing career as a quarterback at Northern Arizona in 1988-89 before transferring to Augustana where he played quarterback and wide receiver for Coach Heinitz from 1990-92.
He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Augustana in 1992 and his master's degree in athletic administration from Michigan State in 1996.
Salem shares his love of coaching football with his father Joe, former head coach at South Dakota (1966-74), Northern Arizona (1975-78) and Minnesota (1979-83); as well as his older brother Tim, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Central Florida; and his twin brother Brent, offensive coordinator at O'Gorman High School.
Salem and his wife Christina have two sons, Elijah and Jeremiah.