Rob Bolks begins his fifth season at Missouri State this fall after joining the staff assembled in 2006 when Terry Allen took over the Bears' program. Like defensive coordinator D.J. Vokolek, Bolks resumed a lengthy acquaintance with Allen when the two came to MSU together.
Bolks will again supervise the Bears' defensive secondary after having held a similar position at UNI as the Panthers shared the league crown and advanced to the NCAA FCS championship in 2005.
Bolks will feature three returning starters in the secondary in 2009, including two-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference safety Skylar Smith, 2008 MVFC All-Newcomer free safety Derek Miller, and corner Jimmie Strong.
Bolks is a native of Hull, Iowa, and played in two bowl games as a defensive back during his career at Iowa State. He earned a bachelor's degree from ISU in 1974 in physical education and spent two years as a graduate assistant.
He was a high school head coach for three seasons at Allamakee High in Waukon, Iowa, and then started a five-year run at three Kansas junior colleges, including service in 1980 as an assistant at Highland Community College, in 1981 and 1982 as an assistant at Independence Community College, and from 1983 to 1984 at Butler County Community College.
Bolks moved to UNI in 1985 to coach the Panther defensive backfield and serve as recruiting coordinator for four seasons, then spent one year at Murray State, one year at Vanderbilt, two seasons at Western Illinois and three years at Idaho State. He was a high school coach in Cedar Falls during the 1997 season and then moved to Allen's staff at Kansas, serving as director of football operations from 1998-2001. Bolks became defensive coordinator at UNI in 2002 and took over as recruiting coordinator in 2003 while coaching the Panther secondary all four years.
Bolks is MSU's recruiting coordinator, including setting up all campus visits. He manages the football operations budget and oversees team travel. His recruiting areas include Kansas City, northeast Missouri and northern Kansas.
Bolks' wife, Lori, from LaPorte City,Iowa, is a graduate of Idaho State and teaches and coaches at Ozark High School.