Coach Vokolek Previews the Bears' Safety Group
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Vokolek also has administrative responsibilities including facilities, medical liaison, marketing and promotion.
Vokolek came to MSU after serving on the staff of the 2005 conference co-champion and NCAA Division I runner-up Northern Iowa program.
Last season, the Bears finished 33rd nationally in pass defense and 42nd in total defense with three MSU defenders earning All-MVFC honors. Sophomore safety Caleb Schaffitzel was a first-team all-league pick, Academic All-America selection and CFPA National Defensive Back of the Year.
In 2011, a solid freshman nucleus made up three of the team's top four tacklers. Andrew Beisel (ILB), Mike Crutcher (S), and Caleb Schaffitzel (S) combined for 237 total stops, with Beisel and Crutcher earning MVFC All-Newcomer honors.
The previous campaign was highlighted by a season-ending shutout over No. 17 North Dakota State, a program that ultimately advanced to the 2010 Division I quarterfinals. The win marked MSU's first shutout win during the Terry Allen era.
The 2010 Bears also finished 24th nationally and third in the MVFC in sacks per game (2.45), while ranking 30th in turnover margin (+0.36) behind 11 interceptions. Under Vokolek, the Bears changed to a 3-4 front in 2009 and improved by nearly 120 yards per game in total defense.
Vokolek has boasted 12 MVFC All-Newcomer selections at Missouri State, including 2009 Newcomer of the Year Antoine Wilkinson, and 19 all-conference picks on the defensive side of the ball.
Prior to his time in Springfield, Vokolek was on the staff of UNI head coach Mark Farley in 2003 as assistant head coach and linebackers coach. He added the position of co-defensive coordinator in 2004 and assumed all the defensive duties for the 2005 campaign. Vokolek went to Cedar Falls after six years as an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. From 1997-99 he was linebackers coach and academic coordinator for the Mavericks and coached linebackers as defensive coordinator at UNO from 2000 to 2002.
Among the many outstanding recruits he landed at UNO was current MSU assistant coach Taiwo Onatolu.
A native of Lincoln, Neb., Vokolek was a four-year gridder at Nebraska-Kearney, serving as team captain three seasons and winning NCAA Division II All-Nebraska honors three times as a linebacker. He graduated from UNK in 1992 with a degree in biology and was a graduate assistant for three seasons at Nebraska-Omaha, earning his master's degree in physical education at UNO in 1996. He coached the defensive secondary at Wayne State for one season before returning to UNO for a six-year stint there.
Vokolek and his wife, Pam, have two children, Travis and Leah.