Dec. 28, 2013
BOCA RATON, FL - Charlie Partridge, Florida Atlantic University's new head football coach, announced the addition Javon Dewitt, Bart Miller and Dan Shula to the 2014 staff.
Jovan Dewitt, who joined the program in 2012 as the linebackers coach and who was elevated to defensive coordinator for the final four games of 2013, will continue in his role as the linebacker coach and will also serve as the co-defensive coordinator. As the defensive coordinator during the last four games of 2013, Dewitt was instrumental in the Owls defense that allowed an average of only 10 points and 234 yards per game, including an average of just 82 rushing yards. He also will enjoy the return of D'Joun Smith, who ended his junior campaign ranked No. 3 in the nation for interceptions and No. 2 in passes defended. All-conference players Andrae Kirk, at linebacker, and Brandin Bryant, defensive lineman, also return.
"The Owls defense will be in good hands with Coach Dewitt as defensive coordinator," said Partridge. "His success at several levels of college football, his defensive philosophies and his ability to teach the defensive system are paramount to our progress."
On the offensive side of the ball, Bart Miller has been named offensive line coach and Dan Shula as the wide receivers coach.
Miller crossed paths with Partridge at the University of Wisconsin where he served as a graduate assistant and quality control coach before being elevated to offensive line coach. He took over a line that was ranked No. 103 nationally and finished ranked No. 12. He returned to New Mexico State University for the 2013 season and worked to reduce the number of sacks allowed by the offensive line by more than half the high of 45 allowed in 2012 and also averaged of 23 knockdowns per game. The Nebraska native gained his first coaching experience working at his alma mater New Mexico State where he served as a graduate assistant. Miller will return three-starting lineman to an FAU unit that began 2013 with one veteran and ended the season by providing protection for a running game that accumulated 2,225 yards--nearly 400 more yards than any single-season in FAU history.
"Bart Miller, our new OL Coach, is an outstanding teacher that has learned from the best in the business," said Partridge. "When Bart took over the offensive line at The University of Wisconsin his immediate impact on that group was apparent."
Shula will return home where his last name and the sport of football are nearly synonymous. The Cooper City, FL native played his prep career at the perennial national power St. Thomas Aquinas High School where he was a three-year letter winner and a member of the 1999 Florida Class 4A State Champions. Shula then went on to be a three-year letter winner, at quarterback, for Ivy League member Dartmouth. Following his collegiate career, he served as a graduate assistant coach at The University of Alabama (2006) where he primarily worked with the wide receivers and quarterbacks. Most recently, Shula served as assistant coach/wide receivers coach and the director of football operations at Illinois State University (ISU). During his four seasons at ISU, Shula served two years as an offensive assistant coach and the final two years mentoring the wide receivers, kickers and punters.
"Dan Shula has proven to be an outstanding recruiter in Florida and brings experience at the wide receiver position from successful programs," said Partridge. "I am excited to have Dan lead our wide receivers group into the future and represent the FAU Owls on the recruiting trail."
Partridge's staff will be completed over the next few days which will allow the full attention to be turned towards the 2014 recruiting class.