Defensive Coaching Staff

JOHN JANCEK | DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

John Jancek is in his second season as the defensive coordinator at Colorado State in 2019. Jancek is a veteran of 28 seasons of collegiate coaching, including nine seasons as an FBS defensive coordinator.

In his first season at CSU Jancek's defense was led by senior linebacker Josh Watson, who earned second-team All-Mountain West honors with a career-best 131 tackles to finish his prolific career ranked sixth all-time at CSU. At the other end of the spectrum, Jancek's defense featured an influx of youth with true freshman cornerback Rashad Ajayi starting all 12 games and true freshman defensive lineman Devin Phillips starting the first 10 before a season-ending injury. In all, five true freshmen on defense combined to start 25 games for the Rams.

Prior to joining the CSU staff Jancek served as a defensive consultant at Kentucky in 2017, following one season as the safeties coach at South Florida (2016).

Jancek spent the 2013-15 seasons as defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee, where he groomed the Volunteers defense into one that ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense and second in third-down conversion defense (27.6 percent) in 2015. Tennessee won two bowl games during his tenure, and five of his defenders earned All-SEC recognition, as well three Freshman All-SEC performers. One of those was Derek Barnett, who set Tennessee records for sacks (10) and tackles for loss (20.5) by a freshman and was named a Freshman All-American in 2014.

Before joining the staff at Tennessee, Jancek spent three seasons at Cincinnati (2010-12), the first two as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2012. The Bearcats ranked among the FBS’s top 20 in scoring defense in 2011 and 2012, led the nation in tackles for loss (8.62 per game) and was second in sacks (3.46 per game) in 2011.

Bobo and Jancek were on the same staff at Georgia from 2005-09, where Jancek coached linebackers and served as co-defensive coordinator in 2009. Bobo and Jancek helped lead Georgia to significant success together from 2005-09. The Bulldogs won an SEC title (2005), appeared in two BCS bowl games and finished ranked in the top 10 nationally three times.

In total, Jancek has served as defensive coordinator at seven schools in his career, including four different FBS programs. He most recently held the title at Tennessee from 2013-15. Prior to that, he was the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati (2010-13), Georgia (2009), Central Michigan (2004-05), Grand Valley State (2000-2003), Hillsdale College (1996-99) and Wayne State (1992-95).

Jancek worked with current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly at Grand Valley State from 1999-2003, where he led a defensive that propelled the team to the 2002 NCAA Division II national championship.

A native of Muskegon, Mich., Jancek graduated from Grand Valley State in 1991 and earned his master’s degree from Wayne State in 1994. John and his wife Kelly have four children— Zac, Brock, Jack and Brady. Zac graduated from Tennessee in Dec. 2018 after playing four years as a quarterback for the Volunteers, and Brock is a member of the Tennessee basketball team, enrolling as a freshman for the 2018-19 season.

 

CHASE GIBSON | CO-SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR/LINEBACKERS

Chase Gibson is his second season on the coaching staff at Colorado State in 2019, and second coaching the team's linebackers, while sharing special teams coordinator responsibilities. He was special teams coordinator and linebackers coaching in 2018.

In Gibson's first season at Colorado State, senior linebacker Josh Watson recorded a career-high 131 tackles to finish his prolific career ranked sixth in school history in tackles, while fellow senior Tre Thomas tallied a career-high 101 stops. The linebackers formed the backbone of the CSU defense in Gibson's first season, while his special teams unit saw an All-America season by punter Ryan Stonehouse. The sophomore, who ranked No. 2 in all of FBS with a 48.3 gross average, earned second-team honors from Sporting News while being recognized with first-team All-Mountain West honors and Special Teams Player of the Year for all of Colorado by the Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Gibson came to CSU from Eastern Kentucky, where he had served as linebackers coach for two seasons (2016-17). In his first season at Eastern Kentucky, Gibson helped guide a defense that allowed fewer passing yards than any EKU team since 2009 and fewer passing touchdowns (12) than any Colonel defense since 2005 (9). Under his guidance, linebacker Jeffrey Canady totaled 17 tackles in a game on two occasions, tied for the 18th most by an FCS player in 2016. Canady also finished seventh in the nation with 11.2 tackles per game and was a third-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection by Phil Steele.

Prior to his time at EKU, Gibson served as a quality control/assistant secondary coach at Tennessee with CSU defensive coordinator John Jancek, where the duo helped lead the Volunteers to a 9-4 record in 2015 and second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference East Division. He also worked with Jancek at Cincinnati in 2012, where he was a graduate assistant working with linebackers.

Gibson also spent two seasons (2010-11) in the Ohio Valley Conference at Tennessee-Martin, where he coached linebackers and oversaw strength and conditioning with the Skyhawks.

The Pikeville, Ky., native was a tight end at Marshall University before a career-ending knee injury. He earned a bachelor’s in secondary education from Marshall in 2007. Chase and his wife Kylee have two sons – Caiden and Connor.

 

KEITH GILMORE | DEFENSIVE LINE

Keith Gilmore is in his second season as the defensive line coach at Colorado State in 2019, having joined the staff in January 2018.

A 32-year coaching veteran, Gilmore came to CSU after most recently serving as the defensive line coach at Notre Dame from 2015-16.

In 2018 Gilmore coached a defensive line that featured a proliferation of young talent, as true freshman Devin Phillips started 10 games before a season-ending injury, and true sophomores Emmanuel Jones, Ellison Hubbard and Livingston Paogofie combined to start 22 more games on the defensive front. Hubbard led the team with 2.5 sacks, while Jones, junior college transfer defensive end Jan-Phillip Bombek and senior defensive end Caleb Smith tied for second with 2.0 apiece.

With the Fighting Irish, Gilmore coached an explosive defensive line that was highlighted by All-American and 2016 NFL Draft selection Sheldon Day. In his first year under Gilmore's tutelage, Day recorded 15.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks as Notre Dame finished 10-3 and played in the Fiesta Bowl. Isaac Rochell also starred on the defensive line at Notre Dame under Gilmore, and was a seventh round NFL draft pick in 2017.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Gilmore spent 2009-14 as defensive line coach at Power 5 programs Illinois (2009-12) and North Carolina (2013-14). He tutored four NFL draft picks at Illinois — Corey Liuget (2011 first round), Whitney Mercilus (2012 first round), Akeem Spence (2013 fourth round) and Mike Buchanan (2013 seventh round) — a program that had not had a defensive lineman drafted in the 14 seasons prior to Gilmore's arrival. Gilmore also coached Kareem Martin at North Carolina (2014 third round).

Gilmore joined Illinois after a two-year stint as assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Cincinnati (2008-2009), where he helped lead the Bearcats to a 2008 Big East Championship and trip to the 2009 Orange Bowl. In 2008, Cincinnati ranked ninth in the nation in sacks and 19th in rush defense (113.8 yards per game). Gilmore coached Connor Barwin at Cincinnati, who was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

A native of Detroit Mich., Gilmore has also had coaching stops at Central Michigan, Howard, Norfolk State, Eastern Michigan, Wayne State, Grand Valley State, Northern Michigan and Michigan State.

Gilmore was a three-year letterwinner and two-time All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honoree as a linebacker at Wayne State University, where he graduated in 1981 with a degree in recreation management. Keith and his wife Bridget have five children: Daughters Keyontay and Grace, and sons Keith, Kierre and Grant.

 

GEORGE HELOW | SAFETIES

George Helow is in his fourth year on the football coaching staff at Colorado State in 2019, and his second as the safeties coach. He joined the Rams' staff as a defensive graduate assistant in 2016 and served as a defensive quality control coach in 2017.

In Helow's first season coaching safeties, in 2018, three of his pupils ranked in the top five on the team in tackles. Junior Jamal Hicks tallied a career-high 93 tackles to rank third on the team, while senior Jordan Fogal ranked fourth with 48 and junior Braylin Scott ranked fifth with 42. Hicks added 2.0 tackles for loss and Fogal ranked second on the team with two interceptions. True freshman Quinn Brinnon also made an impact in the latter part of the season and made his first career start.

Helow has held stints at some of the nation's top collegiate programs during his coaching career, including Alabama, Florida State and Georgia. Prior to coming to Colorado State, Helow spent two seasons (2014-15) at Georgia as defensive quality control, including the first season on staff with Coach Bobo. In 2013, he was a defensive graduate assistant at Florida State, helping the Seminoles to a national title.

In 2012 Helow earned his first collegiate coaching job under Nick Saban at Alabama. After helping with the school's junior day, Helow was invited to stay on as an intern in the weight room that spring and summer and serve as a defensive intern in the fall. The Crimson Tide defeated Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship game and during the season allowed just 10.9 points per game.

Helow played collegiately at Ole Miss (2006-10) where he earned a degree in marketing. After redshirting in 2006, he saw his first career action against Louisiana Tech in 2007 and went on to play all 38 games for the Rebels from 2008 to 2010, which included back-to-back Cotton Bowls in 2008 and 2009. Helow, who played mostly on special teams, earned a scholarship before his senior season in 2010. Immediately after graduating, he returned to his high school alma mater, Bishop Kennedy in Jacksonville, Fla., where he coached his younger brother, Peter.

 

ANTHONY PERKINS | CORNERBACKS

Anthony Perkins as is in his first season as cornerbacks coach at Colorado State in 2019. He brought more seven years of coaching experience upon his hire in February 2019, including spending the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In Perkins' two years with the Buccaneers he served as assistant to the head coach, and was responsible for organizing and overseeing day-to-day operations of the players and staff, while also working with defensive backs and assisting defensive backs coaches Jon Hoke and Brett Maxie with player skill and development. He also assisted defensive coordinator Mark Duffner in weekly preparations on defense with game and practice planning.

Prior to his work in the the NFL, Perkins spent two seasons at Ohio University (2015-16) as cornerbacks coach after two seasons as the defensive secondary coach at Indiana State (2013-14). He also gained experience as one of Tampa Bay's Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Interns during the 2016 mini-camp and with the Tennessee Titans in 2015.

Perkins is no stranger to Colorado, having been a four-year starter at the University of Colorado (2007-11). He finished his career with 236 tackles and earned his bachelor's degree in Integrative Physiology (December 2010), with a second major in History in December 2011. Perkins was one of three players as a senior to receive the team’s Dean Jacob Van Ek Award for academic excellence. He later served on the Buffaloes' coaching staff as a defensive quality control assistant in 2012. He also spent time on the Denver Broncos' roster during their 2012 training camp and appeared in all four preseason games.

Anthony and his wife Janessa have a daughter, Imani, and a son, Trae.

A graduate of Community Christian High School in Northglenn, Colo., Perkins played prep football at Northglenn High School where he was a PrepStar honorable mention All-American. He also earned All-Colorado from the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.

 

ZACK JANCEK | DEFENSIVE GRADUATE ASSISTANT

Colorado State University - Football