Rob Robinson has made his first coaching staff alteration. The recently-appointed head football coach at Northeastern State announced that Josh Lattimer has taken over as the RiverHawks’ new defensive coordinator.
Lattimer absorbed the duties that Steve Patterson and Casey Carlo shared during the 2013 season. According to NSU’s athletics website, Patterson and Carlo are still on the NSU coaching staff, but with Patterson in charge of defensive backs and Carlo coaching the defensive line.
Both Patterson and Carlo coached those respective positions during the 2013 season.
Lattimer joins the NSU staff after serving as the head coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa during the 2013 season.
“I believe in a lot of what (Robinson) believes in,” Lattimer told the Tahlequah Daily Press. “That’s what I was excited about when he gave me the call to see if I wanted to be a part of this. Now I get a chance to come back and coach in the conference that I played in.”
Lattimer was a two-time NCAA Division II All-American linebacker at Pittsburg State. He was also a two-time All-Southwest Region defensive player and landed on the All-MIAA team three times. He is currently third in school history with 394 tackles and helped lead the Gorillas to two MIAA Championships (2003 and 2004). Pittsburg State made three appearances in the NCAA tournament during Lattimer’s career, and the 2004 team finished 14-1 and advanced to the national title game.
Lattimer began his coaching career at Pittsburg State, where he coached linebackers from 2005 to 2007. He also coached the same position at Hutchinson Community College (2007 to 2010) and Fort Scott High School (2010 to 2011). In 2012, Lattimer went to Ellsworth Community College, where he was the defensive coordinator for a season before becoming the head coach.
Ellsworth College went 2-8 in 2013 with Lattimer as the head coach. In 2012, the Panthers won the Graphic Edge Bowl and finished ranked 19th in the national junior college poll.
Robinson started off his coaching career at Pittsburg State, where he crossed paths with Lattimer during the 2001-2002 season.
“Josh is a guy that was a true freshman when I was at Pittsburg State, and I followed his career,” Robinson said of Lattimer. “I played with the that style of aggression that I want to have. I want to have a mean defense, and he’s going to coach that and bring that.”
As an offensive coach by nature, Robinson said he wanted to bring in a defensive-minded coach that would allow him to focus primarily on the offensive side of the ball.
“That’s the one position I need my one guy in, knowing that I don’t have to be able to be down there,” Robinson said of Lattimer’s freedom when it comes to coaching the defense. “I don’t have to control him and tell him what he’s doing. I’ll let his talent come out, because he’s got some talented kids. And he has head-coach experience, so that was a big plus for me.”
On defense in 2013, NSU ranked 12th in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in total defense. The RiverHawks allowed 488.8 yards per game while giving up an average of 38 points per game, which landed NSU at 11th in the league in that category.