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January 11, 2013An accomplished football player and coach, Chuck Bullough is Syracuse University's new defensive coordinator. Head coach Scott Shafer hired Bullough to take charge of the Orange defense that Shafer has directed for the past four years. Bullough was a two-time All-Big Ten linebacker at Michigan State after graduating from Orchard Park (N.Y.) High School. He joins SU after holding the role of defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns for two seasons.
Shafer is familiar with Bullough's credentials and coaching ability as the pair worked together at Western Michigan in 2005 when Shafer was the defensive coordinator/secondary coach and Bullough mentored the linebackers. Bullough developed All-MAC First Team selection Ameer Ismail, who tied for sixth nationally with 20 tackles for loss and was 34th with eight sacks.
"The game of football is about enthusiasm, intensity and toughness," Bullough said. "Coach Shafer and I grew up in the game of football with our fathers as coaches. We were taught from a young age to enjoy and respect the game. From just about the moment we met at Western Michigan, we had an instant connection because of our philosophy and values. That does not always happen in coaching. Coach Shafer is one of the most outstanding people and coaches I have been around. He is a great motivator of men. I am extremely excited to join him at Syracuse."
Prior to joining the Brown's staff, Bullough spent five years at UCLA, as the linebackers coach (2006-08) and defensive coordinator (2009-10).
"Chuck is one of the brightest minds in football I have ever had the pleasure to work with," Shafer said. "We worked next to each other at Western Michigan as we turned the program around. I not only respect and love Chuck as a football coach, but I also believe in his core with respect to his character."
At UCLA, Bullough mentored three 2009 All-Americans in defensive tackle Brian Price, who was also the Pac-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year, safety Rahim Moore, who led the nation in interceptions, and cornerback Alterraun Verner. In 2009, UCLA was ranked 32nd in total defense, fifth in tackles for a loss, 18th in third down defense, tied for 26th in turnovers forced, 27th in scoring defense, and 28th in pass defense. The Bruins led the Pac-10 in each of those statistics categories, in addition to red-zone points allowed. The 2007 Bruin defense ranked 14th nationally in rushing defense (109.2 yards per game) and 29th in total defense (343.23 yds/g), following up on the 2006 campaign in which the Bruins defense was tied for ninth nationally and led the Pac-10 in total defense.
A four-year letterwinner (1988-91) and 1992 graduate of Michigan State, Bullough began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1997. He was an assistant defensive backs coach for the Spartans in 1997 and 1998. He moved to the National Football League, where he worked on the Chicago Bears staff for five seasons, including assistant linebackers and special teams coach (1999-2001), assistant defensive line coach (2002), and assistant secondary coach (2003). During his time in Chicago he worked with Pro Bowl selections Jerry Azumah, Glyn Milburn, Larry Whigham and Brian Urlacher, who was the 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. In 2004, Bullough was linebackers coach and special team's coordinator at Lake Forest College.
At Michigan State, the second-team All-American set an MSU single-season record with 175 tackles. He was a member of three bowl championship teams, including the 1987 Rose Bowl squad, and MSU won two Big Ten titles during his career. The Philadelphia Eagles eighth round selection in the e 1992 draft, Bullough spent three seasons with the Miami Dolphins (1993-95).
A 1986 graduate of Orchard Park (N.Y.) High School, Bullough is a second generation NFL player and coach. His father, Hank, also played football for the Spartans (1952-54). A fifth round-draft choice of the Green Bay Packers, Hank enjoyed a 33-year coaching career, including 21 seasons in the NFL and 12 years in the collegiate ranks as an assistant coach at his alma mater. Bullough and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Chloe and Annika.