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PROVO — Ed Lamb was the first, but he isn't reportedly the last former BYU assistant coach to move on to Northern Colorado.
BYU safeties and defensive ends coach Preston Hadley is expected to join Lamb's coaching staff with the Bears as defensive coordinator, ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reported Sunday morning. In addition, former BYU analyst Blair Peterson, who spent the past season as offensive coordinator at Southern Utah, will be UNC's next offensive coordinator, and BYU analyst Justin Walterscheid — Lamb's former offensive coordinator of nine years in Cedar City — will follow as special teams coordinator of the Bears.
Hadley was a former standout defensive back for the Cougars before graduating with a degree in communications in 2013. The former Snow College standout and Region 18 defensive MVP was part of one of the top defensive units in BYU history statistically in 2012, when he contributed 66 tackles, an interception and seven pass breakups to a group that ranked No. 3 nationally in defense with 266.1 yards per game.
Source: #NorthernColorado is set to hire Southern Utah offensive coordinator Blair Peterson for the same role; BYU defensive ends coach Preston Hadley as defensive coordinator and BYU assistant Justin Walterscheid as special teams coordinator.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 11, 2022
The Pleasant Grove product spent minicamp with the Seattle Seahawks after graduation before beginning his coaching career as cornerbacks coach and special teams assistant at Santa Ana College in 2015. After receiving his master's at Concordia-Irvine, he returned to the Wasatch Front as secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Weber State in 2016-17 before joining Kalani Sitake's defensive staff at BYU in 2018 following the resignation of former defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi.
Originally tasked with coaching the safeties, Hadley was moved to defensive ends and hybrids in 2021, though he recently moved back to safeties coach for the final month of the 2022 season after Sitake took defensive play-calling duties from former defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki.
Hadley takes over a UNC defense that included four defensive players that recently received Phil Steele/DraftScout All-Big Sky honors. Northern Colorado will also be Hadley's first full-time coordinator position at any level, but he'll by two experienced coordinator hires.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Peterson was the starting quarterback at New Mexico in 2007 before transferring to Towson for his final years of collegiate eligibility in 2008-09. Prior to arriving at BYU as an offensive analyst and assistant quarterbacks coach from 2019-21, Peterson also worked quality control at Rice, spent a year as tight ends coach at Florida International (where he mentored NFL tight end Jonu Smith), and was an offensive quality control assistant at Texas from 2010-12.
Peterson and his wife, Camille, are the parents of one daughter.
Walterscheid, who was an offensive analyst at BYU the past year, spent nine seasons at Southern Utah through the 2019 season. He eventually rose to become assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with Lamb while helping the Thunderbirds to two Big Sky championships and leading the offense to the most Division I victories in school history.
After earning his degree from SUU in physical education in 2005, the former Utah wide receiver commit from Grand Junction, Colorado, earned two master's degrees, including one from the U. in sports management while working as a graduate assistant with the No. 18 Utes' 2009 Poinsettia Bowl champions.
He also spent a year as a defensive assistant at Weber State, and played for the Arizona Rattlers' indoor football team in addition to preseason camp invitations with the Denver Broncos.
Walterscheid and his wife, Shawna, are the parents of one son.
BYU defensive graduate assistant DJ Williams, who worked closely with retained cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford, was also tapped by Lamb to be the Bears' cornerbacks coach, a source confirmed to KSL.com. It will be the first full-time assistant coach job for the one-time Utah State defensive standout.
Other BYU football staff changes include the apparent departure of director of football strength and conditioning Nu'u Tafisi. The former Mount San Antonio College and California defensive end who spent time in the NFL with the Seahawks was hired by Sitake as his top strength coach in 2016.
An East High graduate, Tafisi had previously worked as a graduate assistant at Boise State in 2011 before joining Kyle Whittingham's staff at Utah as an assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2012-14 and spent a year at USC in the same role prior to taking the job at BYU.
BYU did not announce Tafisi's departure, and officials did not return a request for comment from KSL.com. But he is no longer listed among BYU's strength and conditioning staff on the Cougars' website, which now includes Kalani Simeona, Dalton Elliott and Spencer Reid as "football strength and conditioning" coaches. Reid and Elliott joined the football strength staff last year under terms of Sitake's new contract that bolstered his assistants and support staff personnel, including an influx of analysts and player personnel staffers in preparation for the move to the Big 12 in 2023.
BYU plays SMU in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday (5:30 p.m. MST, ABC).