Cardinals Hire Louisiana Coach as Assistant

New Ball State Head Coach Mike Neu has hired his first assistant coach from outside of the current staff.

Ball State Head Football Coach Mike Neu did something that most people in the New Orleans area thought was not possible. He lured Johnny Curtis away from John Curtis High School and into the college ranks.

Curtis, the son of legendary high school coach JT Curtis, has been hired to fill the position of Linebackers Coach at Ball State. Curtis, who coached the past 19 years at the Louisiana powerhouse program, will follow Neu up from the bayou and leave the program and school that was founded by his grandfather and is currently helmed by his aforementioned father.

After playing collegiately at Mississippi State and then a season at Tulane, the younger Curtis son coached linebackers and was defensive coordinator at Curtis High and helped guide the Patriots to a 235-22 record in those 19 seasons including 13 state championships.

Ball State Insiders Take

Some might question hiring an assistant directly from a high school program, but when you look at Curtis’ track record, you cannot help but know the quality of coach Ball State is adding. Curtis has helped mold and coach at least one 3 star or better recruit each of the past 4 seasons alone – Nathaniel Evans (2016 – currently undecided), Bo Wallace (2015 - now at Arizona State), Kenny Young (2014 – UCLA) and Duke Riley (2013 – LSU). That means he can coach the heck out of some linebackers.

Along with his coaching prowess, Curtis also opens up a huge opportunity in the major recruiting hotbed of New Orleans. Curtis is a tenured and well respected coach in the area and his position on the Cardinal Staff means that he can hopefully pull some talent not only from John Curtis, but from other programs in the area.


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