Graber, who was an assistant at Ball State on Dave McClain's staff in 1976 and 1977, has been named assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. Melvin, who spent the last two seasons on the staff at Bowling Green, will coach the linebackers. Perles, the son of former Michigan State head coach George Perles, will coach the offensive line.
These three additions join Joey Lynch, who was named the school's wide receivers coach last week, as the beginning of Parrish's first coaching staff. Additional assistants will be announced as the information becomes available.
Graber is in his 35th year as a football coach, which includes stops at the high school, college and professional level. After helping Ball State to its first ever Mid-American Conference Championship in 1976 and helping the 1977 Ball State defense to rank ninth in the nation in total defense, Graber moved to Wisconsin with McClain. In 1982, Graber was named the head coach at Montana State and led the team to a 6-5 overall record and a tie for the Big Sky Championship. He moved to the National Football League and coached with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1983-89. Graber coached the defensive secondary for the Chiefs and led the unit to an NFL interception record with 120 in four seasons, and he was the defensive coordinator at Tampa Bay in 1988 when the Buccaneers led the NFL in rushing defense. From 1990-95, Graber served as the head coach at Rutgers where Parrish served as his assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He led the Scarlet Knights to a 6-5 record in 1991 and a 7-4 mark in 1992, the school's first back-to-back winning seasons in 24 years. He was the head coach of the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe from 2001-03 and was named the NFL Europe Coach of the Year after leading the team to the 2003 World Bowl Championship. Graber was an assistant coach for the New York Jets in 2004 and served as a television football analyst for ESPN and the NFL Network from 2005-07.
Graber and his wife, Brenda, have five children and four grandchildren. He is a graduate of St. Agatha High School in Detroit, Mich., and was a football letterwinner as a safety at Wayne State prior to his 1966 graduation.
Melvin came to Ball State after spending 2007 and 2008 as an assistant at Bowling Green. Prior to that, he was an assistant at Georgia Southern for the 2006 campaign and was the defensive coordinator at Missouri State from 1999-2005. Melvin was an assistant at his college alma mater, Western Illinois, from 1993-98 after beginning his coaching career as the defensive coordinator at his high school alma mater, East Aurora High School in Aurora, Ill. Melvin has coached seven All-Americans in his career and coached two players who were Buck Buchanan Award winners as the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision. He has coached 14 all-conference players and five academic all-conference student-athletes in his career.
Melvin is married to the former Beverly Talley, and the couple has two daughters. He earned a bachelor's degree at Western Illinois in 1994.
Perles is in his 21st year as a football coach, and has coached in the collegiate ranks, the Mid-American Conference and at the professional level. Perles has spent the last six seasons on the staff at North Dakota State where he helped the Bison to a 49-17 mark in his tenure. He coached the NDSU offense to top three rankings in all offensive statistical categories in 2008. Perles served as the school's run game coordinator in 2004 and was the offensive coordinator from 2005-08. He helped the North Dakota State offense to rank first in the Football Championship Subdivision in scoring in 2004 and 2006, while also helping the team to top 25 rankings each season from 2004-07. Prior to NDSU, Perles was an assistant at Michigan State from 2000-02. After beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Toledo from 1989-91, Perles spent from 1992-1999 as an assistant for the Los Angeles Rams, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League. He helped the Tiger Cats to the 1998 and 1999 CFL Grey Cup.
Perles is married to the former Karen Pauls and the couple has three children. A 1987 graduate of Michigan State, Perles helped the Spartans to the 1984 Cherry Bowl and the 1985 Hall of Fame Bowl.