FB: Heart Of Dallas Bowl - Welcome Dinner & Gift Suite
John Skladany is in his third season with North Texas as the defensive coordinator.A veteran coach of over 30 years, Skladany turned the North Texas defense into one of the best units in the nation in 2013.
Skladany's defense had seven players earn all-conference honors in 2013, the most since 2003 for a Mean Green defensive unit.
Led by first-team all-C-USA pick Zach Orr, who finished with 123 tackles, the fifth most in school history, the North Texas defense held eight opponents to 16 points or less for only the third time in the last 30 seasons.
Skladany's defense allowed only 17.8 points a game, which is the lowest average since 2002 and the second lowest scoring average since 1984. In 2013 North Texas tied for the second most sacks in school history with 39 and the most in a single season since 2002.
The Mean Green defense in 2013 held seven of its eight opponents to 21 points or less. Nationally the North Texas defense finished the season eighth in the nation, allowing only 17.8 points a game. In addition, Skladany's ball hawking defense came up with 34 turnovers in 2013, which was the fourth most in the nation.
Skladany's defense in 2012 held opponents to the fewest points allowed given up by the Mean Green in a single season since 2006. Under Skladany, the North Texas defense held four opponents to 14 points or less, the most in a single season since 2003.
He brought out the best as linebackers coach in Orr, who racked up a career-high 108 tackles and second-team all-conference honors. In addition to Orr, true freshman Zac Whitfield had a breakout season at the cornerback spot. Whitfield had 12 PBU's on the season and was the only freshman in the nation to average 1.25 passes defended.
In 2011 at UCF, the Golden Knights finished ninth in the nation in total defense and scoring defense. UCF had two shutouts last year and held four teams to less than 10 points last season. Sklandany's defense ranked in the top-25 in the nation last year in five different defensive categories and led C-USA in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass defense.
He had two different stints at UCF, first in 2007 and then again in 2010 and 2011. Skladany helped the 2007 Knights to their first Conference USA title and a berth in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Knights had five All-Conference USA picks on defense that year.
The 2007 Knights intercepted a school-record 24 passes to rank third in the nation. UCF led C-USA in passing efficiency defense, was second in the league in rushing defense and was third in total defense that year, leading the conference with 39 sacks.
In 2010, his linebackers enjoyed great success as the Knights recorded one of the top campaigns in program history. UCF went 11-3, claimed the C-USA championship and defeated Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Knights entered the national rankings for the first time and concluded the year ranked in both national polls
Skladany spent the 2008 and 2009 campaigns at Houston, helping the Cougars to a pair of bowl appearances and the 2009 C-USA West Division Championship.
Skladany was at Iowa State from 1997-06 with coach McCarney as his defensive coordinator as they helped revitalized the Cyclones who played in five bowl games.
In 2005, Iowa State allowed just 10 rushing touchdowns, a school-record low. The defense held opponents to 19.2 points a game, the lowest Iowa State total since 1980. For the fourth time in five years, Skladany's unit was ranked in the top half of the Big 12 Conference in total defense. The Cyclones paced the Big 12 and ranked seventh nationally, forcing 35 turnovers.
Following the regular season, a pair of Skladany's players, nose guard Nick Leaders and cornerback LaMarcus Hicks, were named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Middle linebacker Tim Dobbins, the league's defensive newcomer of the year in 2004, defensive tackle Brent Curvey and safety Steve Paris all garnered second-team all-league recognition.
Under Skladany's leadership, the Cyclones allowed just 139.2 yards per game on the ground in 2004.
Iowa State participated in the Humanitarian Bowl in 2002 after playing in the Independence Bowl the previous year. In 2003, defensive end Jason Berryman was the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Following the 2005 campaign, linebacker Alvin Bowen was a first-team all-conference pick.
Before working at Iowa State, Skladany was on the staff at Colorado State. The Rams won Western Athletic Conference titles in 1994 and 1995 with Skladany coaching the defensive line. He coached Brady Smith, the 1995 WAC Defensive Player of the Year who led the nation in sacks and tackles that season. Smith spent 10 years in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons.
In both 1994 and 1995, the Rams made Holiday Bowl appearances. Skladany came to Colorado State after two years as the defensive backs coach at Northern Arizona (1990-92) and one season coaching the Lumberjack defensive line.
Skladany coached at Ohio from 1985-89, serving as the secondary coach for three years and then taking over the defensive coordinator duties (1988-89). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio in 1976. He also coached at Maine (1981-84) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1980) after two years at Utica High School in Ohio.
The Haverhill, Mass., native played at Central Connecticut State, earning his bachelor's degree in 1972. The defensive lineman had free agent tryouts with the New England Patriots in 1972 and the Washington Redskins in 1973. Skladany spent 1974 with the World Football League's Birmingham Americans and played for the Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League the following exhibition season.
He owns a master's degree from Ohio. Skladany and his wife, Sharon, have two daughters: Laura and Stephanie.