Co-Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs
Brian Curtin has been on the sideline with the Warrior coaching staff for over 20 years. Curtin tutors WSU defensive backs while also serving as the team’s co-defensive coordinator.
Curtin has been a member of head coach Tom Sawyer’s staff almost from the beginning, helping turn around a program and usher in an era of unprecedented success. Curtin joined the Winona Staff football staff in 1997 - Sawyer's second year as the head coach.
Curtin has helped the Warriors to eight NSIC Championships, as well as the 2010 NSIC South Division crown. WSU has advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs six times since Curtin’s arrival while also playing in three Mineral Water Bowls.
Curtin’s defenses have been a major part in the Warriors’ success. Building their team around a stingy, ball-hawking unit, Curtin helped tutor five consecutive NSIC Defensive Players of the Year. A Warrior claimed the honor from 2002-2006, with Curtin personally coaching safety John Tackmann to the award in 2005 and 2006.
Tackmann was an All-American under Curtin’s watchful eye in 2005 and 2006. He also coached Jamey Hutchinson to First Team All-American honors in 1997. Most recently, Curtin coached the 2018 NSIC Defensive Player of the Year and Don Hansen Super Region 5 Defensive Player of the Year - Andrew Spencer. Cornerback Isaiah Hall was also named an All-American under his watch in 2018.
Curtin has helped the Warriors to six seasons of 10 or more victories and 13 campaigns in which the team won at least eight games. His defenses also helped the team compile a 35-game home conference winning streak that began in 1999 and stretched through the end of the 2008 season.
Since joining the WSU staff, Curtin has helped tutor defensive units that led the NSIC in turnover margin (five times), scoring defense (three times), total defense (twice), rush defense and passing efficiency defense.
Both Ryan Williams and Chris Norgaard earned All-Conference honors in 2012, with Norgaard also gaining All-Region accolades as WSU went 10-2 and won the Mineral Water Bowl.
Curtin played football at Winona State and was a member of the 1993 NSIC Championship team. That squad went 7-4 overall and 5-1 in conference play to earn the only NAIA Playoff bid in school history. The Warriors repeated as NSIC Champions in 1994, posting a 7-3-1 overall record and 5-0-1 mark in league play.
Curtin graduated from Winona State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Teaching with an emphasis in Social Science and History. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Winona State University.
Curtin is also an advisor for the Student-Athlete Services department at Winona State, as well as being an instructor in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science.
Curtin lives in Winona with his wife Sarah and their two children, Caitlin and Patrick.
Co-Defensive Coordinator / Recruiting Coordinator / Defensive Line
After an outstanding career on the playing field for the Warriors, Matt Ulrich returned to his alma mater to join the coaching staff in 2018. Ulrich serves as the co-defensive coordinator, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
Ulrich, a four-year starter at Winona State, finished his career by earning All-American honors at the defensive tackle position in 2011. He was the 2010 NSIC South Division Preseason Player of the Year, and earned All-NSIC honors in each of his final three seasons with the Warriors. Ulrich recorded seven career sacks while making 112 total tackles.
Ulrich spent one year on staff at Winona after graduation before becoming a graduate assistant coach at Notre Dame College from 2013-14. He spent the 2015 season at UC Davis before returning to Notre Dame as the special teams coordinator in 2016, and the co-defensive coordinator in 2017. Ulrich also coach the defensive line in his final two seasons at Notre Dame College.
The Rushford, Minnesota native graduated from Winona State with a degree in Marketing in 2011.
Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Rocco DiMeco joined the Warrior starff prior to the 2018 season and works as the Special Teams Coordinator and linebackers coach. He spent the previous four years at Rutgers University as special teams quality control.
During his time at Rutgers, DiMeco was a part of teams that had much success. In 2014, he worked with Special Teams standout players such as Janarion Grant, a Phil Steele Pre-Season All-American as well as Michael Burton, a 2014 fifth round pick of the Detroit Lions. The following year, he worked with the offensive line who saw Keith Lumpkin and Chris Muller become All-Big 10 Honorable Mention selections. In his final year at Rutgers, DiMeco worked with a Special Teams squad that ranked second in the Big 10 as well as 18th in the country in kickoff coverage.
Prior to Rutgers, DiMeco spent a year at Holy Cross, where he served as the outside linebackers coach where he tutored Kyle Young, who received USA College Football FCS Rookie of the Week, Patriot League Rooky of the Week, and Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week in 2013.
Before taking the job at Holy Cross, DiMeco spent two years at Anna Maria College where he was the co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach, and strength coach. He coached linebackers, Jordan Koehler and Kevin Card to the 2012 All-Conference Team.
DiMeco was a four-year starter at Norwich University as an inside linebacker and was voted team captain his senior season. He earned First Team All-Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) honors as a junior. In 2009, the Cadets won the ECFC title defeating Mount Ida, 49-14. DiMeco lead Norwich with nine total tackles.
DiMeco is a native of Holden, Mass and currently lives in Winona with his wife, Jacky, daughter Cecilia, and twins, Rocco Jr. and Emilia.
Assistant Coach - Defense
Teague joined the coaching staff after playing one season at Winona State in 2017 when he contributed to one of the best defenses in the country.
Following a successful stint at Saint Joseph's College (Indiana), Teague transferred to WSU in 2017 and helped lead the Warriors to their first home NCAA Playoff game in over a decade. He ranked second on the team in solo (45) and total tackles (71) that season, and led all players with 9.5 TFL