Jan. 12, 2012
PITTSBURGH—Pitt head football coach Paul Chryst made two more staff appointments today, naming Eddie Faulkner running backs coach and Matt House secondary coach.
Faulkner joins Pitt after spending the 2011 season as running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Northern Illinois, where he helped the Huskies to an 11-3 record, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship and a GoDaddy.com Bowl victory. House spent the past four seasons in the National Football League working as a coaching assistant with the St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers.
“Eddie Faulkner and Matt House bring exceptional energy and diverse experience to our coaching staff,” Chryst said. “I know they are both incredibly excited about the opportunity to work for a great institution like the University of Pittsburgh. Eddie and Matt have already arrived at Pitt and will play important roles in helping us close out our recruiting class in strong fashion.”
As running backs coach at NIU, Faulkner produced All-MAC tailback Jasmin Hopkins, who rushed for 956 yards and 15 touchdowns on 187 carries (5.1 avg.). NIU boasted the nation’s No. 12 rushing attack with an average of 234.14 yards per game.
Overseeing NIU’s special teams, Faulkner’s punt coverage unit ranked second nationally, yielding just one yard per return. Huskies placekicker Mathew Sims was a first-team All-MAC performer while compiling a school-record 124 points (20-28 field goals, 64-66 PATs).
Prior to NIU, Faulkner spent eight seasons at Ball State (2003-10). Initially joining Brady Hoke’s BSU staff as a graduate assistant in 2003, Faulkner elevated to running backs and special teams coach before serving as the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator his final two years. He was Ball State’s interim head coach at the end of the 2010 season before his departure to NIU.
During his Ball State tenure, the Cardinals captured two MAC West Division championships and advanced to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history. The 2008 team went undefeated during the regular season as tailback MiQuale Lewis rushed for a Ball State record 1,736 yards.
Faulkner was a member of two Big Ten championship teams as a running back at Wisconsin from 1996-2000. A four-year letterman for the Badgers, he signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001 before going on to a pro career with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.
House served as a defensive quality control coach with the St. Louis Rams the past three seasons (2009-11). In 2008, he was a special teams assistant with the Carolina Panthers, who went 12-4 that year en route to the NFC South Division title and the fourth-ever playoff berth in franchise history. In addition to contributing to special teams, House also served the Panthers as a strength and conditioning assistant.
Prior to his NFL stint, House was defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator under Turner Gill at the University of Buffalo for two seasons (2006-07). In his final season at UB, the rising Bulls captured a share of the MAC East Division title. House’s pupils at Buffalo included four-time first-team All-MAC safety Davonte Shannon, a native of Jeannette, Pa., and graduate of Jeannette High. Shannon finished as the Bulls’ all-time leading tackler and signed a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins.
House additionally was defensive line coach at Gardner-Webb University (2005), where he helped develop consensus All-America defensive end Brian Johnston. The two-time Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year would go on to be selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2008 NFL Draft.
House began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State (his alma mater) during the 2001 and ’02 seasons and worked with the Spartans’ defensive backs and special teams. He also was a defensive assistant at North Carolina for two years (2003-04) working with the secondary.
Chryst has now filled seven of the nine positions on his coaching staff. Those appointments include:
Bob Bostad: offensive coordinator/offensive line
Eddie Faulkner: running backs
Matt House: secondary
Dave Huxtable: defensive coordinator
Joe Rudolph: assistant head coach/quarterbacks
Chris Haering: linebackers
Jim Hueber: tight ends
Pitt Football Positional Preview: Special Teams
Pitt's Conner Named to Walter Camp Award Watch List
Pitt Football Positional Preview: The Defense
Pitt's Conner Named Preseason Doak Walker Award Candidate
Three Pitt players named Wuerffel Trophy candidates
Pitt's Bisnowaty Named to Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List