UCF head football coach Scott Frost and new defensive coordinator Erik Chinander address the local media Thursday about the new coaching staff as well as UCF football in general. Matthew Saunders and Daniela Marin, Central Florida Future


UCF head coach Scott Frost announced Wednesday that five new coaches have been added to Knight’s coaching staff. It was reported earlier in the week and is now confirmed that Erik Chinander will be the Knight’s new defensive coordinator.

“Erik is one of the smartest football coaches I have been around,” Frost said Thursday. “I really feel like I got as good a guy from Oregon’s staff as I possibly could have.”

The other four coaches hired are Greg Austin as the offensive line coach, Mario Verduzco as the quarterbacks coach, and Ryan Held and Troy Walters as assistant coaches. The Knights also added Marcus Castro-Walker as their director of player development.

Erik Chinander is an Iowa native and played college football at the University of Iowa where he was an offensive lineman. Frost served as a defensive assistant coach with Chinander at the University of Northern Iowa in 2007 where the two were roommates.

“I have worked with him but more than that we have been as close of friends as you could have for ten plus years,” Chinander said of Frost. “He’s is a great leader, somebody that the kids connect with but they also feel comfortable growing under him and I think he has got a great vision for UCF.”

Chinander later joined the Ducks as an intern in 2010 where he spent three seasons as an intern and graduate assistant. The 35-year-old left Oregon in 2013 to serve as Chip Kelly’s assistant defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. That season the Eagles were the tenth in the league in rush defense. Chinander spent the last two seasons coaching Oregon’s outside linebackers. As the Knights defensive coordinator, Chinander could likely try to install a 3-4 defense.

Much like Chinander, Greg Austin also joined the Oregon staff as an intern in 2010 and followed much of the same path that he did when he moved on to the Eagles with Chinander and Chip Kelly in 2013. Austin, however, did coach on the other side of the ball and with the Eagles was the assistant offensive line coach.

“Greg Austin was vital for me to have a guy that knew our offense from an offensive line perspective so that I would not have to teach it,” said Frost. “He knows it as well as any offensive line coach that I could have found.”

In his college days he played football at the University of Nebraska as an offensive guard. After he completed his bachelor’s degree, Austin earned a master’s degree in both sports management and business management right here at UCF.


Matthew Saunders is a digital producer for the Central Florida Future.