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University of South Dakota - Football
University of South Dakota - Football

      DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF

Brian Mohnsen | Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Line

Assistant head coach Brian Mohnsen, affectionately known as coach “Moose”, has been a part of college football since his playing days at University of Nebraska in the early 90s and has been a part of 13 conference championships. Mohnsen oversees the defensive line of the Coyotes.

Mohnsen first teamed with head coach Bob Nielson at Western Illinois in 2014. He made the move to Vermillion alongside Nielson in December of 2015.

Mohnsen’s coaching career began at his alma mater in 1992. He spent 12 years on staff with the Huskers, serving as director of the video scouting department and assisted with gameday management. He worked alongside legendary coach Tom Osborne and was a part of national championships in 1994, 1995 and 1997.

In 2004, Mohnsen became the defensive coordinator at Northwestern Oklahoma State where he guided a Ranger defense that ranked in the top five in rushing, passing and scoring defense. He transitioned to defensive line coach at Minnesota State where he spent the 2005 season.

Mohnsen worked on staff at Buffalo from 2006-09 where he coached the linebackers (2006) and defensive line (2007-09). Mohnsen helped lead the Bulls to back-to-back Mid-American Conference East Division Championships and to Buffalo’s first-ever trip to a bowl game in 2008 (International Bowl).

Mohsen served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Nebraska alum Tony Samuel at Southeast Missouri State for three years starting in 2011. He moved to Macomb, Ill., ahead of the 2014 season to serve as defensive line coach for Nielson at Western Illinois and was promoted to assistant head coach for defense ahead of the 2015 campaign.

Mohnsen helped lead the Leathernecks to the 2015 FCS playoffs, the first trip for the program since 2010. Western Illinois advanced to the second round to culminate a seven-win season.

Mohnsen graduated from Nebraska in 1991 with a degree in secondary education. He and his wife, Kerri, have a daughter, Madison.


Tyler Yelk | Co-Defensive Coordinator / Safeties

South Dakota co-defensive coordinator Tyler Yelk has been a part of Bob Nielson’s team since the 2005 football season when he led his alma mater, Minnesota Duluth, in tackles as a freshman. Yelk joined Nielson’s coaching staff at UMD following his senior season, moved with Nielson to Western Illinois, and in December of 2015 became a part of Nielson’s staff at USD.

Yelk coached defensive backs at Western Illinois and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator ahead of the 2015 campaign. In addition to his coordinator duties at South Dakota, Yelk coaches the safeties.

Yelk led Minnesota Duluth in tackles for three consecutive seasons and became the program’s all-time leading tackler (323) during a senior season in which the Bulldogs captured their first national championship and finished with a 15-0 record. Yelk earned three different All-America honors and was a two-time first-team all-NSIC/NCC selection during his career. He also competed in the 2008 Cactus Bowl, an all-star game for Division II seniors.

Yelk became the only Bulldog to win a national title as both a player and a coach in 2010 when Minnesota Duluth finished 15-0 to capture the program’s second national title. Yelk served as special teams coordinator, defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the Bulldogs for four seasons. His players received two All-America awards, five all-region honors and 11 all-conference selections.

Yelk joined Western Illinois’ staff when Nielson became head coach there in 2013. In year three, Western Illinois returned to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010 and advanced to the second round to culminate a seven-win season. The Leathernecks’ intercepted a Valley-leading 19 passes in 2015, which ranked seven nationally. Western Illinois intercepted 35 passes in three seasons with Yelk as its secondary coach.

A native of Arlington, Wis., Yelk earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from UMD. He is married to the former Elyce Rehmke.


Atiba Bradley | Co-Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers

Atiba Bradley joined head coach Bob Nielson at South Dakota in December of 2015. Bradley is the Coyotes co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Bradley started his coaching career in 2006 at Missouri Southern State as a student assistant while finishing his degree in general studies with an emphasis in mathematics. During that season, he coached the cornerbacks. In 2007, he was hired as an intern coach and worked with the tight ends and offensive line.

Bradley continued his career as a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri in 2008. He was in charge of the Tigers’ offensive quality control and helped Mizzou to a prolific offensive season that broke numerous school scoring and yardage records. In 2009, he made the move from offense to defense and served as the defensive graduate assistant coach.

Bradley worked at Missouri Southern, his alma mater, in 2010-11. He was the linebackers coach, recruiting coordinator and oversaw the academic progress of student-athletes.

In 2012, Bradley coached at Quincy University and was the defensive and recruiting coordinator. Bradley made an immediate impact as the Hawks transitioned to the NCAA Division II level. Four of his players on defense earned All-Great Lakes Valley Conference Second Team honors.

When Nielson was named Western Illinois’ head coach in 2013, he recruited Bradley to be his linebackers coach. In his first season, Bradley helped the defensive unit rank seventh nationally in total defense and third in passing defense. Western’s top four linebackers combined for 22 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, six interceptions and 12 pass break-ups. One of his linebackers, Kevin Kintzel, was named All-MVFC and was honored by the College Football Performance Awards and received the organization’s Linebacker Award (given to one of the top linebackers in Division I FCS).

In 2014, Bradley’s linebacker squad had two of the top players in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in tackles per game including Kintzel, who earned All-MVFC honors for the second consecutive season.

For the 2015 season, Bradley was promoted to co-defensive coordinator. He helped Western Illinois return to the Division I FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010 and advanced to the second round.

During his playing days at Missouri Southern, Bradley was a two-time all-conference linebacker. Prior to college, he was an all-state performer as a prep offensive and defensive lineman at Joplin High School.

Bradley married Jacquelyn Dukart in June 2008. The couple has two daughters, Briauna and Kiara Nicole.


Mark Watson | Cornerbacks

Mark Watson Jr. came to Vermillion alongside head coach Bob Nielson in December of 2015. Watson is the Coyotes’ cornerbacks coach, the position he held for Nielson at Western Illinois in 2015.

Watson began his career at Drake University in 2010 and continued to work there throughout the 2011 season. Both seasons that Watson worked with the Bulldogs, the team led the Pioneer League in interceptions. The 2011 team won the PFL title, finishing seventh nationally (FCS) in scoring defense and 10th in total defense.

In 2012, Watson made the move to USC and worked as the graduate assistant coach in the secondary. The Trojans ended the season 7-6 and the defense finished 41st in pass efficiency and tied for 40th in scoring defense.

Watson continued his career at Western Illinois in 2013 and was in charge of the wide receivers. Watson’s receiving core was made up of mostly newcomers and two of the top receivers were true-freshmen. Lance Lenoir Jr. was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer team after becoming the first WIU freshman to lead the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. Lenoir’s seven touchdown receptions tied for second-most nationally by a freshman. Joey Borsellino became the first WIU freshman to lead the team in receptions.

The success continued throughout the 2014 season. Lenoir set a program record for most receptions in a season, became the only underclassman to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season and was named First-Team All-MVFC. Borsellino surpassed 1,000 receiving yards during the season, as did senior Hi-C Scott, one of the few times in Leatherneck history three receivers on the same team had 1,000 career yards.

In 2015, Watson made the move from offense to defense and coached in the secondary. He helped WIU return to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010. The team advanced to the second round and finished the season with seven wins.

Originally from St. Charles Missouri, Watson began his playing career at Missouri Southern before transferring to McPherson College. Watson was a two-year starter at McPherson and team captain his senior year. Watson graduated from McPherson in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

During his prep career at Francis Howell High School, Watson was a three-sport athlete in football, baseball and track. He helped his baseball team win the 2003 Class 4A state title and was a member of the 4x100 relay team that set the school record.


Collin Prosser | Assistant Defensive Line / Special Teams

Collin Prosser rejoined the Coyote coaching staff in the spring of 2015. His primary coaching responsibilities include the defensive line and special teams.

Prosser was an assistant coach at Morningside College after obtaining his master’s degree from USD in December of 2010. The Mustangs, located in Sioux City, Iowa, are one of the premier NAIA programs in the country. Prosser was a co-offensive coordinator and an offensive line and tight ends coach at Morningside during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Prosser coached the Mustangs’ running backs and was head coach of the JV team the two years prior.

Morningside’s offense generated 662 yards per game in 2014 – more than any other college football team at any level. Prosser was twice named a finalist for Football Scoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year. He coached four All-Americans in four seasons in Sioux City.

Prosser served as a graduate assistant for the Coyotes during the 2009 and 2010 campaigns where he coached mainly tight ends. Prosser was also the team’s video coordinator and had recruiting responsibilities in Western Nebraska and Southwest Minnesota.

Prosser graduated from Wayne State College in Nebraska with a degree in health and physical education K-12 in 2009. He was a member of Wayne State’s football team from 2004-08 and was named team captain prior to his senior season.

Prosser and his wife, Heather, have two sons, Colton and Camden.


John Litrenta | Defensive Quality Control

Bio. Coming Soon!