PAINESVILLE, Ohio—Lake Erie College Head Football Coach Mark McNellie announced the addition of four new staff members for the 2016 season.
Russell Norton, Norman Gee, Tyler Teknipp and Brandon Payne join the Storm sidelines in the fall.
"I went out with the intention of hiring the best people I could find and succeeded," said McNellie. "Then confirmed I hit a home run when they also have shown to be excellent teachers and coaches this spring in Spring Drills."
Norton will serve as the Defensive Line Coach and Special Teams Coordinator. He comes to the Storm after serving as the American Football Network, Inc. Vice President of College Football Operations. Before serving in that role, Norton was the Defensive Line Coach at Bluefield College. Norton also coached at Shorter University for two seasons, working as the Defensive Tackles Coach, Assistant Equipment Coordinator and Head JV Coach. He graduated from Fairmont State University in 2010.
"All positive attitude all the time," said McNellie regarding Norton. "He loves the game and loves his players. He is an outstanding role model, a strong Christian, husband and father. A great example of the kind of man we want associated with Lake Erie Football. He will be a great D-line technique coach and understands that games are won and lost up front."
Gee will serve the Storm as the Offensive Line Coach. He comes to the Storm after serving as The Apprentice School Builders Offensive Line Coach for one year. Gee also served as the offensive coordinator/strength and conditioning coach at Fluvanna High School for the 2014 season. While at Fluvanna he also served as the head lacrosse coach. He graduated from Colorado State University in 2010 and started coaching at Fork Union Military Academy where he worked as the offensive coordinator for the post-graduate football team and served as the head varsity lacrosse coach.
"Norman is a young, hungry offensive line coach eager to learn the Storm offense," remarked McNellie. "He's an outstanding technical coach with excellent demeanor and background for coaching offensive line."
Teknipp will serve as the Defensive Graduate Assistant Coach, working primarily with the secondary. A Euclid, Ohio native, Teknipp joins the Storm after concluding his playing career at Georgia Tech this past fall. Teknipp was a defensive back for the Jackets. He played high school football at Eagles Landing. He was a First-Team All-Region selection as a punter in 2010 and 2011 as well as a Second-Team All-Region honoree as a quarterback in 2011. He holds the school's record for career passing yards (3,650) and set the single season record for passing yards with 1,542 in 2011.
"He is the son of longtime local high school coach Joe Teknipp," remarked McNellie. "Growing up around football, then going on to play at Georgia Tech gives him an excellent background as a young coach. He possesses outstanding work ethic and understands what it takes to win."
Payne will serve as the Offensive Graduate Assistant Coach for the Storm. He comes to the Storm from Capital University where he served for two seasons as the Assistant Coach for Wide Receivers as well as the Academic Coordinator. Before working at Capital, Payne coached the high school level for four years. From 2010-12, he served as the Assistant Coach for both football and track and field at Hoover High School in California. In 2012, he served as the Defensive Backs Coach at Bonita Vista High School. In 2013, he held the same position at Claremont High School. Payne graduated from National University in 2013 after spending time studying at Ohio State University.
"He is over-qualified for the position," said McNellie. "He already has position coaching experience at Capital University. Brandon is a student of the game and has worked very hard at becoming a great young coach. He has already completed one master's degree and will be a great role model for young student-athletes."
The Storm opens the 2016 season at home on Sept. 3 against Northern Michigan University.