OGDEN — It didn't take Weber State too long to move on from the disappointment of abruptly losing its head football coach.
Three days after John L. Smith bailed on the Wildcats' program to take the interim head coaching job at the University of Arkansas, Jody Sears was named Thursday as the interim head football coach at WSU for the 2012 season.
Sears, 44, joined the Weber State coaching staff during the recently completed spring drills as the defensive coordinator for the Wildcats. In addition to his role as interim head coach, he will continue to be the Wildcats' defensive coordinator.
"I'm confident that he will lead this team and our staff through this difficult time," Weber State director of athletics Jerry Bovee, who had hired Smith to replace Ron McBride as head coach less than five months ago, said in announcing Sears' selection. "... I felt that this was the best way for us to move forward as a program.
"Since Jody has been here, he has stepped in and has been a great leader for our program. I'm confident that with his experience we will continue the stability of our program. ... I'm excited about our future."?
Sears brings nearly 20 years of coaching experience to Weber State. Before coming to Weber State, he spent the past three seasons at Washington State, where he was co-defensive coordinator with the Cougars under head coach Paul Wulff.
"This is a great opportunity for myself," Sears said, "but this is not about me, this is not about what guy's going to be the head coach — this is about the team. We've got an awesome opportunity to grow these kids to come together as a football team and be a contender. Everything's in place.
"Coach Smith did a tremendous job of putting together a great staff, of laying the foundation for the blueprint and what needs to happen, and the message is going to be the same. It's going to be all things moving forward. It's going to be about hard work and accountability and commitment and leadership and coming together as a unit and helping each other and growing.
"It's an awesome opportunity for the leaders and the captains of this program to say ... let's use this to our advantage and come together and grow," Sears said.
Sears is no stranger to the Big Sky Conference, as he spent five seasons (2003-07) as the defensive coordinator at Eastern Washington University, also under Wulff. During his time with the Eagles, he coached the team's safeties, linebackers and defensive backs. In his five seasons at Eastern Washington, he coached seven players to Big Sky All-Conference honors.
Prior to his time at Eastern Washington, Sears spent three seasons (2000-02) as an assistant coach at Army, where he coached cornerbacks and the defensive line.
In 1998, he was the defensive coordinator at St. Ambrose University, an NAIA school in Davenport, Iowa. He began his collegiate coaching career in 1994 at Iowa State, where he spent three seasons as a graduate assistant with the Cyclones, helping coach the defensive backs and wide receivers.
Sears played football at Washington State, where he was a two-year letterwinner with the Cougars after walking on as a wide receiver. He played under head coaches Jim Walden, Dennis Erickson and former Weber State head coach Mike Price. He graduated from Washington State in 1991 and received his master's degree from Iowa State in 1996.
Sears was born Oct. 21, 1967, and is a native of Pullman, Wash. He and his wife Molly are the parents of five children: Weston, Hannah Jo, J.T., Kylee Ann and Charlie Ray.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company