Southern football names Wally Ake as its new defensive coordinator

Joplin, Mo. – Missouri Southern head football coach Daryl Daye has announced the addition of veteran coach Wally Ake as the team's new defensive coordinator. Ake comes to Southern after a season at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina where he was the Camels defensive coordinator.

"We are very excited to have Coach Ake added to our staff," Daye said. "He is a proven coach with an outstanding resume and is very highly respected throughout the coaching profession. He fits in with our format of having experienced veteran coaches at the coordinators positions. We are very pleased and proud to have him become a part of the MSSU family."

Ake had previously coached Liberty's secondary and linebackers from 2009-11. In 2011, the Flames were among the defensive leaders in the Big South Conference in numerous categories. Liberty had the top scoring defense in the league (22.0) and ranked first in pass defense efficiency (119.7).

The program ranked second in total defense (343.3), tied for second in interceptions (12), returning two for touchdowns, third in rush defense (144.4) and pass defense (198.9), also tying for third in fumbles recovered (9). The Flames had a pair of players who ranked tied for third in interceptions in the league in Kevin Fogg and Walt Aikens. Aikens, a defensive back, also led the conference with three forced fumbles.

A veteran of 33 years as a collegiate coach at 10 different institutions and 41 years overall, Ake came to Liberty from Army. While at Army he served as secondary coach for the Black Knights for five years (2004-08).

Prior to his days at Army, Ake worked for three years at Western Michigan (2001-03), as a defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator. Prior to his time at WMU, Ake was the defensive coordinator for Maryland (1997-2000). While overseeing the Maryland defenders, Ake saw the Terrapins rank as the No. 12 most improved defense in 1998, No. 13 in scoring defense and No. 14 in improved passing defense. Nine of his Maryland players went on to NFL careers.

Ake's first defensive coordinator position came at Rice, where he oversaw the Owls for three seasons (1994-96). Rice ranked No. 25 nationally in four different defensive categories in 1994, as the Owls shared the Southwestern Conference title.

Prior to that, Ake coached the linebackers at Clemson for four years (1990-03), the defensive line at Arkansas for six years (1984-89) and for three years at Air Force (1981-83).

He had his first stint at Arkansas working with the tight ends in 1980. Prior to his time with the Razorbacks he started his collegiate career working with the linebackers at his alma mater, William & Mary, in 1979.

Prior to his days in the collegiate levels, Ake coached high school football at Falls Church High School in Virginia.

He and his wife, Chris, have one son, Aaron. Aaron and his wife, Wendy, have three children Vlad, Dmitri and Mila.