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Defensive Coaching Staff

Nick Postma
Co-Defensive Coordinator

 Nick Postma enters his seventh year in charge of the Laker secondary and his third as the co-defensive coordinator. Postma is making his second stint on the Laker coaching staff, having served as a graduate assistant in 2007.

The youngsters that gained a significant amount of experience in 2014 turned in a big year in 2015. The last line of defense picked off 13 passes and tallied 74 pass breakups as a group. As a defense GVSU ranked 10th nationally in interceptions with 20. Senior safety Donte Carey was the veteran, while junior Garrett Pougnet tallied All-GLIAC honors after recording 105 tackles and three interceptions. Junior Tre Walton and sophomores Devin McKissic and Jacob Studdard picked off a combine nine passes and tallied 45 pass break ups in 2015.

Postma tutored a young secondary in 2014 that returns all but one player that played the majority of snaps. Deonte Hurst earned  all-america honors under Postma and will be missed, but depth at safety and cornerback figure to play a key role in 2015. 

Postma mentored a defensive secondary that earned three All-GLIAC plaudits in 2013. Reggie Williams, Deonte Hurst and Erik Thompson each earned honors and held as the last line of defense. The Laker defensive backfield picked off 21 passes and held opponents to 216.8 passing yards per game. The aggressive unit played run support as well as defending the pass, evidenced by five secondary performers ranking among the top 10 in total tackles. In addition, the Laker secondary recorded 58 pass breakups. In this time of pass happy offenses, the GVSU secondary yielded just 20 passing TDs.

Postma tutored three All-GLIAC performers (Matt Bakker, Zach Breen, Rob Carlisle) in 2010 as GVSU’s secondary picked off 18 passes and notched 35 pass deflections as a group in 2010. The Laker defensive secondary ranked among the leaders nationally in pass defense, pass breakups and interceptions.

Prior to his return to GVSU, Postma spent two years as an assistant coach at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio where he coached the defensive backs. Nick spent the 2006 campaign at Gannon University as a defensive backs coach.

A graduate of Saginaw Valley State, Postma earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science in June of 2005. Postma was a four-year letterwinner and a three-year starter for the Cardinals on the gridiron as a strong safety. Saginaw Valley State appeared in the NCAA Division II playoffs each of his playing seasons, while also capturing a GLIAC Championship in 2003. SVSU compiled an overall record of 39-9 and a GLIAC mark of 34-6 during his career. Postma, who recorded 110 career tackles, earned All-GLIAC honors as a senior.

Jim Louis
Co-Defensive Coordinator

Jim Louis enters his third year as linebacker coach and co-defensive coordinator for the Laker football program. Louis was previously the defensive coordinator/linebacker coach at St. Cloud State (Minn.) from 2008-1013.

Louis will tutor a group of linebackers that have played a lot of football for the Lakers. Three seniors, Marquez Gollman, David Talley and Joe Moran, along with junior Collin Schlosser form one of the best linebacking units in the country. Talley, who earned All-GLIAC honors, led the team with 128 tackles and 12 TFL, while Gollman, who was a first-team all-american, tallied 117 tackles and three interceptions. Schlosser garnered All-GLIAC honors and ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 84. Moran chipped in 65 stops. 

Louis guided a young group of linebackers in 2014 that all return for the 2015 season. This unit boasts just one senior, but gained a significant amount of game experience the past two years.

St. Cloud State experienced a great deal of success on the gridiron since his arrival in 2008. The Huskies were a combined 52-20 overall, including a 45-15 mark in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action. In addition, St. Cloud State captured two NSIC co-championships in 2010 and 2011 and advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs three times during his tenure on the defensive coordinator.

St. Cloud State led the nation in turnover margin in 2010 (+23) and ranked third during the 2013 campaign (+22). His 2011 defense ranked 10th in scoring (17.8 ppg) and 16th in pass defense (167.7 ypg). SCSU ranked among the top four in six defensive categories 22 times since 2008 in the NSIC and he coach a defensive all-american in each of the last three years.

Louis joined the St. Cloud State coaching staff after three seasons as an assistant coach at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. At Wartburg, he was hired as the defensive line coach in 2005, and in 2006 was named the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Louis directed his Wartburg defense to the number one ranking in nearly every category in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). In 2007, the Knights were ranked in the top 15 nationally in five defensive categories, including second in the nation in scoring defense.

Louis was a part of the St. Cloud State football program from 1993 to 1997. A three-year starter, he earned All-North Central Conference recognition in 1996 as an Honorable Mention player and in 1997 as a Second Team honoree. He was also named to the 1996 and 1997 Academic All-North Central Conference teams. He ranked among the top five in Husky tackles during the 1995, 1996, and 1997 seasons. He was the second leading tackler for the Huskies in 1997 recording 94 that season. Louis currently ranks 14th on the St. Cloud State tackles chart with 236 during his career.

Jim and his wife, Stacy, are the proud parents of Zoe (15), Ben (12) and Trey (10).

E.J. Whitlow
Defensive Line

E.J. Whitlow enters his third season on the Laker football coaching staff. coaching the defensive line. Whitlow was previously the defensive line coach at Notre Dame College (Ohio) from 2010-1013.

Whitlow will once again have one of the top defensive lines in the country in 2016. His 2015 unit included Matt Judon, the Gene Upshaw Award winner as the top interior lineman in the country. A consensus All-American and the 2015 Defensive Player of the Year, Judon led the nation in QB sacks (21). Seniors DeOndre Hogan and Alton Voss return after earning All-GLIAC plaudits in 2015. Hogan tallied 65 tackles and 10.0 QB sacks, while Voss added 60 tackles and 9.0 QB sacks. Senior Mark Rosenquist added 28 tackles and freshman Dylan Carroll chipped in 32 tackles and sophomore Keane Belcher 17 tackles. As a team, GVSU ranked 13th in the country in QB sacks with 49.

Matt Judon earned Daktronics Super Region four honors with 72 tackles and 19.0 TFL, while Isiah Dunning (62) and Matt Mosley (52) turned in productive seasons.  Alton Voss moved from tight end to defensive end  and made an immediate impact.

Whitlow spent four years at Notre Dame College (Ohio) and was a part of the program from its beginning as the Falcons initial season playing football was in 2010. Whitlow was a graduate assistant in 2010 and 2011, but became the full-time defensive line coach in 2012.

Whitlow played collegiately at Findlay from 2006-10, where he was twice an All-GLIAC performer as a defensive tackle and was named the Oilers' 2009 Team MVP. He recorded 44 total tackles and 5.0 tackles for loss (-19) en route to earning All-GLIAC honors as a junior, followed by senior season in which he tallied career-highs in total tackles (60) and tackles for loss with six (-21) and was named First-Team All-GLIAC and team MVP.

E.J. and his wife, Kierre, are the proud parents of daughter Emily.