Replaces Braun who moves on to Northwestern
North Dakota State head football coach Matt Entz announced the hiring of Jason Petrino as defensive coordinator Thursday, Jan. 26. Petrino is replacing David Braun, who resigned to accept a position at Northwestern University in the Big Ten Conference.
Petrino spent the last four years as defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Southern Illinois, where he coached second-round draft pick Jeremy Chinn and transformed SIU into one of the toughest defenses in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
In Petrino’s first year, SIU improved in scoring defense from 40.7 to 23.0 points per game and rushing defense from 221.3 to 154.0 yards per game. The Salukis in 2022 ranked sixth in FCS rushing defense allowing just 105.4 yards per game.
“Jason brings a wealth of knowledge both defensively and in program development from his experience as a defensive coordinator and a head coach,” Entz said. “I have always noticed how hard his players played and how well they executed. Jason has a proven track record of being a great teacher, mentor and leader.”
Prior to SIU, Petrino spent three years as head coach of NAIA Rocky Mountain College in Montana, where he led the program to a conference championship and playoff berth in 2018. Known throughout his coaching career as a defensive tactician, Petrino took on the added responsibility of offensive coordinator in 2018, and the Battlin’ Bears led the Frontier Conference in several categories, including points per game (35.0), total offense and passing yards.
Petrino coached four seasons at South Dakota from 2012 to 2015 as the team’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. In his final season at USD, the Coyotes had the fourth-ranked defense in the conference and beat NDSU in Fargo, 24-21.
This is Petrino’s second coaching job in the state of North Dakota. He was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at the University of Mary from 2005 to 2007, helping the Marauders transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. UMary led the Northern Sun Conference in total defense, passing defense and red-zone defense in 2007 and tied for second place in its first year of conference play.
Petrino spent four years at the FBS level with Wyoming as a graduate assistant in 2003 and 2004 and director of operations in 2008 and 2009. He coached at Winona State in 2010 as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and he was the defensive backs coach at Nebraska-Omaha in 2011.
Petrino played collegiately at Carroll College in Montana from 1996 to 1999 and was a team captain and second-team all-conference defensive back for the Saints. He started his coaching career at Carroll as defensive backs coach from 2000 to 2002 and was part of an NAIA national championship in 2002.