Wednesday, March 06, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (Mar. 6, 2002) - East Tennessee State University football head coach Paul Hamilton has announced that Steve Wilkes has been added to his staff as an assistant coach. In addition to the hiring of Wilkes, Hamilton also announced that current ETSU assistant Billy Taylor will be elevated to Co-Defensive Coordinator along with Wilkes. Wilkes will also serve as defensive backfield coach. "I am very excited about the addition of Steve Wilkes to our program," Hamilton said. "He will bring us some different thoughts defensively. He will add an enthusiastic presence to our staff and will bring with him a lot of experience with winning football. "Billy Taylor is certainly the right choice to be our co-defensive coordinator with Steve. The continuity that he will bring will be important to us. He has been an outstanding member of our staff at ETSU and takes great pride in our program and has a commitment to winning." Wilkes comes to ETSU from Appalachian State where he was the defensive backfield coach last season for the Mountaineers. Prior to Appalachian State, Wilkes was defensive backs and punt return coach at Illinois State in 2000. From 1997-99 he was at Savannah State where his 1998 defense led the nation in Division II, earning him Division II Defensive Coordinator of the Year accolades from the American Football Coaches Association. Wilkes was also defensive coordinator at Johnson C. Smith from 1995-96. After earning four letters as a defensive back at Appalachian State, the 1992 graduate played for the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League from April 1993 to January 1994. A 1988 ETSU graduate, Taylor has been on the ETSU staff since 1997, serving as linebacker coach and recruiting coordinator.
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