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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State football team has hired Jody Sears as its defensive coordinator, it was announced by head coach Marshall Sperbeck.

A veteran of the Big Sky Conference, Sears was the defensive coordinator at Eastern Washington from 2003-07 and returned to the league as the head coach at Weber State in 2012-13.

"We're excited to have a coach with Jody's background on our staff," Sperbeck said. "Having been a head coach in this conference and a defensive coordinator in the Pac-12, he brings a lot of experience to the position."

With 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, Sears brings a lengthy resume to the Hornets. His coaching tenure began as a graduate assistant at Iowa State in 1994 where he spent three years coaching the defensive backs and wide receivers. He was then the defensive coordinator at St. Ambrose in 1998 before moving to Army where he oversaw the cornerbacks and defensive line.

Sears' first opportunity in the Big Sky came at Eastern Washington where he coached the safeties, linebackers and defensive backs from 2000-02. He was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2003 and had seven of his players earn all-Big Sky honors.

While with the Eagles, the team made the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs three times and also produced three FCS All-Americans on defense, including Buck Buchanan Award winner Greg Peach. Eastern Washington also ranked among the conference's leaders in takeaways during Sears' time as defensive coordinator.

In 2008, Sears followed Eastern Washington head coach Paul Wulff to Washington State. He served as the Cougars' co-defensive coordinator for three seasons and coached the cornerbacks in each of his four seasons at WSU.

Sears returned to the Big Sky in April of 2012 as the defensive coordinator for John L. Smith at Weber State. However, after Smith departed for Arkansas, Sears was named the interim head coach for the Wildcats.

A graduate of Washington State who later earned his master's degree from Iowa State, Sears was a two-year letterwinner for WSU as a receiver.

Sears' offical start date at Sacramento State will be April 1, 2014.

Jody and his wife, Molly, are the parents of five children: Weston, Hannah Jo, J.T., Kylee Ann and Charlie Ray.