Head football coach Patrick Daberkow has moved a step closer to finalizing his coaching staff. The Concordia University football program has announced the addition of Thomas Byrd as offensive coordinator and the promotion of Corby Osten, who transitions from junior varsity head coach and special teams coach to defensive coordinator.
Osten fills the role that had been held by Daberkow for the past seven years. Meanwhile, Byrd replaces Curran White, the offensive coordinator for the 2013 through 2016 seasons. Additionally, Byrd will instruct classes in the health and human performance department at Concordia.
Though he has another full-time assistant and two graduate assistants to hire prior to the 2017 season, Daberkow has the makings of a strong staff.
“Thomas Byrd brings a lot to the table as far as a background in elite football,” Daberkow said. “He knows what it takes to compete at a high-level, and he is a great fit for this university, our athletic department and our program. Coach Osten has done a phenomenal job with our defensive line and special teams and I'm excited to continue to work together with him now as our defensive coordinator. I've gotten a lot of credit over the years for a lot of things that he's been doing on our defense, so it will be good for him to finally have his name on it. It’s very exciting to see things coming together.”
Byrd, who will also work as the position coach for the Bulldog offensive line, started at center for four seasons at Boise State University, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts in communication in 2011. Most recently, Byrd served as assistant coach/offensive line coach at NCAA Division II New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M. Prior to his two seasons at New Mexico Highlands, Byrd worked as an offensive graduate assistant at his alma mater in Boise, Idaho. His other coaching stops have landed him at Arkansas State University and Contra Costa College.
Now Byrd is prepared to run with the Concordia offense.
“As I built a relationship with Coach Daberkow and learned more about the athletic department at Concordia, I continued to like it more,” Byrd said. “It really sealed the deal when I took a visit here. I think the biggest thing that stood out to me is that it’s Christ-centered. It’s a place where you can grow spiritually and in your profession. This is a well-run program with tradition.
“All I have to do is do what I know which is to recruit, coach and teach. We want to play fast and physical on offense and use multiple schemes. We’re going to establish the run and keep defenses honest.”
Originally from San Pablo, Calif., Byrd helped the Broncos to a win over TCU in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. A first team all-conference performer, Byrd received recognition on the Rimington Trophy (top center in NCAA Division I FBS) and Rotary Lombardi Award (best lineman or linebacker in NCAA Division I FBS) watch lists in 2011. Byrd first began his coaching career at Contra Costa, where he coached the offensive line and tight ends and tutored three first team all-conference linemen. In his next coaching endeavor, Byrd was part of a staff that led Arkansas State to a victory in the GoDaddy Bowl.
Thomas and his wife Jamelia have a son, Thomas Jr.
Osten is a 2003 graduate of Concordia. He is in his ninth season as part of the Bulldog football coaching staff. He will continue to coach the defensive line along with his coordinator duties. The native of Columbus, Neb., has worked closely with defensive lineman Trey Barnes, who was named an All-American for the second-straight year. He has coached other all-conference standouts such as Dylan Heithoff and Kyle Rakow.
“Being a college coordinator is something I’ve always wanted, and to be able to do it at the place I played at and graduated from means a lot,” Osten said. “I have the ability to continue to put my mark on the future success of this football team. It has been great working with Coach Daberkow since 2009. He’s already built a strong reputation for the Concordia Bulldog defense and I hope to continue to cultivate that already established standard of excellence. I’m really excited for this opportunity.”
Before making his return to Seward, Osten spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator and junior varsity head coach at Lutheran South Academy in Houston, Texas. Then in 2008, Osten ventured to Lincoln Lutheran High School, serving as its defensive coordinator.
Osten started on the offensive line for the 2001 GPAC championship Bulldogs coached by Courtney Meyer. Osten earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education with endorsements in theology and physical education from Concordia. He lives in Seward with his wife Amanda.
An opening remains on Daberkow’s staff for the position of head junior varsity coach/assistant varsity coach and track and field event manager.