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The Antelope

New coach provides experience in fast offensive scheme

Colby Ellis coached wide receivers at North Alabama before UNK. Photo by Ethan McCormick / Antelope Staff

It’s a new era for UNK football, and although offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Colby Ellis has new responsibilities, he isn’t worried about his new roles. 

This will be the first time that Ellis will be in charge of an offense and quarterbacks. 

“I’ve been around quarterbacks and been in and out of the quarterback room,” Ellis said. “It’s like any other position. You have to start from the ground up with fundamentals, footwork and technique.” 

Two-time MIAA Offensive Player of the Year, TJ Davis, will return to UNK for his sixth season, despite the coaching change in Ellis and the rest of the staff. 

“At the end of the day, he’s just a football coach,” Davis said. “When you come from a Division I level, you expect excellence from us, and I think he’s doing a great job of holding us to that standard.” 

Ellis has worked in a variety of positions including being an assistant running backs coach at Nebraska and most recently the wide receivers coach at the University of North Alabama. 

“With the different stints I’ve had, I’ve bounced around on the offensive side,” Ellis said. “When you’re in this profession, the more positions you work with, the more familiarity you get with different spots.” 

Ellis and the new staff arrived in Kearney two months ago, but have their philosophies set when it comes to recruiting. 

“I want a guy who wants to compete, day in and day out,” Ellis said. “It doesn’t matter what it is – sports, checkers, board games. We want a guy that wants to compete and absolutely hates to lose.”

UNK fans are accustomed to a heavy quarterback run game, especially with the triple option. However, new eras mean new ideas and schemes that Loper fans can be excited about.

“Offensively, we’ll be a multiple system,” Ellis said. “We’ll be in and out with different personals, different formations and motions that haven’t been seen here recently.” 

The Lopers will also attack through the air more consistently this season.

“We’ll definitely be passing the ball a little bit more,” Davis said. “Getting the ball to people in space will compliment what we do on the ground because teams will have to respect both aspects of us now.” 

Ellis and the rest of the coaching staff have the goal of not just winning on the field, but winning off it as well. 

“We’re trying to build relationships with our players and with the community,” Ellis said. “We want to have that positive impact on people in the community and push our players to be the best versions of themselves.”

Colby Ellis coaches wide receivers. Photo by Ethan McCormick / Antelope Staff
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