Linebackers / Defensive Coordinator
Brian Bergstrom begins his fourth season at Augustana in 2015, his third as defensive coordinator. Bergstrom coaches the linebackers for the Vikings and was also the team’s special teams coordinator in 2013 before being promoted to defensive coordinator.
Augustana had six players earn All-NSIC honors in 2015, including four first team selections. Chad Curry, Jamal Samaha, Bryson Hamilton and Brandon Mohr all earned All-NSIC First Team honors. Curry, Samaha, and Mohr went on to earn all-region honors and Samaha was named to the Don Hansen All-America Honorable Mention team.
Augustana’s defense forced 23 turnovers last season, ranking fifth in the NSIC with 13 interceptions. The Vikings ranked seventh in the NSIC allowing just 146.8 rushing yards per game. Augustana recorded 24 quarterback sacks in 2015, led by Jamal Samaha, who tied the single season record with 8.0 sacks. Samaha recorded a career-high 34 tackles during the season and also tied a single game record with 3.0 sacks against Southwest Minnesota State on Oct. 10.
Headlining Bergstrom’s defense in 2015 was senior linebacker Brandon Mohr who earned his third straight All-NSIC selection being named to the first team. Mohr missed two games in 2015 due to injury but returned for the playoff appearance. He led the team and finished third in the NSIC with 97 tackles, including 55 solo stops.
The defensive backfield was a veteran group that battled through injuries in 2015. Justin Brown, who played in 10 of 12 games, led the team with three interceptions to go along with 16 tackles on the season. Garrett Earl, who played in just six games after suffering a broken foot, recorded 17 tackles. Safeties Chad Curry and Trevor Naasz finished fourth and fifth respectively in tackles on the team in 2015. Curry recorded 72 tackles (36 solo) and two interceptions and Naasz pitched in with 68 tackles (38 solo) and an interception.
Redshirt freshman Kirby Hora emerged as a mainstay in the middle of Bergstrom’s defense at linebacker in 2015. Hora finished third on the team with 75 tackles (40 solo) and earned All-NSIC Honorable Mention honors in his first season on the field for the Vikings.
In 2014, Augustana’s defense allowed the third fewest points per game in the NSIC giving up just 18.5 per game. The Vikings also allowed the third fewest first downs (217) and ranked sixth in the league in red zone defense at 77.8 percent.
Three of Augustana’s nine All-NSIC performers in 2014 were on the defensive side of the ball, including the squad’s lone first team selection Ben Skelly. Skelly recorded 90 tackles in 2014 to go along with a team-high 9.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. He nearly filled every category on the defensive stat sheet picking up two interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and four passes defended. Skelly went on to earn an invite to the National Bowl Game, a showcase of All-American and All-Conference seniors from around the nation representing Division II, Division III and NAIA schools.
Bergstrom coached second team All-NSIC selection and the team’s leading tackler in Brandon Mohr. Mohr led the team with 106 tackles in 2014 which ranked fifth amongst all players in the NSIC. Mohr finished the season with 47 solo tackles and recorded 3.5 tackles for loss to earn his second straight All-NSIC Second Team honor.
Augustana’s special teams play was outstanding in 2013 as the Vikings ranked in the top 11 in the nation in two categories. Augustana led the NSIC and ranked 11th in all of Division II allowing just 15.9 yards per kick return and led the league and ranked 10th in the country with three blocked punts.
Teagan Brown (Defensive Back) led the nation returning two blocked punts for touchdowns during 2013, to lead the nation in punt return touchdowns.
Augustana kickers were 9 of 16 on field goal attempts on the season but were 27 of 28 on PAT attempts with Lucas Wainman hitting 10 of 10 and Ben Albrecht 16 of 16. Wainman, who missed seven games due to injury, nailed a school record 53-yard field goal in the season opener against MSU Moorhead on Sept. 7.
Bergstrom coached two All-NSIC performers at linebacker, including first team selection Ben Skelly who led the team and ranked sixth in the NSIC with 99 total tackles on the season. Brandon Mohr, who missed one game due to injury, was named second team All-NSIC and compiled 92 tackles on the season, including 9.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks.
Prior to Augustana, Bergstrom served as defensive backs and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Minnetonka (Minnesota) High School for two seasons.
He was the defensive coordinator at Gustavus Adolphus from 2006-2011 in addition to teaching in the Health and Exercise Science Department. He served one season as the defensive coordinator at Crown College (Saint Bonifacius, Minn.)
Bergstrom was a graduate assistant coaching linebackers at St. Cloud State from 2003-2005. He was also the Huskies’ strength and conditioning coordinator. For one season (2002-2003) he was an assistant varsity football coach at Shakopee (Minnesota) High School.
He majored in health fitness at Gustavus, earning his BA in 2002. He received a master’s degree in sports management from St. Cloud State in 2005.
As a member of the Gustavus football squad (1998-2001) he served as captain and earned team MVP and All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference recognition. He was also an academic All-America.
Bergstrom and his wife, Kate, are the parents of two sons, Krayton and Beckett and one daughter Berkley.
Defensive Line / Special Teams Coordinator
Kelly Scholten, a 1997 Augustana graduate, begins his fourth season as Augustana’s defensive line coach in 2016. Scholten also serves as Augustana’s special teams coordinator.
For the third straight season, Augustana had a defensive lineman earn All-NSIC honors under Scholten’s guidance. In 2015, Jamal Samaha and Bryson Hamilton both were named All-NSIC First Team. Samaha was later named to the Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Super Region Three and All-America teams. Samaha recorded a career-high 34 tackles in 2015 and tied the single season record with 8.0 quarterback sacks. He also set a single game record with three sacks against Southwest Minnesota State on Oct. 3.
Hamilton ranked sixth on the team with 58 total tackles in 2015, registering 27 solo tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. Augustana recorded over 20 sacks as a team for the second time in Scholten’s three seasons, finishing with 24 in 2015 which ranked seventh in the NSIC. Augustana forced 23 turnovers in 2015 and ranked seventh in the NSIC allowing just 146.8 rushing yards per game.
As special teams coordinator, Scholten guided some of the top units in all of Division II in 2015. Augustana ranked second in the country averaging 28.4 yards per kick return and senior Justin Greenway ranked second nationally averaging 35.2 yards per return. Greenway returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2015, which led all players in NCAA Division II. Augustana ranked seventh in the nation allowing just 3.3 yards per punt return while ranking 11th nationally with a net punt average of 37.2.
In 2014, Scholten guided an All-NSIC selection for the second straight season in Jake Lee. Lee recorded 34 tackles in 2014, including 5.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. Bryson Hamilton had a breakout sophomore campaign at defensive end in 2014 starting all 11 games and recording 42 tackles (13 solo). Hamilton also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss and half a quarterback sack.
Scholten led Lee to all-region and all-conference honors in 2013. Lee was named to the All-NSIC First Team and the Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Third Team after setting career-highs in tackles (44), tackles for loss (11.0) and sacks (4.0).
The Viking defense recorded 27 sacks in 2013, marking the most at Augustana since the 2010 team posted 27. The defensive line accounted for 19 of the 27 sacks last season, led by Joel Slinden who recorded five. Tanner Foth, who spent four seasons as a quarterback at Augustana, recorded 4.5 sacks and a team-high 11.5 tackles for loss in 2013.
Scholten, who received All-North Central Conference recognition as an offensive lineman with the Vikings in 1995, rejoined the football coaching staff in 2013 after serving in operations management with Furniture Mart USA for 12 years.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Augustana in 1997. He was an assistant coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato (1997-2002), where his duties included offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. He was a student assistant at Augustana in 1996, and was back with the Vikings for the 2002 season as recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach.
In 2003 he began assisting with the varsity football program at Brandon Valley High School. In 2012, the Lynx won the Eastern South Dakota Conference championship and posted an 11-1 record. The only loss was to Sioux Falls Washington in the state Class 11AA championship game.
A native of Valley Springs, S.D., Scholten was a three-sport standout at Brandon Valley.
Scholten and his wife, Stacy, are the parents of three sons: Zachary, Thomas, and Samuel. Stacy graduated from Augustana in 1996. She is the daughter of former Viking head coach, Jim Heinitz.
Defensive Backs / Camp Coordinator
Chase King is in his fourth season with the Augustana football program in 2016.
King will coach the defensive backs for the second straight season after coaching tight ends in 2013 and 2014. King also serves as the camp coordinator for the Viking football program.
King helped coach an Augustana defense that forced 23 turnovers in 2015, ranking fifth in the NSIC with 13 interceptions. Senior safety Chad Curry earned All-NSIC South Division First Team honors under King’s watch last season. Curry ranked fourth on the team with 72 tackles (36 solo) and finished tied for second on the team with two interceptions. Following the season, Curry was named to the Don Hansen All-Central Region Third Team. The defensive backfield was a veteran group that battled through injuries in 2015.
Justin Brown, who played in 10 of 12 games, led the team with three interceptions to go along with 16 tackles. Garrett Earl played in just six games after suffering a broken foot. Earl finished the year with 17 tackles. Sophomore Trevor Naasz had another strong season for the Vikings at free safety. Naasz finished five on the team with 68 tackles (38 solo) and recorded one interception.
King rotated in a large number of players in 2015 with six underclassmen all seeing significant field time in 2015. Cornerback Jordan Johnson recorded 39 tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss, to go along with one interception and eight pass breakups. Anthony Tatum played in 11 of 12 games in 2015 and recorded 26 tackles and two interceptions. Keyvion Mayhan played in all 12 games making 30 tackles (4.0 tackles for loss) and Jordan Determan appeared in 11 games making 19 tackles.
King coached a young group of tight ends in 2014 with a group that included just one senior. Nick Lee hauled in 16 passes for 231 yards last season and paved the way for junior Jake Bartscher and sophomores Jordan Meyer and Nate Winter in 2015.
A native of Gridley, Calif., King earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing communications from California Lutheran University in 2008. He completed work on a master’s degree in business administration (marketing) from CLU in 2011.
King was a three-year starter at linebacker for CLU and helped the Kingsmen to the 2007 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. He was a three-time Academic All-SCIAC selection.
At St. Olaf he coached one All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference second team player, and three honorable mention choices. In 2012, the Oles’ pass defense ranked 15th nationally in NCAA Division III.
King is pursuing his Master’s Degree in sports leadership at Augustana.
Former Augustana defensive back Justin Brown is in his first season as a student assistant with the Viking football team in 2016. Brown will coach defensive backs for Augustana.
A native of Littleton, Colorado, Brown recently finished his playing career for the Vikings. Brown played in 41 career games for Augustana over the last four seasons and was an All-NSIC South Division Honorable Mention selection as a sophomore in 2013.
Brown finished his career with 93 tackles, including 58 solo stops and 2.5 tackles for loss. He recovered two fumbles and registered six interceptions over four seasons. Brown picked off three passes as a sophomore in 2013 and three his senior season in 2015.
His sophomore season, Brown started 10 of 11 games and earned All-NSIC South Division Honorable Mention honors after registering 37 tackles (25 solo) and three interceptions.
Brown played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2012 at free safety and recorded 13 tackles.
Brown is a biology major at Augustana.