DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF
Assistant Coach / Defensive Coordinator / NFL Liaison
Eric Inama is in his third season on the Lindenwood football coaching in 2019. He was promoted to defensive coordinator prior to the 2019 season.
In his second year, Inama helped Lindenwood allow the fewest yards since the 2013 season. The Lions allowed 385.3 yards per game, the best mark for the Lions in the last eight years. In week two, the Lions allowed just 33 passing yards against Missouri Southern which was the second-lowest mark in program history.
Inama saw great production from the safety position, as Darrius Williams and Grady Daniels were named to the all-conference team. Williams posted his second-straight 100-plus tackle season to earn third-team all-MIAA, ranking fifth in the season record books ranking behind Connor Harris. Daniels earned honorable-mention all-MIAA recognition after posting 103 tackles, and registered one of the two interceptions returned for a touchdown for the Lions.
Inama saw success as the special team’s coordinator, as Cameron Sanders tallied 198 kickoff returns yards against Central Oklahoma to set a new school record. The Lions had two kickoff returns for a touchdown, one of which led to D’Harius Brown earning MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week. Sanders was named honorable-mention all-MIAA as a kick returner after setting the school record for kickoff returns (29) and kickoff return yards (616) in a single season.
In his first season at Lindenwood, Inama played a big role in Lindenwood’s defense improving by over seven points and nearly 100 total yards a game. The Lions ranked third in the MIAA by allowing 207.7 passing yards a game, and were ranked third by allowing 6.0 yards per attempt. Lindenwood improved its passing defense by 104.4 yards a game.
Lindenwood also had one of the top special teams in the MIAA under Inama. The Lions ranked in the top three in both punt returns and kickoff returns, the only conference school that could claim that. The Lions also ranked in the top half of the MIAA in net punting, field-goal kicking, and PAT kicking.
Inama coached five all-conference performers. On defense, Bakari Triggs was a second-team selection, Darrius Williams was a third-team pick, and Ace Rogers was honorable mention. On special teams, Kendell Sparks was second-team all-MIAA as a return, and punter Michael Crowder was named honorable mention all-conference.
Inama came to Lindenwood from the University of Sioux Falls, where he served as the defensive backs/special teams coordinator from 2014-2016. In that three-year span, the Cougars went 32-5. Sioux Falls intercepted 66 passes and returned 12 of those interceptions for touchdowns. Sioux Falls was nationally-ranked and made the postseason in all three of those seasons. Last year, the program won the NSIC Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Among the top players Inama coached were John Tidwell and Solomon St. Pierre. Tidwell was a three-time first-team all-NSIC pick, and St. Pierre won back-to-back first-team honors. St. Pierre also won numerous All-American honors, and Tidwell was an Academic All-American. Last season, three defensive backs earned first or second-team all-NSIC accolades.
Inama also coached one of the top special teams units in the NSIC. In 2016, the Cougars ranked third nationally in kickoff returns and 27th in punt returns. Sioux Falls also ranked in the top-20 in kickoff returns in 2014, and in the top-20 in punt returns in 2014 and 2015.
Inama was also an assistant coach at Sioux Falls from 2007-2009. He helped the Cougars win back-to-back NAIA National Championships in 2008 and 2009, and finish second nationally in 2007. Sioux Falls also won conference titles all three of those seasons, and had the NAIA’s No. 1 defense in 2008 and 2009.
From 2010-2012, Inama was the defensive coordinator at Midland University. In his first season, he helped Midland have its most successful season in 16 years. The Warriors went 8-3 and finished the year ranked 22nd in the NAIA. That squad was ranked second in pass defense efficiency, sixth in scoring defense, and 11th in total defense. In 2011, Midland was 17th nationally in total defense and third in creating turnovers.
Inama started his coaching career at Kings College as a defensive backs coach.
In 2012, Inama was named an AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year finalist. That same year, he served as an assistant coach for the 2012 All-American Bowl. In 2010, he was named an honorary captain of the Schuylkill County Football Coaches Association.
Inama was a three-time letterwinner at Delaware Valley College. He was a part of a program that went 21-3 during a two-year run that included the 2003 ECAC Bowl Championship and 2004 Middle Atlantic Championship. The 2004 team reached the NCAA Division III Tournament Quarterfinals.
Inama graduated from Delaware Valley College in 2005 with a degree in business administration. He also holds an MBA from Sioux Falls in 2010.
Eric is married to his wife, Kaylene, and they have one son, Kade.
Assistant Coach / Linebackers/Special Team Coordinator
Brandon Andersen is in his third season on the Lindenwood football coaching staff in 2019. He is the team’s linebackers coach.
In his second year, Andersen coached a strong core of linebackers, as Lindenwood allow the fewest yards since the 2013 season. The Lions allowed 385.3 yards per game, the best mark for the Lions in the last eight years. In week two, the Lions allowed just 33 passing yards against Missouri Southern which was the second-lowest mark in program history. Andersen played a strong role in the success of Drew Seers and CJ Bivens. Seers was named third-team all-MIAA, while Bivens was named honorable-mention all-MIAA.
Andersen saw a spike in production from Seers, as he tallied 12.5 tackles for loss and compiled 96 tackles in 2018. Seers had one of two interceptions returned for a touchdown for the Lions. Bivens ranked fourth on the team with 69 tackles, including 11 tackles in the opening week. Bivens had a key interception against Missouri Western, while Seers made a game-saving tackle in the comeback victory in the final game of the season.
In his first season at Lindenwood, Andersen oversaw a linebackers unit that returned no starters from the previous season. His linebackers played a key role in the team’s defense allowing 27.2 points a game, 7.2 points fewer than the previous year. It was the first time since the 2012 season that Lindenwood allowed fewer than 30 points a game for the season. Lindenwood’s linebackers helped the Lions improve across the board statistically, including allowing over 100 fewer yards per game.
Andersen helped true freshman Drew Seers be named the team’s Newcomer of the Year. Seers, CJ Bivens, and Nate Blanchard all ranked among the team’s top-five tackles for the season.
Andersen came to Lindenwood from the University of Sioux Falls, where he served as the linebackers coach from 2012-2016. He was also the recruiting coordinator for his final three seasons in Sioux Falls.
Andersen played a big role in Sioux Falls’ defensive success, especially over the last three seasons. In that span, the Cougars went 32-5 and advanced to three postseason appearances. The 2016 squad, which was ranked in the top-five nationally, won the NSIC Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2016, Andersen helped one linebacker earn first-team all-NSIC, one earn second-team all-NSIC, and one earn honorable mention all-conference honors. In all he has coached seven all-conference performers.
Andersen was a four-year linebacker at Sioux Falls from 2008-2011. He was a two-year starter, and tallied 87 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and four sacks throughout his career. From 2008-2010, Andersen helped Sioux Falls to 34-1, advance to three NAIA National Championship games, and win two NAIA National Championships.
Andersen received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Sioux Falls in 2011.
Assistant Coach / Defensive Line
Jarrett Grabbe is in his third season on the Lindenwood football coaching staff in 2019. He is the team’s defensive line coach.
In his second year, Grabbe helped Lindenwood to the fewest yards allowed since the 2013 season. The Lions allowed 385.3 yards per game, the best mark for the Lions in the last eight years. In week two, the Lions allowed just 33 passing yards against Missouri Southern which was the second-lowest mark in program history.
Grabbe helped transition two-time first-team all-MIAA defensive lineman Jonathan Harris move from end to tackle. Harris amassed 11.5 tackles for loss and had six sacks in his final season with the Lions. Harris lived in the opposing backfields, as he registered a tackle for loss stat in eight games and a sack in seven different games. Following the 2019 NFL Draft, Harris signed a training camp invite deal with the Chicago Bears.
Grabbe saw Uchenna Egwuonwu earn third-team all-MIAA recognition and Antonio Davis be named honorable-mention all-MIAA. Egwuonwu made his presence known in his first year with the Lions as he ranked in the top-20 in the MIAA for tackles for loss (8.0) and sacks (3.5). Davis was part of the defensive line that applied pressure each week as he tallied 35 tackles including 13 solo stops.
In his first year at Lindenwood, Grabbe coached the team’s top player. Jonathan Harris earned first-team all-MIAA honors for the first time in his career after recording 11.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks. Another lineman, Antonio Davis, also earned honorable mention all-conference accolades.
The defensive line played a key role in Lindenwood having its top scoring defense since 2012. The Lions improved their scoring defense by over seven points over the previous season, and also gave up nearly 100 fewer yards per game.
Grabbe came to Lindenwood from the University of Sioux Falls, where he served as the defensive line coach in 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, he helped the Sioux Falls defense allow just 18.6 points a game. The defensive line allowed just 3.2 yards per rush, and averaged three sacks a game. Grabbe coached two second-team all-conference performers and one honorable mention pick.
The next season, he was a part of a defensive unit that allowed 19.6 points a game. Sioux Falls ranked 16th in the nation with 3.2 sacks a game. He helped coach one first-team all-NSIC performer, two second-team selections, and one honorable mention pick.
Grabbe was a four-year letterwinner for the Cougars from 2011-2014. He recorded 83 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, nine pass breakups, one forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries in his career. Grabbe was an honorable mention all-NSIC pick in 2014, and helped the Cougars win the Mineral Water Bowl that season.
Assistant Coach / Defensive Backs
Bryan Baldwin is in his fourth season on the Lindenwood football coaching staff in 2019. After serving as the cornerback coach in 2016, he moved to the other side of the ball as the running backs coach in 2017 and 2018, before taking over the defensive backs at the start of the 2019 season.
In 2018, Baldwin coached a trio of running backs that averaged 5.61 yards per carry. The running backs ran for 1,250 yards and 11 touchdowns on 223 carries. Lindenwood rushed for 1,767 yards on the year, the most since the 2010 season.
The Lions had three games with 200 yards or more, including popping off for 294 yards on the ground against Emporia State. Nash Sutherlin tallied 166 yards rushing against the Hornets, scoring once. Cameron Sanders had a 106-yard performance against Northeastern State, and scored twice against Missouri Southern.
Baldwin helped create versatility in the backfield, as the trio averaged 7.9 yards per catch on 47 receptions. Sutherlin broke free against Pittsburg State for an 87-yard run that ranked second in program history. Sutherlin scored the game-winning touchdown against Missouri Western with just 36 seconds left in the final game of the season.
In 2017, Baldwin helped the team’s running backs average 4.4 yards per carry, an improvement over nearly 16 percent over the previous year. The running backs also scored four more rushing touchdowns on the year, and they played a bigger role in the passing game by having over twice as many receptions than 2016.
The improved running backs play helped Lindenwood have its top scoring offense since the 2012 season. Baldwin coach Calen Campbell and helped the senior earn third-team all-MIAA honors.
As the cornerbacks coach in 2016, Baldwin helped in the development of Bakari Triggs who was a third-team all-MIAA pick. Lindenwood's cornerbacks accounted for nine interceptions and 21 pass breakups on the season.
Baldwin coached at the prep level in the St. Louis area from 2008-2015, including three years each at Normandy and Chaminade, and one year at Fort Zumwalt West. He was the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at both Normandy and Chaminade, and coached the defensive backs at those schools. He coached the safeties in 2015 at Fort Zumwalt West.
In his seven years as a high school coach, he won three conference championships. His players won numerous all-conference honors, including his entire starting defense earning first or second-team honors in 2014.
Baldwin was a four-year player at Kansas State University from 2003-2007. The defensive back had 67 tackles, four interceptions, and 11 pass breakups in his career.
Baldwin graduated from Kansas State in 2008 with a bachelor’s in arts. He and his wife, Nina, have one daughter, Selah.
Assistant Coach / Defensive Quality Control
John Tidwell is entering his first season on the Lindenwood football staff in 2019. Tidwell will hold the title of defensive quality control, while working with the defensive backs.
Tidwell comes to Lindenwood after coaching the cornerbacks for the Frankfurt Universe during its 2018 German Football League Championship season. Tidwell concluded his playing career in 2016, after he signed a free agent deal with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.
During his collegiate career, Tidwell made his mark on the field and in the classroom for the University of Sioux Falls. Tidwell earned second-team All-American honors in 2015, and was a three-time captain for the Cougars. Tidwell was a three-time first-team all-NSIC defensive player, while earning the 2014 Mineral Water Bowl MVP.
Tidwell was a first-team Capital One Academic All-American in 2015, and earned second-team all-district honors in 2014. The 2015 Fellowship of Christian Athletes Award recipient helped the Cougars to a 35-11 record over his career, with an NCAA Division II Playoff berth in 2015. Tidwell amassed 213 tackles, and 12 interceptions on 50 passes defended in his career. In the return game, Tidwell scored three times on 36 punt returns for 649 yards. Tidwell tallied 474 yards on 20 kickoff returns.
Tidwell earned his bachelor’s degree in public accounting and business from Sioux Falls.