A former Big Ten football player has been hired as the new assistant coach for Northern State University Football.
Donnell Kirkwood will coach the running backs for the Wolves. Kirkwood played for the University of Minnesota from 2010 to 2015, winning honors including the Paul Giel Award, Offensive Back of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He led the Gophers with 926 yards rushing and six touchdowns in his sophomore campaign.
"Coach Kirkwood is a home run hire and a tremendous addition to our coaching staff," said NSU Wolves Head Football Coach Mike Schmidt. "He is a ball of energy who will create strong, lasting relationships with our players. He's a great coach and a perfect fit for our football program."
Originally from Delray Beach, Fla., Kirkwood most recently worked for River Bend Education Center in Minneapolis. There, he served as a youth physical education and health teacher for elementary and middle school students. Kirkwood earned a Bachelor of Science in Youth Studies from the University of Minnesota in December 2013.
His coaching experience includes serving as running backs coach for Minnesota's Southwest High School from 2015 to 2019, along with special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach in 2019. Kirkwood also had internships on the coaching staffs of Andover and DeLaSalle high schools in Minnesota.
"I would like to thank Coach Schmidt for the opportunity to be a part of his staff," Kirkwood said. "It's a great opportunity to be under a head coach who believes and values hard work. I love that about him and the excitement he brings. I'm excited to share my knowledge with this team and pick the brains of many of the great coaches on this staff."