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  John Skladany
John Skladany
Player Profile

John Skladany has engineered one of the nation’s most dramatic defensive reversals of fortune in college football, as his aggressive blueprint for Iowa State’s defense has transformed the national standing of ISU’s defenders. The Cyclones have improved in every defensive category the past two seasons. Iowa State’s defensive scoring average has dropped 20 points in three seasons. A defense that ranked 108th nationally the season before Skladany’s arrival, ranked 45th last season. Iowa State’s pass defense ranked 29th nationally last season after ranking 107th in 1997. The Cyclones set a school record for sacks in 1998 (32). Iowa State’s overall yards allowed total has dropped nearly 30 percent since Skladany brought his impressive resume to Ames.

Skladany played a key role on the Colorado State coaching staff that turned the Ram defense into a unit that led the Western Athletic Conference. With Skladany coaching the defensive line, Colorado State won WAC team titles in 1994 and 1995. Among Skladany’s top performers at CSU was 1995 WAC Defensive Player of the Year Brady Smith. The defensive lineman led the nation in sacks and tackles that season. Smith was joined on that defensive front by Sean Moran, who earned first-team all-WAC honors. Smith now plays for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. Moran is a member of the St. Louis Rams. Defensive end Clark Haggans, who also played for Skladany at CSU, now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Colorado State made Holiday Bowl appearances in 1994 and 1995 under head coach Sonny Lubick. The Rams won 25 games over the last three seasons of Skladany’s term at CSU.

Skladany played football at Central Connecticut State, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1972. The Haverhill, Mass., native played in the defensive line for the New England Patriots (1972), Washington Redskins (1973), the WFL’s Birmingham Americans and the Ottawa Roughriders (1975) of the CFL.

Skladany came to Colorado State after serving two seasons as defensive backs coach at Northern Arizona (1990-92) and one campaign coaching the Lumberjack defensive line.

The 51-year-old Skladany was the defensive coordinator at Ohio University (1985-89), where he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant (1976-77). Skladany owns a master’s degree from Ohio. He also coached at Maine (1981-84) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1980) after a two-year stint at Utica (Ohio) High School. Skladany and his wife Sharon are the parents of two daughters, Laura (17) and Stephanie (13).

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