BOZEMAN — (Editor's Note: Montana State athletics press release)
Montana State head coach Brent Vigen announced Friday that Bryan Shepherd, a former defensive back and assistant coach at North Dakota State, has joined the Bobcat coaching staff.
Shepherd becomes MSU's assistant defensive backs coach after working as a quality control coach at Syracuse since 2018. He was part of the Orange program in his first season when the squad finished 10-3 and beat West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl.
“We are thrilled to have added Bryan to our staff as our new assistant defensive backs coach,” Vigen said.”I knew Bryan as a player who was an integral part of championship teams and he has gained valuable experience as a coach both at NDSU and Syracuse. While at both places he worked in a defensive system very similar to ours here at Montana State. He is very knowledgeable, will be a great mentor to our cornerbacks and will bring a great deal of energy both on the field and in recruiting.”
Shepherd played corner on NDSU National Championship teams from 2011 to 2013, graduated in 2015, then worked as a defensive assistant there in 2016 and as cornerbacks coach in 2017. In his first season on the Bison staff Shepherd worked with defensive backs while coordinating the offensive and special teams scout squads. In 2017 his NDSU corners helped the team lead the FCS in total defense (327.4 yards per game) while finishing third in interceptions (22) on its way to a national title.
“I’m blessed and grateful to be at a historic program like Montana State,” Shepherd said. “I appreciate Coach Vigen to become part of the Bobcat family. I played at NDSU when he was offensive coordinator so I have a lot of respect for Coach Vigen.”
The product of Olathe (Kansas) North in suburban Kansas City began his college career at Nebraska-Omaha, redshirting in 2009 and starting all 11 games for the Division II power in 2010. He returned an interception a school-record 89 yards for a touchdown and recovered a fumble for a touchdown that season, but when UNO discontinued the Mavericks program he transferred to NDSU.
He contributed on special teams and in the secondary as a Bison sophomore before returning from a serious injury for the school's playoff run in 2012. As a senior he started six games as the nickel back and was NDSU's second-leading special teams tackler. His interception against New Hampshire set up a touchdown in the playoffs. His appearance in the national title game proved to be the final game for head coach Craig Bohl and Vigen, then North Dakota State's offensive coordinator.
Shepherd played professional football before entering the coaching profession. He was with Washington’s NFL team in the 2014 preseason as an undrafted free agent, and spent time with Montreal of the Canadian Football League in 2015.