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Lights Football Coaches

 
Jake Eldrige
Jake Eldridge (7th Year)
Interim Head Coach

Office: (406) 265-3764
jacob.eldridge@msun.edu

This will be Jake’s seventh season on staff with the Lights as he enters his fourth season as the Defensive Coordinator. This also begins Jakes his seventh year as head of the Lights Strength and Conditioning program.

Jake in action
Jake in action Jake, a Helena native, prepped at Helena Capital High School where, under Head Coach Mark Samson, won a State Championship in 2000. Jake was a two sport standout in both track and football earning All-State and All-Conference honors throughout his career. Eldridge's athletic success earned him dual track and football scholarships to the University of Mary upon graduation. Jake transferred to MSU-Northern when Coach Samson began in 2004. Jake was a four year starter for the Lights as well as a four year captain at defensive back where he garnered many All Conference and Academic honors. A knee injury limited Jake in his senior season, but he was able to finish out his career on the offensive side of the ball as a slot receiver in 2007.
 
 
Scott Leeds
Scott Leeds
Wide Receivers (16th year)

(406) 265-3750

Scott will begin his sixteenth year as receivers coach for the Lights. During his 15 years at Northern Scott has coached 12 All-Conference players as well as coaching Andy Smith to All-American status. In the past 3 seasons, coach Leeds has had 3 consecutive All-conference receivers that have broken 6 school receiving records and have lead or been in the top 5 for statistical categories in the Frontier Conference. Lights return two starting receivers from 2012 and look to have another strong receiving core in 2013.

A native of Havre Montana, Scott attended Carroll College in Helena Montana. Coach Leeds was a member of Bob Petrino’s Saints football team from 1991 – 1994, earning a Frontier Conference championship in 1993. Scott was an All-Conference selection in 1994 leading the Frontier Conference in receiving yardage. Scott earned his degree in business finance from Carroll College in 1995. Scott and his wife Kimberly have 5 children Brittany, Kayley, Justin, Taylor and Cael. Scott is employed by Triangle Telephone.

 
 

Cody O'Neill
Assistant Coach (1st year)
406-265-4184
cody.oneill@msun.edu

Coach O'Neill is from Harvard, Illinois.  In high school, he completed in wrestling as well as football and was both an All-Area and All-State athlete in both sports.  Cody played college football for the University of South Dakota.  Coach O'Neill primary duty will be coaching the offensive line.  During his college career, he was a team captain and part of the team’s Leadership Council.  Cody started three consecutive seasons at both guard and center.  During his senior season, he earned Missouri Valley all-conference honorable mention honors as a center and was voted Lineman of the Year for the University of South Dakota football team.  Prior to his coming to Northern and taking the offensive line job, Cody volunteered at his alma mater and assisted in coaching the offensive line this past spring.  At the conclusion of his senior season, Cody was invited to and participated in the NFL Minnesota Vikings rookie minicamp.

 

 
 

Jorge Magana
Jorge Magana (3rd year)
Assistant Coach

 

Jorge begins his third year as an assistant coach with MSU-Northern after completing a stellar career as a 2-time All-Conference center for the Lights in 2010 and 2011.  Jorge was a three-sport athlete at Freedom High School in Oakley, California. 

As a senior, Jorge earned All-Conference honors in the BUAL League.  Jorge also played two years of junior college football at Los Medanos Junior College, where he was a two year starter and All-Conference performer.  Jorge earned his degree in Secondary Education/HPE from MSU-Northern in 2014

 
 

Christian Rago (1st year)
Assistant Coach
christian.rago@msun.edu

 

Coach Rago, a Woodstock, Illinois, native, joins the Lights staff after attending Aurora University. At Aurora, he played outside linebacker from 2010-2014.  Following his senior year, he was voted onto the football Leadership Council.  Coach Rago graduated from Aurora with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  He will be coaching the running backs for the Lights.  The son of Jill Rago, he has three brothers: Ian, Nicky, and Jimmy. Christian was also a volunteer coach at Aurora University this past spring, where he worked with the quarterbacks.

 
   

Arthur Smith (1st year)
Assistant Coach
 

Arthur is the son of Arthur and Maria Smith, and brother of Stephanie Smith.  Arthur was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where he attended and played football for Miami Killian Senior High.  Following high school, Coach Smith attended the University of Mount Union were he started at linebacker for two years and led the raiders into two NCAA Division III national championship games, while earning first team all-conference honors.  He majored in Physical Education and has a minor in Health and Multi-Age Education.  Coach Smith played Arena football in the IFL.  His coaching career started at Mount Union, were he was the Assistant linebackers coach.  He also coached at Miami Beach Senior High School, where he worked with the linebackers.

 

 
   

James Erickson (1st year)
Student Assistant
 

After spending one season as a wide receiver for the Lights, James enters his first year as a student assistant working primarily with his former position.  A native of Boise, Idaho, James attended Boise State University for 2 years before transferring to MSU-Northern.  He is currently a senior and will graduate with a degree in Health Promotion

 
   

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