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Former Delta State defensive coordinator Jerry Partridge will be Northern Arizona's new defensive coordinator, according to Partridge's Twitter account.

Partridge replaces former longtime Lumberjacks defensive coordinator Andy Thompson, who was originally announced as the new Southern Utah defensive coordinator in mid-December but has since been reported to be hired by Sacramento State for the same position. 

Partridge and new head football coach Chris Ball were on staff together at Missouri Western State in 1997 and 1998, with Ball serving as Partridge's defensive coordinator. The two played at the school during the 1980s as well.

Partridge was at Missouri Western from 1997 to 2016 as head coach, accumulating a 149-83 overall record. He was fired following a 4-7 season -- the school's first losing season since 2004 -- in 2016 before joining Delta State's staff in 2017 as the school's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Throughout his entire 30-plus year college coaching career, Partridge has never coached west of Missouri.

Delta State ranked 98th in the NCAA Division II rankings in yards allowed per game at 382.2 yards and was near the middle of the D-II in most defensive categories.

Although it has not been formally confirmed by NAU Athletics, the hire comes a day after Brennan Ball, Chris Ball's son, announced on Twitter that he will be the program's new director of player personnel and recruiting, a spot that was previously held by Craig Knoth.

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Lance Hartzler can be reached at 556-2251 or at Follow him on Twitter @lance_hartz.


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