After coaching UCF's linebackers in 2010, John Skladany is in the first year of his second stint as UCF's defensive coordinator. He previously held the position in 2007.
Skladany helped the 2007 Knights to their first Conference USA title and a berth in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Knights had five All-Conference USA picks on defense that year in Joe Burnett, Leger Douzable, Bruce Miller, Sha'reff Rashad and Keith Shologan. Burnett, Douzable and Rashad have all made National Football League rosters while Shologan plays professionally in Canada and Miller was the 2009 and 2010 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year.
The 2007 Knights intercepted a school-record 24 passes to rank third in the nation. UCF led C-USA in passing efficiency defense, was second in the league in rushing defense and was third in total defense that year, leading the conference with 39 sacks.
In 2010, his linebackers enjoyed great success as the Knights recorded one of the top campaigns in program history. UCF went 11-3 overall, claimed the C-USA Championship and defeated Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Knights entered the national rankings for the first time and concluded the year ranked in both national polls. Linebackers Derrick Hallman (second), Josh Linam (third), Lawrence Young (fourth) and Chance Henderson (eighth) were all among the top tacklers on the team. Hallman, who finished with 85 total tackles and four forced fumbles, earned All-C-USA Honorable Mention recognition.
Before returning to Orlando, Skladany spent the 2008 and 2009 campaigns at C-USA rival Houston, helping the Cougars to a pair of bowl appearances and the 2009 C-USA West Division Championship.
He spent 11 years at Iowa State from 1997 to 2006 as the Cyclones defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. While Skladany was at Iowa State, the Cyclones played in five bowl games.
In 2005, Iowa State allowed just 10 rushing touchdowns, a school-record low. The defense held opponents to 19.2 points a game, the lowest Iowa State total since 1980. For the fourth time in five years, Skladany's unit was ranked in the top half of the Big 12 Conference in total defense. The Cyclones paced the Big 12 and ranked seventh nationally, forcing 35 turnovers.
Following the regular season, a pair of Skladany's players, nose guard Nick Leaders and cornerback LaMarcus Hicks, were named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Middle linebacker Tim Dobbins, the league's defensive newcomer of the year in 2004, defensive tackle Brent Curvey and safety Steve Paris all garnered second-team all-league recognition.
Under Skladany's leadership, the Cyclones allowed just 139.2 yards per game on the ground in 2004. Defensive back Ellis Hobbs, who currently plays for Philadelphia in the NFL, earned All-Big 12 First Team honors and the defensive MVP award in the Cyclones' victory over Miami (Ohio) in the Independence Bowl.
Several of Skladany's players at Iowa State moved on to the NFL ranks, including Reggie Hayward (Jacksonville) and Jordan Carstens (Carolina).
Iowa State participated in the Humanitarian Bowl in 2002 after playing in the Independence Bowl the previous year. Hayward was a member of the Cyclones' 2000 squad that defeated Pittsburgh in the Insight.com Bowl.
Skladany's defense lost seven starters from the 2000 unit, but his 2001 defenders recorded Iowa State's best total defensive numbers since 1992. The defense dropped its yards allowed per game by 60 and shutout a pair of opponents in a single year for the first time since 1978. Carstens earned the first of two-straight All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2001.
In 2003, defensive end Jason Berryman was the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Following the 2005 campaign, linebacker Alvin Bowen was a first-team all-conference pick.
Before working at Iowa State, Skladany was on the staff at Colorado State. The Rams won Western Athletic Conference titles in 1994 and 1995 with Skladany coaching the defensive line. He coached Brady Smith, the 1995 WAC Defensive Player of the Year. The defensive lineman led the nation in sacks and tackles that season. Smith spent 10 years in the NFL with Atlanta.
In both 1994 and 1995, the Rams made Holiday Bowl appearances. Skladany came to Colorado State after two years as the defensive backs coach at Northern Arizona (1990-92) and one season coaching the Lumberjack defensive line.
Skladany coached at Ohio from 1985-89, serving as the secondary coach for three years and then taking over the defensive coordinator duties (1988-89). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio in 1976. He also coached at Maine (1981-84) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1980) after two years at Utica High School in Ohio.
The Haverhill, Mass., native played at Central Connecticut State, earning his bachelor's degree in 1972. The defensive lineman had free agent tryouts with the New England Patriots in 1972 and the Washington Redskins in 1973. Skladany spent 1974 with the World Football League's Birmingham Americans and played for the Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League the following exhibition season.
He owns a master's degree from Ohio. Skladany and his wife, Sharon, have two daughters: Laura and Stephanie.