Gary Goff enters his sixth year as Head Football Coach at Tiffin University.
The Dragons used the momentum from 2015 to propel them to their most successful season in the GLIAC. Tiffin finished 8-3 overall, the first winning season since 2007-08. The success on the field translated into notice off the field, as Coach Goff was named GLIAC Coach of the Year, the first in program history. In conference play, TU posted a 7-3 record, finishing 2nd in the GLIAC South and 4th overall. Tiffin suffered numerous injuries, particularly on the offensive line, yet the Dragons showed great depth surrendering 10 less sacks than the previous season. The run game was a strong asset for Tiffin gaining 2,217 yards, the most under Coach Goff. Scoring wasn't a problem for Tiffin, averaging 31.4 points per game, 6th best in the GLIAC. Coach Goff's ground game scored 20 touchdowns, counterbalancing the 25 passing touchdowns thrown by Antonio Pipkin. The pass game continued to be strong for TU, averaging 232.9 yards per game, 11.6 yards per catch, and 7.5 yards per pass. As a unit, Tiffin's offense committed only 11 turnovers, a new single season record for least turnovers committed.
If their was an award for most improved, the Tiffin University defense would be the recipient. Tiffin surrendered 22 points per game (4th in the GLIAC), six points less than the prior season. The group finished with the 2nd best pass defense in the GLIAC (186.8 y/g), and surrendered six less rushing touchdowns than 2015. Tiffin finished with 13 interceptions (3rd in the GLIAC), 20 total turnovers, and 24 sacks. On 3rd down, Tiffin allowed a 34% conversion rate, improving by 13% from the previous season.
Tiffin had a record number of All-GLIAC selections, registering 11 selections. Mason Butler, Willie Mays, Stefan Willis, Ridge Tarwacki, Jerry Brown, Morgan Loyd, Jacob Mertus, Shawn Scott, and DJ Edwards-Steward were all honorable mention selections. Charles Holland was a 1st team All-GLIAC selection, catching 77 passes for 1129 yards and 11 touchdowns. Holland finished the season ranked inside the NCAA top 25 in three receiving categories, and set a new GLIAC single game record for receptions with 20 vs. Northern Michigan (Nov. 12). Antonio Pipkin's career came to an end in 2016, but it wasn't without numerous accolades. Pipkin was a 1st team All-GLIAC selection, and was named GLIAC Player of the Year. Pipkin holds seven Tiffin University career records, and four GLIAC career records. In the NCAA Division II record book, Antonio is 13th all-time in career total offense, 19th in career total offense per game, 27th in career passing yards, and is only the 3rd quarterback at the Division II level to ever accumulate at least 2,000 yards rushing and throw for at least 10,000 yards. For his accomplishments on the field, Pipkin earned an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl.
Tiffin continued to trend in the right direction under the direction of Coach Goff in 2015, as TU boasted a program high nine All-GLIAC selections, including Antonio Pipkin's GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year selection. At the regional level, Pipkin, Charles Holland, and Tomislav Derezic all were selected to the Don Hansen Super Region 4 Team. Tiffin finished with an identical 5-6 overall and 4-6 GLIAC record from 2014, suffering three losses by seven points or fewer. The offense averaged 34.2 points per game in 2015, up 12 points from the year before, and the highest offensive output in Coach Goff's tenure. The Dragon defense showed great improvement as well, shutting out Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 12) 40-0, and allowing the 6th fewest total yards of offense per game in the GLIAC.
TU took a big step forward in 2014, posting a 5-6 overall record (4-6 in the GLIAC). The Dragons tied for third in the GLIAC South Division. Their 5 victories were the most since 2007, and the most GLIAC wins since TU joined the conference. TU continued to boast one of the top passing attacks in the conference, as TU finished with the fourth-highest passing yardage in the GLIAC. Quarterback Antonio Pipkin was second in completions and third in yards and completion percentage in the conference in 2014.
The Dragons took another step forward on the field in 2013, improving in nearly every offensive category while finishing near the top of the GLIAC in passing offense. In 2011 Goff started to implement the Air Raid offense, seeing immediate results as the team set a new single season completion percentage record (.692). The team also set new single game records for completions and touchdown passes along with receptions.
Goff came to the Dragons after a highly successful season at West Virginia Wesleyan. Goff, who served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Wesleyan, led the team from a 2-8 season in 2009 to a 9-2 mark in 2010, tying the most wins in school history in the process. The team was ranked nationally for the first time in school history while breaking 12 offensive school records.
Prior to West Virginia Wesleyan, Goff coached at Princeton University where he was the Pass Game Coordinator and Receivers Coach. He was also Co-Offensive Coordinator and Receivers Coach at New Mexico State University for four seasons where he helped lead the team to a ranking of 2nd nationally in passing offense and 3rd nationally in total offense. That team also broke 21 offensive school records while ranking 15th in the nation in scoring offense. Goff also coached the nation’s top receiver, two-time All-American Chris Williams, who later signed with the Cleveland Browns.
Goff, who has been offensive coordinator for three different teams, also served in that capacity at Iowa Wesleyan University. He also coached for two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana University, helping that squad to lead the nation in total offense.
Goff played for powerful NCAA Division II Valdosta State under Hal Mumme. Goff was a receiver/kick returner and was also team captain his senior year, leading the team to the Gulf South Conference Championship in 1996. That squad also earned an NCAA play-off berth and the nation’s top ranking during the regular season.
Goff, who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Valdosta State and a Master’s degree from Tiffin University, is a native of Picayune, Mississippi. He and his wife Tiffanie have two children, Tyler and Audrey.
Josh Ison is entering his sixth season as the Special Teams Coordinator, Linebackers and Head Strength Coach.
Ison comes to Tiffin from the University of Michigan where he worked as Special Teams Quality Control and TE (2009), DB (2010) after working as an Assistant Strength Coach during the 2008 season. While at Michigan Ison mentored Second Team All-American, Finalist for the Ray Guy and 5th round draft pick by the New England Patriots, Zoltan Mesko. He also spent one year working as a graduate assistant in Health Works Rehabilitation & Fitness Center at West Virginia University (2006-07) working with strength and conditioning.
Ison also spent five seasons as the linebackers coach at Fairmont State University (2003-07), where he coached three All American linebackers Ed Smith (2003), Matt Vance (2005) and Vince Black (2007) and six All Northeast Region players and the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year in the WVIAC. In his time at Fairmont State the defense was at the top of nearly every statistical category in the league at some point during his tenure, including 2004 when the defense was the best in the league and 20th in the country in total defense. Fairmont State also led the league once again in total defense in 2007 where they rated 15th in the country.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Ison was the head strength coach for the football team for two seasons and became the athletic department’s director of strength and conditioning for his final three seasons.
Ison was a standout linebacker for Fairmont State and was a team captain during the 2002 season, and was part of the 2000 Falcons team that won the West Virginia Conference championship. Ison was a four year letterman at Fairmont State University at middle linebacker; (2002) received Don Hansen’s Football Gazette All American Team. He attended training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals as a linebacker (2003), and then went on to play in the Arena leagues with the Colorado Crush as a fullback/linebacker (2004) and the Manchester Wolves linebacker/fullback (2004). Ison also holds certifications from the USA Weightlifting Level I Sports and the American Red Cross.
He is a 1999 graduate of Waverly High School in Waverly Ohio where he was an All State linebacker. Ison earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Fairmont State (2004) and a master’s degree in Athletic Coaching Education from West Virginia (2007).
Ison and his wife, Erin, reside in Toledo with their son, Joshua Zane Ison.
Coach Matt Edwards enters his third season with the Dragons.
The Dragon defense continued to trend in the right direction in 2015, surrendering a touchdown less per game than in 2014, 759-less rushing yards, and collecting 34 sacks compared to 12 the year before. Three players from the Dragons' defense were selected to the All-GLIAC Honorable mention team, linebacker Morgan Loyd, defensive lineman Jalen Randolph, and defensive back Stefan Willis. Loyd also performed in the classroom, being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, the first in program history.
Edwards began coaching in 2003 as the linebackers coach at the College of Wooster. He then spent eight seasons working at Kent State starting out as a graduate assistant and was eventually named defensive line coach. During his career with the Golden Flashes, Edwards coached numerous players who received MAC honors, including Roosevelt Nix, MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, and Danny Muir, former starter for the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2011, Edwards returned to his alma mater and coached the Miami Redhawks' defensive ends before taking on the responsibility as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach.
After two seasons with the Redhawks’ Edwards left to become the defensive line and special teams coordinator at Florida Atlantic. The first season at FAU the defense finished 11th nationally in total defense, broke four sack records and finished bowl eligible. Edwards mentored 3 players from FAU to all conference accolades for the 2013 season
Edwards began his collegiate playing career as a linebacker for a team that finished his freshman season with a 10-1 record. He then moved to defensive end and served as team captain his senior year. Edwards earned his bachelor's degree in sport organization in 2002.
Lee Stalker enters his fourth season with the Tiffin Dragons coaching staff. Stalker comes to Tiffin after coaching at Oberlin College, where he served as the Linebackers/Defensive Line Coach as well as their Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Stalker took over the Defensive Line in 2014, a group that posted only 7 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss that season. Since then, Stalker's group has logged 45.5 sacks and 84.5 tackles for loss.
The Dragons defense continued to improve in 2016, especially on the defensive line. The Dragons allowed 25 less yards per game than 2015, including six less rushing touchdowns than the prior season. As a defense, Tiffin collected 24 sacks, the defensive line accounted for 19 of those sacks. The defensive line held their own in the tackles for loss category, accumulating 63% of Tiffin's tackles for loss.
Stalker played Defensive End at Kent State University from 2007-11. He completed a great career that once began as a preferred walk-on player. Stalker earned himself a scholarship, became a two year starter and served as a team captain for the Golden Flashes in 2011. Following the 2011 season he was also a finalist for the NCAA Burlsworth Trophy.
He majored in Architecture & Environmental Design with a minor in Sports Administration at Kent State University.
Shawn Murphy enters his sixth year with the Dragons and will be working with the defensive backs. In 2011, he served as the offensive assistant coach for the Dragons. Before coming to Tiffin, he coached at Tiffin Columbian High School from 2005-2009 where he won four league titles and had three playoff appearances.
Prior to his time at Tiffin Columbian, Murphy attended Heidelberg University where he was a three year letter winner on the football team. He would go on to receive his degree in Education followed by his Master’s degree in Educational Administration.
Murphy is currently employed by Tiffin City Schools as the Dean of Students at the Tiffin Middle School. Murphy resides in Tiffin with his wife Karen and two daughters Evelyn and Annabelle.
Steve Gilbert enters his sixth year with the Dragons football program and serves as running backs coach. In 2011, Gilbert was inducted to the OHSFCA Hall of Fame after a 37 year career as a high school coach and teacher. He is a 1968 graduate of Toledo St. Francis DeSales High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo in 1973 and his Master’s degree from Bowling Green State University in 1979. He also earned a Vocational Education degree from Kent State University in 1991.
Gilbert has been an assistant football coach and wrestling coach at North Baltimore HS (1973-75); Bowling Green HS (1975-81); and Norwalk HS (1981-84). In 1985, Gilbert was named Head Football Coach at Ashland Crestview HS. In two years he moved on to Mansfield Senior HS as Head Coach. In 1993 he was named Head Coach at Tiffin Columbian HS where he stayed for 17 years, posting a career record of 137-44 with 10 NOL Championships and 8 trips to the OHSAA State playoffs. His career high school record is 189-72.
During his years as a high school coach, he earned many awards including: five-time Northwest Ohio Coach of the Year; OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity award (2008); President of the OHSFCA (2000); President of the Northwest Ohio Football Coaches Association (1998-2000); Regional Director for the OHSFCA (1995-2010); Board of Directors for NW Ohio Football Coaches Assn. (1995-2011); and Head Coach for Ohio in Big 33 game vs. Pennsylvania (2000). He coached NFL All-Pro Hugh Douglas while at Mansfield while also coaching 58 All-Ohio players at Columbian. Coach Gilbert is very honored that over 20 of his former assistants or players are now high school head coaches.
Coach Gilbert is married to his wife Nancy and they have two sons, Aaron and Kyle and daughter-in-law Meredith
John Morookian is in his second season at Tiffin University and will be serving as the Offensive Line Coach.
Coach Morrokian's offensive line paved the way for an offense that led the charge in 2015, including a ground attack that racked up 535-rushing yards more than the season before, and five more rushing touchdowns. Center, Mason Butler, was a 2015 USA College Football D-II Pre-Season All-American, and is a two time All-GLIAC selection.
Morookian came to Tiffin University from The University of Toledo where he was a graduate assistant for the 2014 season. Previously to Toledo, Morookian was the Tight Ends coach at The University of Findlay for two seasons in 2012 and 2013.
Morookian was a 4 year starter at offensive lineman (08-11) for the Toledo Rockets where he started 48 consecutive games. He played in two Bowl games as a Rocket, finishing his career as a student athlete with a win over Air Force in the Military Bowl.
A native of Providence, RI. John Morookian attended LaSalle Academy and later went on to attend Milford Academy prior to Toledo.
Phillip Ely is in his first season as Quarterbacks Coach/Pass Game Coordinator for the Tiffin Dragons after being a defensive graduate assistant for the Iowa State Cyclones under Head Coach Matt Campbell. Ely assisted Defensive Coordinator Coach John Heacock with the Cyclone defense in 2016.
Ely is a 2014 graduate of Toledo, where he led the Rockets to a 10-2 record and a victory in the Boca Raton Bowl as their starting quarterback.
Ely, who played two seasons at Toledo after transferring from Alabama, threw for 3,000 yards and 23 TDs against only 10 interceptions in his only full season as a starter in 2015. He missed the majority of his junior season (2014) after suffering a knee and shoulder injury.
A native of Tampa, Fla., Ely was a member of the Alabama football team for two seasons (2011-13), earning a pair of national championship rings under Head Coach Nick Saban. He played in six games as a backup QB for the Crimson Tide during the 2012 campaign.
Ely was recruited to Alabama after a decorated career at Plant High School in Tampa. He led Plant to three state championship games and walked away with a pair of Florida state titles and was named a U.S. Army All-American.
Joe Horn is in his first season on the Tiffin coaching staff.
Horn spent the last two seasons coaching receivers at Ashland, including All GLIAC wide receiver Danny Piko. During the 2015 season Ashland had an undefeated regular season and won the GLIAC Championship.
Horn is a 2010 AU graduate, and he ranks as one of the most prolific wide receivers in school history. He shares the school single-game record for touchdowns (six), and he also holds the school single-season record for touchdown receptions (12). He is the program's career leader in touchdown receptions (28) and receiving yards (2,681). He is second in career catches (170).
Horn has the record for the longest pass play in school history - 96 yards (done twice). He was a three-time All-GLIAC second-team selection. Horn was a member of the 2008 team that advanced to the NCAA playoffs and won the lone postseason game in school history.
While at AU, Horn was also a member of the track and field team. Four times he was recognized as the GLIAC runner of the year (indoors and outdoors). He was first-team all-conference in track and field and was recognized as an All-American 12 times.
After leaving the Eagles, Horn signed a free agent contract with the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts. He participated in three preseason games with the Colts. He also spent time with the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders and the Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators and Tampa Bay Storm.
Horn has worked as an assistant football coach at Perrysburg (Ohio) High School, and he's been a volunteer assistant coach with the AU track and field program.
Akeem Needum enters his first season with the Dragons coaching staff.
Previous to coming back to Tiffin, he served on the Carthage College Football coaching staff in August of 2015, coaching running backs.
Akeem played for Tiffin University for four years as a strong safety and starter on special teams. He earned three straight varsity letters while serving as a Defensive captain in his senior year.
A native of Columbus, OH, Akeem graduated in May of 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Sports Management.
Mike Fuhrman is entering his second season with the Dragons. He was the Assistant Offensive Line Coach in 2015 and was named Tight Ends Coach before spring practice started in March, 2016. Pryor to Tiffin, Fuhrman coached Tight Ends for the Boston Brawlers in a professional football minor league called the Fall Experimental Football League. (FXFL)
Fuhrman walked on at Penn State University as a long snapper in 2008, playing under Joe Paterno and Bill O'Brien. He lettered his Senior year (2012) starting ten out of twelve games and was named special teams captain for the Iowa game. Following his senior season, he received The Most Outstanding Walk-On Award by his coaches.
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Fuhrman graduated from Penn State University in December of 2012 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Kinesiology.