Marvin Sanders is in his third season as the secondary coach in 2010 and second with the title of assistant head coach-defense. Sanders has 17 years of experience in the college ranks, including previously serving as the NU defensive backs coach in 2003.
The secondary was one of the nation's best in 2009, helping Nebraska lead the nation in pass efficiency defense and scoring defense. The national pass efficiency defense crown marked NU's second in three seasons with Sanders as secondary coach (also in 2003). NU also ranked in the top 10 nationally in sacks, rushing defense and total defense. Sanders' defensive backs picked off 18 passes, while allowing only seven touchdown passes and 178.9 yards per game. NU limited opponents to a 47.8-percent pass completion mark to rank fourth nationally.
Sanders had a pair of first-team All-Big 12 picks in 2009, and five defensive backs earned all-league accolades. Senior safety Larry Asante and junior cornerback Prince Amukamara were first-team selections. Amukamara returns in 2010 with DeJon Gomes and Eric Hagg, who each earned honorable-mention honors last year, along with departed Matt O'Hanlon. Asante was taken in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft while O'Hanlon signed as a free agent.
In 2008, Sanders developed a young Nebraska secondary that helped NU rank second in the Big 12 Conference in total defense. In a loaded conference that included five of the nation's top eight passing offenses, the Husker secondary ranked second in the Big 12 in pass defense (233.4 ypg).
Sanders' first opportunity as a Nebraska assistant came in 2003 as NU set a school record with 47 takeaways, keying a 10-3 season. The Blackshirt defense set a school and league record with 32 interceptions and led the nation in pass efficiency defense, while finishing second in the country in scoring defense. Safety Josh Bullocks recorded a school-record 10 interceptions and became just the second NU sophomore in school history to earn All-America honors. Bullocks was also a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
Sanders was an assistant for three seasons at North Carolina from 2004 to 2006. In his first season at UNC, Sanders was the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach and helped the Tar Heels reach a bowl game with a 5-3 record in ACC play. UNC won three of its final four games, allowing 338 yards per game in the final four contests, including just 234 against Duke, the fewest by a UNC defense in three years.
Sanders was defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach in his final two seasons at UNC. Carolina jumped more than 60 spots to 42nd nationally in total defense in 2005, including holding Virginia to 199 total yards and limiting Boston College to just 14 points. The Tar Heels held opponents to 280.4 yards per contest in five victories and posted their highest interception total since 1999 under Sanders' leadership.
In 2006, Sanders' pupil, senior Kareen Taylor, ranked fourth in the ACC and among the top 25 nationally in interceptions.
Sanders first came to Lincoln after a two-year stint as the secondary coach on Sonny Lubick's Colorado State staff in 2001 and 2002. The Rams posted a 17-9 record during Sanders' two seasons in Fort Collins, including winning the 2002 Mountain West title and earning a pair of bowl trips. Before his two seasons at CSU, Sanders spent one season at New Mexico State, where he coached defensive ends and outside linebackers for Head Coach Tony Samuel.
Sanders spent five seasons at Nebraska-Omaha from 1995 to 1999. Sanders was the Mavericks' secondary coach for all five seasons and was the team's defensive coordinator for his final three years in Omaha. UNO won two North Central Conference titles and appeared in the NCAA Division II playoffs twice under Sanders. A native of Markham, Ill., Sanders was the secondary coach at Minnesota-Morris in 1994, where he also served as sports information director. Sanders coached at Nebraska Wesleyan in 1992 and 1993.
Sanders earned three letters as a defensive back at Nebraska from 1987 to 1989, playing for Tom Osborne and secondary coach George Darlington. Despite injury, Sanders played in nine games in 1989 and earned honorable-mention All-Big Eight honors for the Fiesta Bowl squad.
Sanders received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Nebraska in 1990. He is married to the former Susan M. Hyland of Omaha. They have a daughter, Chandler Marie, and a son, Payton.
The Sanders File
Family: Wife, Susan; Daughter, Chandler Marie (17); son, Payton (13)
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, Nebraska, 1990
Playing Experience: 1985-89, Nebraska
Coaching Experience: 1992-93, Nebraska Wesleyan (assistant coach/secondary); 1994, Minnesota-Morris (assistant coach/secondary, sports information director); 1995-96 Nebraska-Omaha (assistant coach/secondary); 1997-99, Nebraska-Omaha (assistant coach/defensive coordinator); 2000, New Mexico State (assistant coach/defensive ends, outside linebackers); 2001-02, Colorado State (assistant coach/secondary); 2003, Nebraska (assistant coach/defensive backs); 2004-06, North Carolina (assistant coach/defensive coordinator, defensive backs); 2008-09, Nebraska (assistant coach/secondary)