|Position:||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach|
Shawn Kostich is set to begin his fifth season with the North Dakota football program as the special teams coordinator and tight ends and fullbacks coach in 2018.
In 2017, senior Reid Taubenheim connected on 15 field goals and ended his UND career with 59 regular-season field goals, which are the second most in program history, and 60 for his career, which are the third most. Taubenheim earend the third All-Big Sky accolade of his career as well. Senior Austin Dussold finished his two-year run as the team's starting punter with the third-best overall average of 41.1 ypp in program history.
John Santiago combined for 970 return yards in 2017 en route to collecting All-America accolades as an all-purpose player. He averaged 18.5 yards per punt return and had four returns of 30-plus yards, including a 64-yarder for a touchdown in the road win at Portland State. Three of Kostich's tight ends all scored a receiving touchdown on the season and accounted for 16 catches and 235 receiving yards.
Kostich's special teams units served a major role during UND's historic output in 2016 that saw the Fighting Hawks win a share of the Big Sky Championship and earn the program's first FCS Playoff berth. Santiago tied the school-record with a 100-yard kickoff return in the win over Weber State and went on to earn numerous All-America honors as a return specialist.
Taubenheim returned to his all-conference form in 2016, earning All-Big Sky second team accolades. He matched his make total from his freshman season with 16 and his 45 career makes are tied for the fifth most field goals in UND history. Dussold's punting average of 42.1 ypp was the sixth-best, single-season effort in program history.
His fullbacks and tight ends helped UND produce its second-straight season with more than 2,500 rushing yards.
The same was true in 2015 when his position groups contributed a great deal to that team's success. UND won seven games for the first time since the 2011 season. Senior fullback Zach Adler was named to the All-Big Sky second team after catching 18 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns and helping pave the way for a record-breaking ground game that amassed 2,645 yards.
Sophomore punter Mitch Meindel also earned second team All-Big Sky accolades after breaking a UND single-season record by averaging 44.5 ypp in 2015.
In his first season at UND, Kostich coached three of his players to All-Big Sky honors, including Taubenheim, who earned third-team honors after leading all FCS rookies with those 16 made field goals.
Taubenheim connected on 11 of his final 12 attempts during the season and hit a game-winner from 35 yards out with four seconds remaining to upset No. 22 Northern Arizona. Adler also had a productive season en route to honorable mention All-Big Sky honors as a tight end. He finished second on the team with 24 receptions and led the team with 265 receiving yards.
Adler and fullback Dwayne Pecosky, who also collected honorable mention honors, were key blockers for a run game that found its footing late in the season, averaging 170.0 ypg in the final five contests.
Kostich arrived in Grand Forks after a five-year stint that spanned two coaching staffs at Minnesota. In his first role as an offensive intern on head coach Tim Brewster's staff, Kostich worked with the tight ends and broke down opponent's defensive film from 2009-10.
When Jerry Kill took over as head coach, Kostich rejoined the staff as a defensive graduate assistant and worked primarily with the safeties for the past three seasons (2011-13). He was also the lead coach for the kickoff unit and coached individual positions on punt units, punt return units and kickoff return units.
His first coaching job after graduating with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Minnesota was at Breck High School where he worked with the wide receivers and defensive backs. Kostich also holds a master's degree from Minnesota in applied kinesiology.
-- UND --