Miner Football Camps
Defensive Coaching Staff
Assistant Football Coach
DJ Bland, who served as the defensive backs coach at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology last fall, is beginning his second season on the Missouri S&T coaching staff as an assistant coach.
Bland will coach the defensive backs at Missouri S&T and in his first season in the role, helped coach a unit that ranked at the top of the Great Lakes Valley Conference as it allowed just 290.8 yards per game and forced 25 turnovers in 12 games. Opposing quarterbacks completed just 52.8 percent of their passes against a group that included Roderick Chapman, an all-region selection who ranked among the NCAA Division II leaders in passes defended.
During the 2017 season at Rose-Hulman, Bland was in charge of the team’s secondary and also worked with the special teams, particularly with the kickoff return team that averaged nearly 22 yards per return. Rose-Hulman’s defense held opposing teams to a completion percentage of under 50 percent on the season and recorded 10 interceptions while ranking second in the nation in quarterback sacks per game.
The Fightin’ Engineers had one all-region player last season in cornerback Alec Thompson and two additional players that were all-conference selections in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Bland also served as the defensive coordinator for Rose-Hulman’s junior varsity team during the 2017 campaign.
In 2016, Bland served as the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. In that season, St. Norbert’s defense finished fifth in turnover margin and 11th in pass interceptions in NCAA Division III. While at St. Norbert, he was also the lead coach for the kickoff return team and worked in all phases of the special teams.
In that season, he coached Ryan Grandlic, who earned D3Football.com All-America honors and a first-team all-conference selection along with teammate Tyler Jensen.
Bland began his coaching career at the high school level at Palm Harbor High School in Florida, where he served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach during the 2015 season.
Bland, who is from Chicago, Ill., played collegiately at Eastern Illinois University, where he was a four-year letterwinner as a defensive back and played on two Ohio Valley Conference championship teams that also took part in the NCAA Division I Football Championships Series playoffs. The Panthers’ 2013 squad, which included current San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and was ranked as high as fourth nationally, advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA playoffs. Bland graduated from Eastern Illinois in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.
Assistant Football Coach
Shane Dowty enters his second season on Missouri S&T's coaching staff as the defensive backs coach after a two-year stint as a graduate assistant coach on the staff at Iowa State University.
A year ago, the Miner defense ranked fourth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and had four members of that unit earn All-GLVC honors, including first-team selection Jeremi Ross. The unit recorded 13 interceptions in 11 games in 2016 and returned two of them for touchdowns.
At Iowa State, Dowty worked with the defensive backs and also helped formulate the weekly scouting reports and game plans, while also being responsible for studying and documenting all of the opponents’ passing game schemes. In addition, he helped with the coordination of the offensive scout teams and worked with the quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Prior to his stint at Iowa State, Dowty spent two years on the staff at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif., as the team’s defensive backs coach and one year at Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa as the wide receivers coach. At College of the Desert, a two-year institution, he coached six defensive backs that received offers from the NCAA Division I level.
During the season at Saint Ambrose, the Fighting Bees went 7-3 and were ranked in the NAIA’s top 25 and had a first-team all-conference wide receiver. He was also an offensive coaching assistant at the University of Iowa during the 2009 and 2010 seasons working with the team’s quarterbacks, including Ricky Stanzi, a fifth-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011.
Dowty, a native of Muscatine, Iowa, began his coaching career at the high school level in 2008 as an assistant coach at Iowa City West High School as he worked with the team’s linebackers. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Henry B. Tippie College of Business from the University of Iowa in 2010 and earned his master’s from Iowa State in higher education in May 2016.