Established in 2018, the premier football development program in the Midwest spearheaded by future NFL Hall of Famer Robert Mathis and pass-rushing great Daniel Muir. The Gridiron Gang Program provides year-round position training for student-athletes on and off the field through football development, nutrition planning, mental health and more.
Meet The Trainers
Robert Mathis – DL Coach
Mathis, the franchise’s all-time sack leader, played 14 seasons (2003-2016) with the Colts after being selected by the team in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. He saw action in 192 career games (121 starts) and totaled 604 tackles (456 solo), 123.0 sacks, 18 passes defended, 52 forced fumbles, 17 fumble recoveries (three returned for touchdowns), one interception and 15 special teams stops. Mathis appeared in 18 postseason contests (11 starts) and tallied 48 tackles (32 solo), 6.5 sacks, two passes defended, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was a member of the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI-winning team.
Mathis finished his career ranked 17th in league history in sacks and his 47 sacks forced fumbles are a league record. He was named to six consecutive Pro Bowls (2008-2013) and was voted a 2013 Associated Press and Sporting News First Team NFL All-Pro selection. In 2013, Mathis won the inaugural Deacon Jones Award as the NFL’s sack leader with 19.5. He became the second member in Colts history to lead the league in sacks (Dwight Freeney, 2004).
Mathis was named to the 2013 PFWA All-NFL and AllAFC teams as well as the NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year. Over his career, Mathis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week on five occasions (2005, 2008, 2011, 2015, 2016) and AFC Defensive Player of the Month four times (November 2009, September 2010, October 2013 and December 2013). He is tied with Dwight Freeney for the most Defensive Player of the Week awards in franchise history. Mathis was also named the team’s recipient of the 2011 Ed Block Courage Award.
Daniel Muir – DL Coach
In 2007, Muir was selected as a free agent to play for the Green Bay Packers. He then played four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, and was blessed to play in Super Bowl XLIV. In his seven years in the NFL, Daniel also played for the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders.
Throughout his career, Muir was with some of the best defensive linemen in NFL history and was coached by one of the best defensive-line coaches ever, John Teerlink. Being around these players and being coached by these coaches enabled Muir to master his craft and have the rare ability to teach what it takes and how to perform to reach the highest level in defensive line play.
Muir grew up in Maryland just outside of Washington D.C. Muir always loved the game of football ever since he laid his eyes on it. What attracted Muir to the game was the mental and physical demand it took to play at a supreme level. He played at Fairmont Heights High School in his freshman year before transferring to Parkdale High School in Riverdale, MD for his final three years. Muir lettered and was team captain his junior and senior season, and placed second in the state of Maryland then third his junior and senior years in high school. In 2002 Muir accepted a full scholarship to play at Kent State University where he made all-conference his junior and senior seasons.
Riley Miller – WR Coach
Riley Miller joined the Ball State Cardinals in 2015 as a walk-on, after a storied high school career at Yorktown High School under the leadership of Mike Wilhelm. After taking a red shirt his freshmen year, he made his collegiate debut in the opener at Georgia State.
By his sophomore season, he recorded 10 starts at wide receiver. Riley finished second on the team in receptions (30) and receiving yards (300). He tallied his first collegiate touchdown catch in facing conference rival Northern Illinois. His successes earned him a scholarship by the end of preseason camp.
Riley’s hard work and tenacity were apparent, by his junior season he was ranked third in the MAC Conference in receptions per game (5.1) and fourth in receiving yards per game (73.2). He led the Cardinals in receiving yards (878) and touchdown catches (7). Riley’s one-handed touchdown catch against Miami (Ohio) was selected as the No. 1 play on ESPN SportsCenter’s top 10 plays.
Entering his final season as a Cardinal, Riley was a candidate for the 2019 Blietnikoff Award. He started all 12 games at wide receiver, while also adding punt returner to his resume. Riley tied for the team lead with six touchdown catches, second on the squad in receptions (43), receiving yards (612) and yards per reception (14.2).
Riley’s fourteen (14) touchdown catches rank ninth on Ball State’s all-time list. Riley’s awards and honors include:
- 2017, 2018, 2019 Academic All-Mid-American Conference
- 2018 Ball State John Magnabosco Award (most outstanding player)
- 2019 Ball State Willie Snead True Cardinal Award
- 2018, 2019 All-Mid-American Conference Second Team
- 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team
Coach Lee – Sports Performance Coach
Lee Campbell is a certified National Sports Performance Association Instructor. He specializes in all areas of performance training – including strength, flexibility, cardiovascular improvement, and speed development. He has trained athletes such as Frank Gore (Colts), Kenny Moore (Colts), Keelan Moore (Jaguars), David Kenney (Buccaneers), Josh Miles (Cardinals), and Elijah Wilkinson (Broncos).
Nick Hardwick – OL Coach
Nick Hardwick is a all-pro Center who played for the San Diego Chargers for 10 seasons. He was drafted by the Chargers in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006. He played college football for Purdue.
Brandon McCoy – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Brandon McCoy studied Kinesiology at the University of North Texas where he also played Division I football as a defensive end. During his college career, he led the team in sacks, became a team captain, and received the Armed Forces Merit Award, which honors an individual with a military background who has an impact within the realm of college football. Before attending the University of North Texas, he served 5 years in the United States Army and completed a 13-month tour in Iraq. Brandon has trained clients individually and managed multiple nutrition retail stores where he applied his knowledge of health and fitness to help clients achieve their fitness goals.
Rashad Barksdale – Defensive Backs Coach
Rashad grew up in the small city of Hudson, NY excelling in basketball, baseball and football at Hudson High.
He continued his athletic career at the University of Albany, ultimately deciding to concentrate on baseball. After four years on the baseball team, Rashad walked on the football team and quickly became the starting cornerback. During that 2006 season, he led the Great Danes in interceptions and punt returns.
His success was rewarded by being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 6th round of the 2007 draft.
Rashad was the first player in school history to be named to a 53-man roster and play in an NFL game.
Throughout his career, Rashad played for Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals.
David Walker – Running Back Coach
A veteran football coach with over 20 years of coaching experience spanning High School, College, and professional level teams. Coach Walker started his coaching career at Carol City High School in Miami, Fl. His next move took him to Syracuse University, his alma mater and then on to the University of Pittsburgh in the mid 2000’s. During those early years as a coach, at least a dozen of his former college players went on to have careers in the NFL, including perennial Pro Bowler LeSean McCoy. After a 6-year run in Pittsburgh Coach Walker finally got the opportunity to join the NFL in 2011, becoming the Running Back Coach for the Indianapolis Colts. After 4 successful seasons in Indy, which included 3 playoff appearances, it was time to move on. The next NFL stop was up north with the Detroit Lions. When the 2018 season concluded Coach Walker stepped away from coaching and began the next chapter of his life. HIs coaching philosophy has always centered around being Firm, Flexible, and having Fun. Firm enough to demand a player’s best effort, flexible enough to treat each player as an individual and coach them accordingly, and the fun part is seeing the personal growth both on and off the field in each player.
Coach Sudan Ellington, “Coach E – Offensive Line Coach
Coach Sudan Ellington, “Coach E,” played football and basketball at the University of Tennessee (UT) later transferring to James Madison, finishing his career as a member of the 2004 National Championship team. He brings a broad range of knowledge and skills to shape and mold outstanding athletes. NFL prep 100 series, Nike Football Training Camp, NFL Pre-Draft Training & USA Development Camp are a few of the things he has had his hands in over the years. Coach E also owns a successful business, Big Skills Academy, which will work seamlessly with Gridiron Gang to provide first-class coaching and training to the athletes.