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Former Northern Iowa football player and NFL star Bryce Paup is shown in 2013 during his first season at the University of Northern Iowa as assistant defensive line coach.

CEDAR FALLS — Bryce Paup is returning to the University of Northern Iowa football coaching staff.

Paup, who will coach on the defensive side of the ball, is one of three additions to the Panther staff announced by head coach Mark Farley Friday. Quentin Griffin is the new running backs coach and Kate Deakins is taking over as director of football operations.

Paup, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Panther All-American, coached UNI’s defensive line from 2013-2016 before joining the University of Minnesota staff. In his first year at UNI, the Panthers finished second in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in tackles for loss, third in team sacks, and Xavier Williams earned All-America honors.

UNI ranked third in FCS in team sacks the following season with Williams earning All-America honors and going on to the NFL. Paup also helped mentor Karter Schult, who had a 17-sack season and was the 2016 FCS Defensive Player of the Year.

Griffin joins UNI from Missouri Southern State. He finished his college career at Oklahoma with 5,275 all-purpose yards and 3,938 rushing yards and is the sixth all-time rusher and fourth in all-purpose yards in school history. The Texas native was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2002.

Griffin was then drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2003 and also played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Deakins, a UNI grad and Maxwell native, will manage all operations of the football office including operating budget, team travel, quality control, NCAA compliance and recruiting related matters. She will help hire, train, supervise and mentor team managers and video staff. She also will work closely with freshmen to coordinate academic affairs.

Deakins also will help perform market analysis to maximize strength of schedule and manage external relations, alumni and fundraising efforts.

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