Southern football coach Dawson Odums has completed his revamped staff with three hires.
Charles Cheek, who worked with recently hired defensive coordinator Trei Oliver at North Carolina A&T, will coach the linebackers; Juan Navarro comes from the University of Redlands to coach the defensive line; and Matt Leone, who was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Webber International University, will coach the Jaguars quarterbacks.
Cheek, who played at Grambling, was an assistant at Benjamin O. Davis High School in Houston last season. Before that he spent three seasons with Oliver at N.C. A&T, the first as a defensive quality control assistant and the last two coaching the inside linebackers. He played tight end for three seasons at Grambling before switching to running back and becoming a team captain in 2010.
Navarro rejoined the Redlands staff last season after serving as head coach at Los Angeles Valley College for one season. Before that he was defensive coordinator at Pierce College for one season and defensive line/linebackers coach at Redlands.
Navarro, who played at Redlands, an NCAA Division III program in Redlands, California, also was an assistant at Miami and Florida International.
Leone, who grew up in Ocala, Florida, spent the past nine seasons at Webber International, an NAIA program in Babson Park, Fla. He was offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the past five seasons.
Under Leone’s direction, the Warriors offense was the most productive in school history. Last season it led the Sun Conference and was ranked fifth in the country in rushing yards per game.
Before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2011, Leone was passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2009-11 and wide receivers coach from 2007-09.
As a player at Webber, Leone was a four-year letterman at quarterback and was voted team captain.
Odums, who relinquished the defensive coordinator duties to Oliver, fired defensive line coach Myron Jackson, linebackers coach Lorick Atkinson and cornerbacks coach Chris Scott shortly after last season.
Leone takes over the quarterback coach duties from Chad Germany, who was also co-offensive coordinator before resigning in November and subsequently being hired in a similar capacity at Jackson State.
Offensive line coach Chennis Berry, who shared the coordinator duties with Germany, is now the sole offensive coordinator.
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.