Former UND defensive coordinator takes position coach job at St. Thomas

Brett Holinka, a former UND linebacker, was defensive coordinator for three seasons in Grand Forks before abruptly resigning in February.

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Fighting Hawks defensive coordinator Brett Holinka speaks during football media day at the Fritz Pollard Jr. Athletic Center on Thursday, August 19, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS โ€” Former UND defensive coordinator Brett Holinka resigned from his position in Grand Forks in February without a new job in hand.

On Thursday, Holinka was listed as a cornerbacks coach on the athletics website of St. Thomas, which began Division I play in the non-scholarship Pioneer League in 2021.

Holinka, a former UND linebacker, was an inside linebackers coach at St. Thomas from 2010-12.

St. Thomas' offensive coordinator is former UND quarterback and Grand Forks Central star Jake Landry.

Following the departure of Holinka, UND promoted safeties coach Joel Schwenzfeier to defensive coordinator and then added former Northern State head coach Tom Dosch.


Holinka had been UND's defensive coordinator since January of 2020 following the departure of Eric Schmidt, who now coaches at the University of Washington.

In 2022, Holinka's UND defense gave up 30.8 points per game, finishing ninth of 11 teams in scoring defense in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. UND gave up 398.5 yards per game, which ranked 75th in the FCS.

UND finished the 2022 season 7-5, losing at Weber State in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

St. Thomas finished 2022 at 10-1, losing 44-13 to Southern Utah in its only game against a scholarship FCS program.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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