Bryan Shepherd joins the coaching staff of Montana State Football from Syracuse

Bryan Shepherd slide

Bill Lambert

The former North Dakota defense attorney will be the assistant defense attorney at MSU

BOZEMAN, Montana – Montana State head coach Brent Vigen announced Friday that Bryan Shepherd, a former defense attorney and assistant coach at North Dakota State, has joined the Bobcat coaching staff.

Shepherd will become MSU’s assistant defensive backs coach after serving as Syracuse’s quality control coach since 2018. He was part of the Orange program in his first season as the squad finished 10-3, beating West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl.

“We are very excited to have Bryan join our team as our new assistant defender coach,” said Vigen and Syracuse. Although he has worked in both places on a defense system very similar to ours here at Montana State. He’s very knowledgeable, will be a great mentor to our cornerbacks and brings a lot of energy to both the field and recruiting.”

Shepherd played corners for the NDSU National Championship teams from 2011-2013, graduating in 2015 and serving as a defensive assistant in 2016 and cornerbacks coach in 2017. In his first season on the Bison team, Shepherd worked with defensive backs and coordinated special teams’ offensive and scout squads. In 2017, his NDSU corners helped the team lead FCS in total defense (327.4 yards per game) while finishing third in interceptions (22) en route to a national title.

“I am blessed and grateful to be a part of a historic program like Montana State,” said Shepherd. “I appreciate that Coach Vigen has become part of the Bobcat family. I played at NDSU when he was offensive coordinator, so I have a lot of respect for Coach Vigen.”

The product of Olathe (Kansas) North in suburban Kansas City, he began his collegiate career in Nebraska-Omaha, where he became a redshirt in 2009 and started all 11 games for the Division II power in 2010. He returned an interception, a school-record 89 yards for a touchdown and was recovering from a fumble for a touchdown that season, but when UNO dropped the Mavericks program, he switched to NDSU.

He contributed on special teams and in secondary school as a Bison student before returning from a serious injury for the school’s playoff run in 2012. As a senior, he started six games as a nickel back and was NDSU’s second-best special team tackler. His interception against New Hampshire resulted in a playoff touchdown. His appearance in the national title game was the last game for head coach Craig Bohl and Vigen, then North Dakota State’s offensive coordinator.

Shepherd played professional football before entering the coaching profession. He was an undrafted free agent for the Washington NFL team in the 2014 preseason and spent time with Montreal of the Canadian Football League in 2015.


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