Ephraim Banda, left, Kyle Cefalo, center, and Nick Paremski, right, have been named to the USU football coaching staff
LOGAN – Utah State head football coach Blake Anderson continues to fill out his coaching staff, announcing Ephraim Banda as his Defensive Coordinator and Safeties Coach, Kyle Cefalo as his Passing Game Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach, and Nick Paremski as his Special Teams Coordinator and Outside Linebackers Coach.
Over the past five seasons Banda has coached safeties for the Miami Hurricanes and served as the co-defensive coordinator the last two years. During 2020, Banda helped coordinate a Hurricanes defense that led the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in yards per pass attempt (6.75), and ranked fourth nationally in tackles for loss (8.6 per game), 16th in fumbles recovered (9) and 33rd in sacks (2.73 pg).
“My family and I are extremely excited to join coach Blake Anderson, Athletic Director John Hartwell, the football staff and the Aggie family,” said Banda in a press release from the university. “We are looking forward to arriving in Utah this week and immersing ourselves into the Logan community. As a family, we take great pride in building strong, meaningful relationships with our student-athletes and can’t wait to meet them. Our defensive staff is ready to bring a brand of defense built on urgency, physicality and disruption that will be fun to watch. Go Aggies!”
In 2019, Banda helped coordinate a Miami defense that ranked 13th nationally in total defense (309.8 yards allowed per game) and 12th nationally in yards per play allowed (4.7). In addition, the Hurricanes ranked fourth nationally in tackles for loss (8.3 pg), sixth in sacks (3.54 pg), 17th in run defense (114.6. yards allowed per game) and 18th in pass defense (195.2 yards allowed per game). In 2018, the Hurricanes ranked fourth nationally in total defense (278.9 yards allowed per game) and ranked No. 1 in several categories, including tackles for loss (10.5 pg), third down conversion percentage (.253) and passing defense (135.6 yards allowed per game).
“Ephraim is a proven coach and one of the best recruiters in the country,” said Anderson in a statement from the university. “His defenses are known for creating havoc in the backfield with sacks and tackles for loss, in addition to forcing turnovers at a high rate. He is a terrific teacher and motivator, and his energy will translate onto the field with our players.”
In the past two recruiting cycles, Banda has landed the No. 1-ranked safety in the nation.
Cefalo has eight years of coaching experience and has spent the past four seasons coaching wide receivers at Arkansas State, also serving as the team’s special teams co-coordinator the last two seasons.
This past season, Cefalo coached the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year in Jonathan Adams Jr., who was also named an Associated Press Second-Team All-American and a ProFootballFocus Honorable Mention All-American. Cefalo also coached Brandon Bowling to honorable mention all-Sun Belt honors this past season, as Arkansas State ranked second in the nation in passing offense (364.4 yards per game), 11th in yards per completion (14.57), 14th in total offense (498.7 ypg), 17th in team passing efficiency (156.02) and 35th in scoring offense (32.9 points per game). Bowling has announced he is transferring from Arkansas State and relocating to Logan to play for the Aggies.
Arkansas State completed the 2019 season with an 8-5 overall record with victories in four of its last five games. The Red Wolves concluded the year ranked 10th in the country in passing offense (312.1 ypg), 14th in team passing efficiency (157.55), 26th in scoring offense (33.7 ppg) and 33rd in both total offense (439.3 ypg) and red zone offense (.889).
Paremski comes to Utah State with 17 years of coaching experience, including four seasons as a defensive coordinator and another two years as a special teams coordinator. Most recently, Paremski spent five seasons (2016-20) at Arkansas State, including serving as the interim defensive coordinator in 2020.
This past season, Arkansas State ranked 12th in the nation in kickoff return defense (17.03 yards per return) and blocked one punt, while Roshauud Paul ranked 31st in the nation in kickoff returns (23.7 yards per return).
As the outside linebackers coach in 2018, Paremski was part of A-State’s defensive staff that helped the Red Wolves limit four of their five final opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense. A-State also surrendered no more than 17 points in each of the final five outings, a first for the program since 1986.