WKU football practice

Western Kentucky redshirt junior linebacker Eli Brown (center) talks to linebackers coach Maurice Crum during practice Aug. 15 at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Crum and defensive ends coach Jimmy Lindsey have been retained as assistants for new head coach Tyson Helton, the Daily News learned Friday.

New Western Kentucky coach Tyson Helton has retained a pair of defensive assistants to serve on coordinator Clayton White’s staff.

Helton has retained both Hilltopper linebackers coach Maurice Crum and defensive ends coach Jimmy Lindsey, the Daily News learned Friday.

Both those coaches will work for a third straight year under White, who was also retained in his current role.

All three men came to WKU when previous coach Mike Sanford was hired in December 2016 to serve on his staff. Sanford was fired Sunday after his second season, and Helton was hired Tuesday to replace him.

Twitter posts in recent days have shown both Crum and Lindsey on the road recruiting for the Topper program.

Crum, 32, played linebacker at Notre Dame from 2005-08 before playing for the Sacramento Mountain Lions in the now-defunct United Football League from 2009-11.

The Riverview, Fla., native Crum worked in various capacities at Kansas, Notre Dame and FCS program Indiana State before coming to WKU.

In Crum’s first year with the Hilltoppers, he coached Joel Iyiegbuniwe, a Bowling Green native now in his rookie season for the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Iyiegbuniwe totaled 116 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss as a redshirt junior in 2017 under Crum’s direction.

Ben Holt was the standout of Crum’s position group in 2018. The redshirt junior, another Bowling Green native, also racked up 116 tackles and 11.5 TFLs this year to go along with 2.5 sacks, nine quarterback hurries, five pass breakups, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Lindsey, 41, played linebacker at Chattanooga (1996-99) and has made coaching stops since then at his alma mater, Gardner-Webb, Miami (Ohio), UT Martin, Furman, Georgia Southern and WKU.

Lindsey coached the Hilltoppers’ defensive line in 2017 before focusing on D-ends in 2018. D-tackle Chris Johnson earned All-Conference USA honors for his performance in 2017.

This season, defensive ends Juwuan Jones and DeAngelo Malone became standouts in Lindsey’s position group.

Jones posted 42 tackles, six TFLs and five sacks, while Malone tallied 60 tackles, nine TFLs and six sacks in 2018.

Lindsey also served in 2018 as WKU’s recruiting coordinator. The Morven, N.C., native recruited the Atlanta area heavily since joining the Tops’ staff.

Helton is still arranging the rest of his staff. Crum, Lindsey, White and strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp are being retained, while Southern California assistant Bryan Ellis will come on board as offensive coordinator.

– Follow Daily News sports reporter Brad Stephens on Twitter @BradBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Bowling Green Daily News sports reporter primarily covering Western Kentucky football and men's basketball.

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