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From working for NASA to graduate assistant - The unique journey of one ACC assistant

While the story of going from player to graduate assistant and grinding daily through a slow climb up the ladder isn't all that exciting to most people, a whole lot of people (myself included) are suckers for stories of unconventional starts in the coaching profession.

Enter NC State safeties coach Joe DeForest, who has past coaching stops on the defensive side of the ball and coordinating special teams at USC, Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Duke, and Rice. But it was his start in the coaching profession that is really worth sharing.

In a segment getting to know the new NC State assistants, DeForest got the opportunity to share the fascinating story behind his start in the profession.

As a a standout football and baseball player in high school, DeForest was actually drafted by a MLB team as senior before deciding to go to Louisiana Lafayette where he had the opportunity to play both football and baseball. After graduating from college and getting brief shots to play football in the NFL and Canada, DeForest decided to take a job back home as a logistics engineer, as his wife's father was working in NASA's upper ranks at the time. In the clip, DeForest is sure to mention that managed people in his job, and not the high level stuff as he "isn't that smart."

While working at NASA, DeForest was volunteering with a local high school team, when a friend of his at Rice called with an opportunity to come be a graduate assistant. That was back in 1990, and DeForest took the opportunity at Rice, and hasn't looked back. He went from graduate assistant to a full-time role working with the outside linebackers at Rice in 1992 to a seven-year stint at Duke working with the linebackers and coordinating special teams from 1994-2000.

DeForest then got brought to Stillwater as a member of Les Miles' first staff, and when Les decided to leave for LSU a few seasons later, DeForest was presented with the opportunity to stay with the Cowboys in an associate head coach title. He took it, and was able to tell his daughter as she was entering first grade that he promised her that he would keep her in the same school, as long as he can help it. The DeForest family spent the next 13 seasons in Stillwater, meaning DeForest was able to keep that promise to his daughter who went from 1st grade through 12th at the same school.

To this day, he calls it the biggest coaching accomplishment of his career.

Hear more from DeForest in the clip below.

https://youtu.be/Bg8u0j1xPsI