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Mark Criner
Defensive Coordinator

Criner joins his fathers inaugural XFL coaching staff after two seasons as defensive coordinator at Portland State University. One of PSU coach Tim Walsh's first hires, Mark Criner began as the Vikings safeties coach in 1993. In 1995, he took over the linebackers and special teams duties. Prior to the 1997 season, he was named defensive coordinator.

Criner began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Utah State in 1991. There, he worked with the secondary initially, then added defensive line duties in 1992. He also worked with special teams both years. During his playing days, Mark competed as a freshman for his father at Iowa State (1986) before transferring and playing three years at Boise State (1988-90). While an outside linebacker for the Broncos, he was a teammate of Outlaws offensive coordinator Vince Alcalde.

A young coach on the rise, Mark's enthusiasm and football knowledge were instrumental in PSU's defensive improvement in 1997, as the Vikings were third in the Big Sky on defense. Although the Vikings took a step back in 1998, Criner and his defensive staff filled several holes due to graduation, signing 11 junior college transfer and six freshmen for the 1999 season. Portland State climbed up to second in among Big Sky defenses last season.

Mark, 33, and his wife Angie, also a Boise State graduate, have a six year-old daughter, Madison, and a three year-old son, Calin. The family resides in Las Vegas.


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