Veteran collegiate coach Wally Ake is in his first year as a
coach with the Missouri Southern football team and will serve as
the Lions' defensive coordinator.
Ake comes to Southern after a year as the defensive coordinator
at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.
He had previously coached Liberty’s secondary and
linebackers from 2009-11. In 2011, the Flames were among the
defensive leaders in the Big South Conference in numerous
categories. Liberty had the top scoring defense in the league
(22.0) and ranked first in pass defense efficiency (119.7).
The program ranked second in total defense (343.3), tied
for second in interceptions (12), returning two for touchdowns,
third in rush defense (144.4) and pass defense (198.9), also tying
for third in fumbles recovered (9). The Flames had a pair of
players who ranked tied for third in interceptions in the league in
Kevin Fogg and Walt Aikens. Aikens, a defensive back, also led the
conference with three forced fumbles.
A veteran of 33 years as a collegiate coach at 10 different
institutions and 41 years overall, Ake came to Liberty from Army.
While at Army he served as secondary coach for the Black Knights
for five years (2004-08).
Prior to his days at Army, Ake worked for three years at
Western Michigan (2001-03), as a defensive backs coach and special
teams coordinator. Prior to his time at WMU, Ake was the
defensive coordinator for Maryland (1997-2000). While overseeing
the Maryland defenders, Ake saw the Terrapins rank as the No. 12
most improved defense in 1998, No. 13 in scoring defense and No. 14
in improved passing defense. Nine of his Maryland players went on
to NFL careers.
Ake’s first defensive coordinator position came at Rice,
where he oversaw the Owls for three seasons (1994-96). Rice ranked
No. 25 nationally in four different defensive categories in 1994,
as the Owls shared the Southwestern Conference title.
Prior to that, Ake coached the linebackers at Clemson for four
years (1990-03), the defensive line at Arkansas for six years
(1984-89) and for three years at Air Force (1981-83).
He had his first stint at Arkansas working with the tight ends
in 1980. Prior to his time with the Razorbacks he started his
collegiate career working with the linebackers at his alma mater,
William & Mary, in 1979.
Prior to his days in the collegiate levels, Ake coached high
school football at Falls Church High School in Virginia.
He and his wife, Chris, have one son, Aaron. Aaron and his
wife, Wendy, have three children Vlad, Dmitri and Mila.