The Citadel head coach Kevin Higgins announced the hiring of John Hauser to the Bulldogs football staff.

Hauser will coach safeties, a position that opened when Josh Conklin departed last month for the University of Tennessee.

Hauser was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Wayne State University in Michigan the past four seasons and spent two months as director of player personnel at the University of Illinois before his desire to return to coaching led him to The Citadel.

While at Wayne State, Hauser oversaw a unit that finished in the top 10 nationally in Division II in scoring defense and produced four all-conference defensive backs and a pair of All-Americans. With Hauser playing an integral role, the Warriors turned the corner from being a program with no prior history of success into one which twice set school records for most wins in a season and advanced to the NCAA Division II title game in 2011.

In addition to his responsibilities managing the Wayne State defense, including developing defensive game plans, Hauser also worked with the special teams — primarily the punt, punt return, kickoff and field goal block units — and coordinated recruiting efforts in Michigan and parts of Ohio.

“We are excited to welcome John Hauser to The Citadel football program,” said Higgins. “He comes highly recommended by his peers. He did a great job as defensive coordinator at Wayne State, helping them make it to the national championship game. He will be a great addition to our coaching staff.”

Prior to joining the Wayne State program, Hauser spent five seasons at Northern Illinois, where he coached under then Husky and current Citadel defensive coordinator Denny Doornbos. Hauser was a graduate assistant coach for the Huskies from 2003-05 before earning a fulltime position on the staff as defensive backs coach in February 2006.

He was part of a coaching staff that led Northern Illinois to three straight Mid-American Conference titles and three bowl appearances. Hauser also spent eight months on the coaching staff at his alma mater, Wittenberg University in Ohio, before accepting an offer to go Northern Illinois.

Hauser was a four-year starter at safety at Wittenberg and served as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. He was named to the all-conference team three times and earned a spot on the Division III All-America team in 2002.

Hauser earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Wittenberg and a master’s degree in adult and higher education from Northern Illinois.