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Lights Football Coaches

Aaron Christensen
Aaron Christensen
(1st Year)
Head Coach
Office: (406) 265-3746

Aaron Christensen enters his first season as the Head Football Coach of Montana State University- Northern. He brings with him a decade of coaching experience at the NAIA level.

From 2012 to 2014, Coach Christensen served as the Offensive Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator for Missouri Valley College (MVC).During that time, MVC won 3 consecutive Heart of America Athletics Conference Championships, had 3 NAIA FCS appearances, and one NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) semi-final appearance. Prior to becoming offensive coordinator, Christensen served as running backs' coach, wide receivers' coach, video coordinator and passing game coordinator for MVC. Christensen was on staff at MVC for five Heart of America Athletic Conference championships, seven NAIA Football Championship Series appearances, and three NAIA FCS semifinal games. 

Before arriving at MVC, Christensen attended Huron University where he earned All Conference honors as a TE. Following his playing career, Christensen spent two seasons as a student coach coaching the tight ends at Huron. Prior to Huron, Christensen played at San Jose City College near his hometown of Hayward, Calif.

Aaron Christensen currently resides in Havre with his wife Jolene and his three daughters Olivia, Avery, and Adalynn.


Jake Eldrige
Jake Eldridge (8th Year)
Defensive Coordinator
Strength & Conditioning Coordinator

Office: (406) 265-3764

Jake Eldridge is entering his 8th season of coaching with the Lights. This will begin his 6th season as Defensive Coordinator and 8th as Strength Coordinator.

Eldridge started his coaching career with MSU Northern as the running backs coach from 2008 to 2010. During that time, Coach Eldridge helped RB Justin Moe receive Team All-Conference Honors, Honorable Mention VSN All-American Honors as well as the Frontier Conference Offensive Most Valuable Player Award in 2008. In 2009 he helped mentor Freshman All-Conference Kick Returner and RB Stephen Silva. In 2010 Coach Eldridge was promoted to Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach where he coached 3 year All-Conference and 2011 Frontier Conference Defensive Most Valuable Player Will Andrews. In all, Coach Eldridge has coached 14 All-Conference performers on the defensive side of the ball.

Prior to Northern, Eldridge prepped at Helena Capital High School from 1996-2000 where he won a State Championship his senior season. Jake was a two sport standout in both track and football where he earned All-State and All-Conference honors throughout his career. Eldridge's athletic success earned him a dual track and football scholarship to the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Jake transferred to MSU-Northern prior to the 2004 season under 1st year head coach Mark Samson. Jake was a four year starter and a four year team captain for the Lights at defensive back where he garnered All-Conference and Academic All-Conference honors.  A torn ACL prior to his senior season limited Jake on the defensive side of the ball, but he was able to finish out his career as a slot receiver in 2007.

Eldridge resides in Havre with his Fiancé Mindy and two children Alissa (15) and Brody (10)

Cody O'Neill
Cody O'Neill
Offensive Line Coach & Recruiting Coordinator (2nd year)

Cody O'Neill is entering his second season coaching football at MSU Northern. This will be his second season as offensive line coach and first season as recruiting coordinator.

In his first season as the offensive line coach at Northern, Coach O’Neill helped mentor an offensive line that ranked in the top 15 in the nation.  The Lights’ offensive line gave up less than one sack a game during their 2014 season. As a unit, Coach O’Neill’s offensive line played the way for all-conference performer and 1400 yard rusher, Zach McKinley.

Cody is from Harvard, Illinois and attended Marian Central Catholic High school. In high school, he completed in wrestling and football, and was an All-Area and All-State athlete in both sports. Cody played college football for the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. During his college career, he was a team captain and part of the team’s Leadership Council. Cody started three consecutive seasons at guard and center. During his senior season, Cody earned Missouri Valley all-conference honorable mention honors as a center and was voted Lineman of the Year for the University of South Dakota football team. Prior to his coming to Northern, Cody volunteered at his alma mater in coaching the offensive line in the spring of 2014. At the conclusion of his senior year, Cody was invited to and participated in the NFL Minnesota Vikings rookie minicamp.

Coach O’Neill currently resides in Havre with his fiancée Kelsey Harding.


Jorge Magana
Jorge Magana (4th year)
Defensive Line Coach


Jorge begins his fourth year as an assistant coach with MSU-Northern after completing a stellar career as a 2-time All-Conference center for the Lights in 2010 and 2011.  Jorge was a three-sport athlete at Freedom High School in Oakley, California. 

As a senior, Jorge earned All-Conference honors in the BUAL League.  Jorge also played two years of junior college football at Los Medanos Junior College, where he was a two year starter and All-Conference performer.  Jorge earned his degree in Secondary Education/HPE from MSU-Northern in 2014

Arthur Smith
Arthur Smith (2nd year)
Linebacker Coach


Arthur is the son of Arthur and Maria Smith, and brother of Stephanie Smith. Arthur was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where he attended and played football for Miami Killian Senior High.  Following high school, Coach Smith attended the University of Mount Union were he started at linebacker for two years and led the raiders into two NCAA Division III national championship games, while earning first team all-conference honors.  He majored in Physical Education and has a minor in Health and Multi-Age Education.  Coach Smith played Arena football in the IFL.  His coaching career started at Mount Union, were he was the Assistant linebackers coach.  He also coached at Miami Beach Senior High School, where he worked with the linebackers.


Matt Stevens
Matt Stevens
(1st year)
Running Back Coach


Matt enters his first season on the MSUN coaching staff as the running backs coach. He comes to Northern from Graceland University in Iowa where he student coached and assisted with the offensive line.

Playing Experience

Matt started his collegiate football career at Bacone College (OK) where he played offensive line and was awarded second team all-conference honors. After leaving Bacone he transferred to Graceland University to continue his education and passion for football.


Stevens Graduated in the fall of 2014 from Graceland University with a B.A. in communications with a minor in psychology. Stevens is currently enrolled in the Master’s program at Northern where he anticipates being done summer 2017 with a master’s in education.


Stevens enjoys being outdoors, fishing, shed hunting and spending time with his dog bear.


Chuck Terry
Chuck Terry
(1st year)
Wide Receiver Coach


Chuck Terry is in his 1st year as an assistant coach for the MSU-Northern lights. Chuck is originally from Columbia falls where he was a three sport athlete competing in football, basketball, and track for the Columbia falls wildcats. After high school, Chuck went to play football at Western Montana college.

Chuck currently resides in Havre with his wife Teresa, Daughters Naomi and Caitlyn, and his sons Crawford and Griffin.


Darold Debolt
Darold Debolt
(1st year)
Defensive Line Coach & Special Teams Coordinator


Darold DeBolt is returning to the Northern Lights football program after coaching Tight Ends and helping with the Offensive Line at Carroll College in 2014.  This will be his 4th season as the Defensive Line coach for the Lights.

DeBolt was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana where he excelled at many sports.  Football was his first love and DeBolt was selected to 1st team All-State at Middle Linebacker for the CMR Rustlers in 1996.  He was selected to play in the MONDAK all class all-star game and Montana Shrine football game.  DeBolt was also selected as an Honorable Mention All American team in 1996. In 2000 DeBolt was selected to the All-time CMR football team and is a select member of the CMR Hall of Fame.

After playing 3 years of college baseball, Darold returned to football, playing for Carroll College in 2000 and winning a NAIA National Championship with the Saints in 2002.  After graduating from Carroll College Darold pursued his coaching career at his high school alma mater, coaching 7 years for Hall of Fame coach Jack Johnson at C.M. Russel.  In 2011, Darold pursued his teaching degree at MSU Northern while coaching Defensive Line. 

Darold married his high school sweet heart Tiffany in 2003 and currently resides in Havre. 


Dylan Murphy
Dylan Murphy
(1st year)
Tight Ends & Offensive Line Coach





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