Former 2-time All-Pac-10 linebacker Brian Willmer is in his 12th season on the Cougar coaching staff, his fifth as the defensive coordinator.
Willmer joined Peter Shinnick's Cougar staff in 2000 and has developed into a central figure in the program. He has coached all the defensive positions, coordinated the special teams and has handled the football operations over his tenure. Currently, he is the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator (overseeing the safeties). In the past, he organized all of Azusa Pacific's football recruiting efforts.
Over the past decade at Azusa Pacific he has coached All-Americans Stephen Holte (LB, 2004 & 2005), who holds the school's single-season record for tackles, and Nate Farris (2003), who led the NAIA in punt returns in 2003.
A 4-year letterman at UCLA, Willmer established himself as the Bruins' top backer during his 1996 junior and 1997 senior seasons when he led the team in tackles. He registered an impressive 102 takedowns in 1996 and was named UCLA's defensive MVP. That was the same season he collected a career-high 15 tackles vs. Michigan (12 solo) and Arizona (14 solo). He had 22 tackles in 2 games against the Peyton Manning-led Tennessee Volunteers.
Willmer's prep career included appearances in 2 CIF championship games while playing linebacker and tight end at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, Calif. In his 3-year career, he earned Super Prep and Blue Chips magazine All-American honors.
Willmer, 35, graduated from UCLA in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in political science and went on to earn a master's degree in higher education and organizational change from UCLA in1998.
In the past, Willmer has served as a youth pastor at the First Baptist Church of Covina and a guidance counselor at Maranatha High School in Pasadena, Calif.
Brian and his wife, Lindsay, a former swimmer at UCLA, reside in Glendora, Calif., with their daughters, Emma (7), and Addie Joy (5), son Titus (2) and twins Gwenyth (girl) and Nehemiah (boy), born in Jan. of 2010.