|College:||Illinois State '98|
|Position:||Linebackers/Special Teams Coord./Camp Co|
Coach of the 2005 Big Sky Defensive MVP, Travis Niekamp joined the Eastern coaching staff as a linebackers coach in 2004 as he became reunited with fellow defensive coach Jody Sears. He is also helping coordinate special teams and EWU summer camps. In his Eagle debut, he coached a pair of All-Big Sky Conference linebackers, Joey Cwik (first team) and Doug Vincent (honorable mention). Cwik was the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year in 2005, and never missed a game in his four years as an Eagle. He finished with 331 tackles in his 47-game career (40 as a starter) to rank fourth in school history. Cwik (first team) and David Eneberg (honorable mention) earned All-Big Sky honors in 2005, and Eneberg repeated in 2006. Niekamp spent the previous four years at the United States Military Academy where he coached tight ends. Sears spent three seasons with Niekamp at West Point before becoming defensive coordinator for EWU head coach Paul Wulff in 2003. Sears moved from linebackers to safeties with the arrival of Niekamp. Before joining Army, Niekamp spent two seasons at his alma mater - Illinois State - coaching outside linebackers in 1999 and defensive tackles in 1998. He was a former All-Gateway Conference selection in 1996 and 1997, when he played as a defensive lineman, finishing his career with 170 tackles. That figure included eight quarterback sacks and 22 total tackles for loss. He was team captain as a senior and was a regular member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll during his undergraduate days at Illinois State. He graduated from Illinois State in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. A native of Stevens Point, Wis., he was selected as a National Strength and Conditioning All-American in 1997. In high school, he played in the Wisconsin All-Star Shrine Classic. Niekamp was born Nov. 30, 1974. He and his wife Tracy have two sons - Tye Dalton (3) and Dexter Kole, who was born Dec. 30, 2005. They are expecting their third child in October 2007.