Former All-America Inoke Breckterfield (pronounced ee-NO-kay) joined Vanderbilt in January, 2021, as its defensive line coach following six seasons at Wisconsin, where he oversaw the defensive line.
During Breckterfield’s years with the Badgers, the program went a combined 56-19 and claimed three Big Ten West Division titles and five bowl game wins with three appearances in New Year’s Six bowls (Cotton, Orange, Rose).
Defensively with Breckterfield’s units applying the pressure, Wisconsin allowed an average of just 16.6 points/game and 107.7 rushing yards/game during his tenure.
Finishing at Wisconsin in 2020, Breckterfield directed a defensive line that helped the team limit opponents to 299.9 yards/game, the fewest in the Big Ten, and 96.1 rushing yards/game, the second-lowest average in the conference. Wisconsin finished third in the Big Ten in scoring defense, yielding 17.4 points/contest. Senior Isaiahh Loudermilk earned third-team accolades to cap the campaign.
Breckterfield rebuilt the Badgers’ depth up front in 2019 around a talented trio of defensive ends in Loudermilk, Garrett Rand and former walk-on Matt Henningsen. That group combined with freshman nose tackle Keeanu Benton to rack up 17.0 tackles for loss and 10 of the Badgers’ school-record 51 sacks — the nation’s second-best total.
In his first year in Madison, Breckterfield helped the Badgers build the nation’s top defense, ranking No. 1 in scoring defense (13.7 points/game) and No. 2 in total defense (268.5 yards/game) in 2015. He developed a deep front line for the Badgers’ 3-4 defense, anchored by a trio of defensive ends who became part of the winningest senior class in school history with their four-year record of 45-10: Alec James, Chikwe Obasih and Conor Sheehy.
James and Sheehy were second-team All-Big Ten selections as seniors in 2017, contributing to a unit that won a school-record 13 games while finishing the season ranked No. 2 nationally in total defense (262.1 yards/game), No. 3 in scoring defense (13.9 points/game), No. 3 in rushing defense (98.4 yards/game) and No. 1 in passing efficiency defense (96.4).
Obasih joined James and Sheehy to give Wisconsin a trio of All-Big Ten honorees at defensive end in 2016, when the three paired with nose tackle Olive Sagapolu to record 10.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Breckterfield joined the staff at Wisconsin after one year of coaching the defensive line and two years overseeing the defensive tackles at Pittsburgh.
His most successful pupil was Aaron Donald, a first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft following a senior season that saw the consensus All-American sweep the nation’s top defensive honors by claiming the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. Donald led the nation with 28.5 tackles for loss and ranked 11th in the country with 11.0 sacks as a senior.
Breckterfield arrived at Pittsburgh after coaching the defensive line at UCLA in 2011. The Bruins played in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Prior to UCLA, Breckterfield coached the defensive line at Montana during the 2010 season. The Grizzlies led the Big Sky Conference and ranked 14th nationally in tackles for loss/game with 7.6, and stood second in the league and 18th nationally in sacks/contest with 2.6. The year prior to Breckterfield’s arrival, Montana ranked 103rd and 88th in those categories, respectively.
Breckterfield landed his first full-time post as defensive line coach at Weber State in 2009.
He began his coaching career under Mike Riley, his former head coach, at Oregon State. Joining the Beavers as a volunteer assistant in 2006, Breckterfield went on to serve as a graduate assistant in 2007 and 2008, working with the defensive line. The 2008 Beavers finished with a No. 18 ranking after going 9-4 with a victory over Pitt in the Sun Bowl.
A tenacious defensive end at Oregon State, Breckterfield finished his collegiate career as the Beavers’ career leader in tackles for loss (55.5) and sacks (19.5). As a senior in 1998, he was a third team Associated Press All-America and received the Pac-10’s Morris Trophy Award as the top defensive lineman in the league as voted on by Pac-10 offensive linemen. Breckterfield additionally was named Oregon State’s Male Athlete of the Year and played in the prestigious Hula Bowl.
Breckterfield was twice named the Beavers’ most valuable player and was the team’s defensive rookie of the year as a freshman.
Following his Oregon State career, he played five seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts (1999-2000) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2001-03). In Breckterfield’s initial season with Winnipeg, the Blue Bombers advanced to the Grey Cup final after posting a franchise-best 14-4 mark and tying a CFL record with 12 straight wins.
Breckterfield earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Oregon State. He and his wife, Carol, have three sons: Kalevi and twins Rocky and Riley.
The Breckterfield File
Hometown: Kaneohe, Hawai’i
High School: Damien Memorial School
College: Oregon State (liberal studies, 1999)
Children: Sons – Kalevi, Riley, Rocky
1995-98 • Oregon State (Defensive Line)
1999-2000 • Toronto Argonauts
2001-03 • Winnipeg Blue Bombers
2006 • Oregon State • Volunteer Assistant
2007 • Oregon State • Graduate Assistant (Defensive Line)
2008 • Oregon State • Graduate Assistant (Defensive Line)
2009 • Weber State • Defensive Line
2010 • Montana • Defensive Line
2011 • UCLA • Defensive Line
2012 • Pittsburgh • Defensive Line
2013 • Pittsburgh • Defensive Tackles
2014 • Pittsburgh • Defensive Tackles
2015 • Wisconsin • Defensive Line
2016 • Wisconsin • Defensive Line
2017 • Wisconsin • Defensive Line
2018 • Wisconsin • Defensive Line
2019 • Wisconsin • Defensive Line
2020 • Wisconsin • Defensive Line
2021 • Vanderbilt • Defensive Line
2006 • Oregon State • Sun Bowl
2007 • Oregon State • Emerald Bowl
2008 • Oregon State • Sun Bowl
2009 • Weber State • FCS Playoffs
2011 • UCLA • Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
2012 • Pittsburgh • BBVA Compass Bowl
2013 • Pittsburgh • Little Caesars Bowl
2014 • Pittsburgh • Armed Forces Bowl
2015 • Wisconsin • Holiday Bowl
2016 • Wisconsin • Cotton Bowl
2017 • Wisconsin • Orange Bowl
2018 • Wisconsin • New Era Pinstripe Bowl
2019 • Wisconsin • Rose Bowl
2020 • Wisconsin • Duke’s Mayo Bowl