O’Neil Blake enters his first season as a member of the Jacksonville University football coaching staff in 2018, serving as the Cornerbacks Coach.
Blake comes to JU following a season as the Defensive Backs Coach and Pass Game Coordinator at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, N.C. Before that, he held a similar position at Feather River College in Quincy, California for one season, coaching a secondary that ranked third in its conference in total yards and passing yards allowed per-game. Additionally, he was the Return Specialist coach for the Golden Eagles.
The defensive specialist brings international coaching experience to the River City, spending parts of 2016 and 2017 as a player and youth coach for the Graz Giants of the Austrian Football League. He led the league in tackles for loss and pass break-ups in his first season, Helping the squad to win the 2016 Central European Football League Championship and earn a spot in the Austrian Bowl.
Blake played his collegiate football at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., where he was mentored by JU Head Coach Ian Shields during his tenure at the school. He served as a Graduate Assistant & Cornerbacks coach for the team throughout the 2015 season.
As a four-year letter-winner for the Bears, Blake helped the team win three consecutive Southern Atlantic Conference Championships, and advance to the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship Game.
A 2014 member for the Beyond Sports Network All-American Team, he was also named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Super-Region 2 Team following the season. Blake was twice placed on the All-South Atlantic Conference team, and was a two-time recipient of the Ronnie Lott Heavy Hitter Award. He took home the Don Corelli Special Teams Player of the Year award in 2012. Blake was also a member of the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll (2013 and 2014).
Blake is a 2014 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne, earning a bachelor of arts in sociology. He received his MBA from the school the following year.