COLUMBIA — Former Missouri standout center A.J. Ricker has been named the offensive line coach for the Missouri football team.
Ricker, a Windsor native, comes to the Tigers from Illinois, where he coached that team's offensive linemen. The former 1st-Team All-Big 12 center has eight years of coaching experience under his belt, including serving as head coach at St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind. in 2010, according to a news release from the MU Athletic Department.
While a player at Missouri, Ricker started 47 consecutive games — the fifth highest number in program history — and anchored the offensive-line for the 2003 team, the first bowl-eligible Tiger team since 1998, according to the news release.
"We're really excited to have A.J. join our staff," Gary Pinkel said in the news release.
"When we had this opportunity, we wanted to bring a young coach in who had experience, and A.J. fits that perfectly," said Pinkel. "We feel like he's one of the best young offensive line coaches in the country, and we talk all the time about being Mizzou Made. He understands our system, he loves Mizzou and he can't wait to get started."
Ricker earned his undergraduate degree in agriculture from Mizzou in 2004. Following his graduation, he signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears and was allocated to the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe in 2005. In 2006 and part of 2007, he was a member of the Arena Football League's Tampa Bay Storm before retiring as a player.
In 2011 he married the former Lauren Mattaliano, and the couple has an infant son, Andrew, who was born in February.