Manny Rojas, who played for Danny Rocco at Liberty University and served under him as an assistant coach at both Liberty and the University of Richmond, joined the University of Delaware staff as linebackers coach on Jan. 5, 2017.
He served the last five seasons as linebackers coach at Richmond after serving for two years as a defensive and special teams assistant under Rocco at Liberty.
During his 11 seasons as a college coach and player, he has been a part of six conference championships and three NCAA playoff appearances.
Much of Richmond’s success during its recent three-year NCAA playoff run can be attributed to the play of the defensive unit, particularly from the linebacker corps. Rojas helped guide the Spiders defense to Colonial Athletic Association top five rankings in passing defense (No. 2 at 170.2 yards per game), total defense (No. 3/317.0 yards per game), scoring defense (No. 5/23.4 points per game), and rushing defense (No. 5/146.8 yards per game) in 2016.
Since the 2013 season Richmond linebackers have earned numerous All-CAA honors with Omar Howard earning first team honors in 2016; Eric Wright earned All-CAA laurels three straight years; and Aaron Roane being honored in both 2013 and 2014.
In 2012, Rojas helped a pair of Spider linebackers earn All-CAA recognition - the first time that had happened since the 2009 season. Darius McMillan and Wright earned the accolades, but the whole unit was fantastic, helping Richmond lead the country in turnover margin at +22.
During Rojas' first full season on the coaching staff in 2010, Liberty continued to excel on the defensive side of the ball. The Flames ranked No. 24 nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 20.18 points per game, which also led the Big South by more than five points per game. That marked the fourth year in a row Liberty was ranked nationally in the FCS Top 25 in scoring defense.
The Flames also finished the 2010 season ranked No. 17 in the country in total defense, allowing just 309.18 yards per game. The Flames run defense, which ranked No. 20 in the country, set a program standard by allowing just 1,273 total rushing yards. In 2011, the Flames led the Big South in scoring defense (22 ppg) and were second in total defense (343.3 ypg).
After concluding a stellar four-year career for the Flames, Rojas remained close to the program, working within the Athletics Department as a member of the strength and conditioning staff.
Rojas was a dominating force for the Flames on the field, finishing his career with 348 stops. As a senior, he led the squad with 102 tackles, making him one of only three Flames' defenders during the last eleven seasons to crack the 100-tackle mark in a year.
A two-time Big South all-conference performer, Rojas still currently ranks No. 3 in the conference record books for career tackles, No. 3 in assisted stops (208), No. 3 in forced fumbles (7) and No. 8 in solo tackles (140).
Rojas' senior season marked a dramatic change in the culture that surrounded Liberty football, as the 2006 campaign under Rocco.
After finishing the prior season with a 1-10 record, Rojas played a key role, both statistically and as an emotional team captain, helping the 2006 squad post a 6-5 record. The five-win improvement over the previous season marked the best turnaround in all of NCAA FCS football for the 2006 season.
A large part of Liberty's five-win improvement was due to the Flames defensive efforts. In 2006, Liberty set a new program standard by allowing just 172 total points and the Flames finished the year ranked No. 12 in scoring defense (15.6 points per game).
Along with the new program record for points allowed, Liberty set seven other defensive records in 2006, including a new standard for shutouts, as Liberty blanked three opponents. The Flames also knocked off No. 24 Charleston Southern, 34-20, in their season finale, marking the first Top 25 program Liberty had defeated in a decade.
Rojas came to Liberty following a standout career at West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pa. He was a three-year starter for the Indians, where he earned first team all-conference and All-State honors.
As a senior, he helped lead West Allegheny to the AAA state championship and was a member of the Pennsylvania Big 33 squad. He was also named to the "Fabulous 22" Pittsburgh Post Gazette squad and the Metro Index Scouting Service Top 50 of Western Pennsylvania.
A native of Oakdale, Pa., Rojas graduated from Liberty in 2007 with a bachelor of science degree in communication studies with an advertising and public relations concentration.
He and his wife, Deanna, have a son, Aiden.
THE MANNY ROJAS FILE
Manuel L. “Manny” Rojas, Jr. (“row-haas”)
Born: July 17, 1983
Hometown: Oakdale, Pa. (West Allegheny High School)
Playing Career: Linebacker at Liberty University (2003-06)
Degree: Liberty University ’07 (Communication Studies/Advertising/Public Relations)
Family: Wife, Deanna; Son, Aiden
College Coaching Timeline
2010-11 – Liberty (LB/Special Teams)
2012-16 –Richmond (LB)
2017-Present –Delaware (LB)
|Position:||Inside Linebackers Coach|
|High School:||West Allegheny|