NEWARK, Del.  -- University of Delaware football, which prepares to open spring practice on Apr. 8, has finalized its coaching staff for the fall as head coach Dave Brock announced that Eddie Allen has been named special teams coordinator and tight ends coach and that current defensive line coach Dennis Dottin-Carter has assumed added responsibilities as co-defensive coordinator.

Allen, who served as special teams coordinator and running backs coach at the University of Rhode Island for the last six years, will replace Devin Fitzsimmons, who left the UD staff last month to take a coaching position with the National Football League’s Detroit Lions. Dottin-Carter, now in his second year on the Blue Hens staff, will join Tim Weaver as co-defensive coordinators.

Delaware will open spring drills on Tuesday, Apr. 8, and will once again travel downstate to take part in a practice at Milford High School on Saturday, Apr. 26. The annual Blue-White Spring Game, including the popular pre-game Fandemonium family fun event, is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 at Delaware Stadium.

“We are very excited to add Eddie to our staff,” said Brock, who led Delaware to a 7-5 record and national Top 25 rankings during his first season at the helm in 2013. “His excellence in the area of special teams will guarantee that we continue creating an environment where special teams play will be a weapon.”

Delaware thrived on special teams this past season. As a unit, the Blue Hens led the nation in fewest blocked punts allowed (0), ranked No. 2 in net punting (41.47), No. 9 in blocked kicks (6), and No. 20 in punt returns (6.1). Delaware led the CAA in each of those categories.

Allen enjoyed outstanding success at Rhode Island during his tenure as a member of former head coach Joe Trainer’s staff, including last season when the Rams led the CAA in fewest blocked kicks allowed and ranked No. 2 in kickoff return average (22.3). Rhode Island also ranked No. 3 in the CAA in kickoff returns (20.9) and allowed the second fewest return yards in the league during the 2012 campaign.

"I am extremely excited to join Coach Brock's staff at the University of Delaware,” said Allen. “During my time at URI, I have developed a great level of respect for the program and its amazing history. Delaware football is one of the top programs in the FCS and I look forward to working with Coach Brock and his staff to bring championships back to Newark."

In 2011, Rhode Island averaged 21.5 yards per kick return while allowing an average of just 18.9 yards per return. In 2010, under the direction of Allen, URI ranked in the CAA's top five in four special teams categories and held the league's top kickoff return average (23.8). Among the highlights was a blocked punt that was returned for the game-winning score over 2009 defending champion Villanova. In 2009, Rhode Island punter Tim Edger led the CAA in punting with a 41.5-yard average, and in 2008, the Rams blocked nine kicks on the season.

Prior to arriving at Rhode Island, Allen spent three seasons as a member of Greg Schiano's coaching staff at Rutgers. He joined the Scarlet Knights' football program in 2005 as a player development assistant and worked as a graduate assistant in 2007.

Allen began his collegiate coaching career as the offensive graduate assistant and video coordinator at Hofstra University in 2003. The following season, Allen moved on to Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan., where he served as wide receivers coach.

A native of Somerville, N.J., Allen graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of New Haven in 2003. He was a four-year letterwinner at quarterback for the Chargers.  He and his wife, Kristin, and daughter, Makayla, will reside in the Newark area.  

Dottin-Carter began his first year on the Delaware staff this past fall and played a key role in the Hens’ 7-5 campaign. Dottin-Carter coached two of the top defensive linemen in the CAA led by All-American and first team all-league defensive tackle Zach Kerr and defensive end Derrick Saulsberry.

Kerr, who took part in the NFL Scouting Combine back in February and is a potential NFL draft pick, recorded 3.5 sacks this past season while Saulsberry, who will be a senior this fall, led the team with eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2013. As a team, Delaware ranked No. 3 in the CAA in red zone defense, stopping opponents 77.1 percent of the time.

“I appreciate this opportunity to further help the University of Delaware football program in a higher capacity,” said Dottin-Carter. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be considered for this position and I will continue to give 100 percent to this program and uphold the great Blue Hen football tradition."