Delaware Football Head Coach Danny Rocco Announces Formation of New Coaching Staff
NEWARK, Del. -- Surrounding himself with a group of proven winners who assisted him in leading the University of Richmond to three straight NCAA playoff appearances, University of Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco announced the hiring of nine new members to his Blue Hen staff on Thursday.
In addition to the newcomers from Richmond, Rocco also announced that current Blue Hen staff members Dennis Dottin-Carter and Eddie Allen will be retained and continue to serve on the UD staff. Longtime Associate AD for Football Administration Jerry Oravitz and Player Development Coach David Baylor will also remain on the staff in their current roles.
The new additions to the Blue Hen Football Family are defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Chris Cosh; outside linebackers coach Clint Sintim; inside linebackers coach Manny Rojas; offensive line coach Blaine McCorkle; tight ends coach Bill Polin; wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Fontel Mines; football strength & conditioning coach Chris Stewart; associate director of football operations Carl Kotz; and video coordinator Tony Palmieri.
Dottin-Carter, a four-year member of the UD staff who served as interim head coach for the second half of the recently completed 2016 campaign, will continue to serve as defensive line coach. Allen, who came to Delaware prior to the 2014 season, will continue to lead the special teams unit and will also coach the running backs.
Rocco will name an offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in the coming weeks and will also add three interns who will have responsibilities within the areas of offense, defense, and recruiting to complete the staff.
All nine newcomers were members of Rocco’s Richmond staff in 2016 and each played a big part in leading the Colonial Athletic Association Spiders to three straight NCAA playoff appearances, including a trip to the national semifinals in 2015 and a berth in the quarterfinals this past fall. Each of the last two teams won 10 games and were ranked in the Top 10 nationally in the final Stats Inc. poll.
“I am excited to announce a large portion of our new coaching staff here at the University of Delaware,” said Rocco, who was named Delaware’s head coach on Dec. 14 after serving has head coach at Richmond the last five seasons. “Having the opportunity to bring so many high quality and experienced coaches with me from Richmond was very important. I also had the opportunity to interview the current coaches here at Delaware and retained Dennis and Eddie, who are great fits to our group. I believe we have put together a football coaching staff that allows us to have a depth of experience and expertise that will serve us well moving forward.”
CHRIS COSH - Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach
Cosh, a 1984 graduate of Virginia Tech, spent just one season at Richmond in 2016 but has a wealth of experience, having served as a defensive coordinator for 18 of his 32 seasons as a college coach, including stints in five of the six BCS conferences. He previously was defensive coordinator University of South Carolina, Kansas State University, University of Maryland, Michigan State University, University of Illinois, University of South Florida, University at Buffalo, and University of North Texas.
As defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Richmond, he guided the Spiders defense to CAA top five rankings in passing defense (No. 2 at 170.2 yards per game), total defense (No. 3/317.0), sacks (No. 4/23), scoring defense (No. 5/23.4 points per game), and rushing defense (No. 5/146.8 ypg).
MANNY ROJAS - Inside Linebackers Coach
Rojas, a 2007 Liberty University graduate and a native of Oakdale, Pa., has been associated with Rocco dating back to his time as a two-time all-conference linebacker at Liberty, where he recorded 348 career tackles to rank No. 3 all-time in Big South history). He has served on Rocco’s staffs at both Liberty and for the last five years at Richmond and during his tenure at Richmond the Spiders continued to be one of the best linebacker corps in the nation. He also served as special teams assistant while at UR.
Following his playing career, Rojas served two years as linebackers and special teams coach in 2010-11 and helped lead the Flames to the 2010 Big South title while also assisting the strength & conditioning staff. He moved on to Richmond in 2012 and played a key role in the Spiders’ three consecutive NCAA playoff runs.
CLINT SINTIM - Outside Linebackers Coach
Sintim, a native of Woodbridge, Va. and a 2009 graduate of the University of Virginia, spent the last two seasons on Rocco’s staff at Richmond mentoring the outside linebackers and defensive ends following a four-year NFL career with the New York Giants. He participated in the Minority Internship with the Washington Redskins in 2015 and coached in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in 2015.
He enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career at Virginia where he led the nation in sacks with 11 as a senior and was drafted in the second round by the Giants. He played four years with the Giants in 2009-12 and was a member of the Super Bowl XLVI championship team. Prior to joining the Spiders, he coached at West Alabama University and at his alma mater.
BLAINE MCCORKLE - Offensive Line Coach
McCorkle, a 2000 Louisiana State University graduate and native of Pensacola, Fla., has spent the last eight seasons with Rocco, including three seasons at Liberty and most recently five seasons at Richmond. While with the Spiders, his offensive line units have consistently ranked among top in not only the CAA but in the country and many of his players have earned All-American and All-CAA honors. He also has coached at LSU, University of Chattanooga, and University of Tennessee-Martin.
The Spiders allowed just five sacks all season in 2012 to rank third in the nation, the 2013 set nearly every school passing record, the 2014 squad ranked No. 11 and No. 1 in the CAA in fewest sacks allowed, and the 2015 and 2016 squads each ranked No. 2 in the CAA in scoring and total offense.
BILL POLIN - Tight Ends Coach
Polin, a 2000 graduate of Colby College, served the last nine seasons on the Richmond staff, including the last five with Rocco. He served as offensive line coach in 2008-11, running backs coach in 2014, and tight ends coach for four of the last five seasons. During his tenure, the Spiders set nearly every school passing record, consistently ranked among the CAA and national leaders in scoring offense and total offense, and produced numerous all-conference and All-American performers.
Prior to joining the Richmond staff, the Westwood, Mass. native served on the staffs at Middlebury College (with head coach and UD Hall of Fame Mickey Heinecken), Dartmouth College, Virginia, Hofstra University, and Stonehill College.
FONTEL MINES - Wide Receivers Coach
Mines, a native of Richmond, Va. and a 2007 graduate of Virginia, served all five seasons with Rocco at Richmond and mentored the wide receivers each year except 2014 when he led the tight ends unit. During his tenure, Richmond consistently ranked among the top passing attacks in the nation and guided the careers of several all-conference and All-American performers, including Brian Brown, who wrapped up a record-setting career for the Spiders this past fall as one of the all-time UR greats.
A standout player at Virginia, he signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears and played three seasons in the NFL as a tight end before injuries cut his playing career short. Prior to his time at Richmond, Mines coached at Chowan University. He participated in the Minority Internship with the Washington Redskins in 2015 and coached in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in 2015.
CHRIS STEWART - Strength & Conditioning Coach
Stewart, a native of Charlotte, N.C. and a 1998 graduate of Western Carolina University, has enjoyed an outstanding career in the collegiate strength & conditioning field, serving at the University of Tennessee for 11 years and for the past eight seasons at Richmond.
He earned his master’s degree from UT in 2001 and has been a part of five conference championships, three NCAA playoff appearances, and 10 bowl game appearances. He has trained over 60 current and former NFL players, including eight Super Bowl champions. He will work closely with UD Assistant Athletics Director for Strength & Conditioning Ted Perlak.
CARL KOTZ - Associate Director of Football Operations
Kotz, a native of Canton, N.Y. and a 2003 graduate of Clemson University, served as director of football operations at Richmond for the previous four seasons where he coordinated day-to-day operations, team travel, and community outreach. He previously served in the same capacity on the staffs at Clemson and University of Connecticut, and for the NFL Europe’s Cologne (Germany) Centurions. He will work closely with Oravitz in day-to-day operations of the program.
TONY PALMIERI - Video Coordinator
Palmieri, a native of Stillwater, Okla., served as video coordinator at Richmond since 2012 where he coordinated all video services for the Spider football team and seven other sports. The son of longtime New York Giants strength & conditioning head coach Jerry Palmieri, he is a 2009 graduate of North Florida University. He previously worked with the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, with the UFL Hartford Colonials, and at Yale University.
DENNIS DOTTIN-CARTER - Defensive Line Coach
Dottin-Carter, a nine-year college coaching veteran, will begin his fifth season on the UD staff in 2017 and will continue to coach the Blue Hen defensive linemen. He served as Delaware’s interim head coach for the final five games of the 2016 season and led the squad to a 2-3 record with wins over Albany and Towson.
A native of Cambridge, Mass. and a 2003 graduate of Maine, Dottin-Carter has mentored five All-CAA selections during his UD tenure and this past season guided a unit that ranked among the league leaders in sacks per game.
EDDIE ALLEN - Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs Coach
Allen, also a nine-year collegiate coaching veteran, will begin is fourth season on the UD staff in 2017. He has led the Delaware special teams for each of the last three seasons and also led the tight ends unit for two years in 2014-15.
A native of Somerville, N.J. and a 2003 graduate of the University of New Haven, Allen’s special teams groups have annually ranked among the top rated units in the CAA, especially in the areas of net punting and kickoff return coverage.
JERRY ORAVITZ - Associate Director of Athletics for Football Administration
Oravitz has been a mainstay of the UD athletics department since 1997 and has served as director of football operations for the past 13 seasons. In December, 2013, he was promoted to the position of associate director of athletics for football administration.
Oravitz assists with fundraising, special projects, and football scheduling, and serves on UD's sports administrative team. He is a 1984 graduate of Salisbury (Md.) University and earned his master's degree in human services administration from Springfield (Mass.) College in 1998.
DAVID BAYLOR - Personal Development Coach
Baylor has served the last 11 seasons at Delaware working closely with the coaching staff and student-athletes, especially with freshmen and new student-athletes, in the areas of community service, personal development, leadership, and social responsibility.
He also works in the same capacity with student-athletes from Delaware's other 20 intercollegiate teams. A 1997 graduate of Wilmington (Del.) University and a 2002 graduate of the University of Phoenix, Baylor previously spent 23 years with the Delaware State Police, rising to the rank of Major.
Led by Rocco and his high-powered, disciplined approach, the Blue Hens will certainly be exciting to watch in 2017 backed by one of the nation’s most potent ground games and a defense that returns four All-CAA performers, including homegrown products in linebacker Troy Reeder and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols. The group also includes two-time All-CAA linebacker and one of the league’s top rising stars in cornerback Nasir Adderley.
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