A new era of Blue Hen football began at the University of Delaware in 2013 led by head coach Dave Brock.
Brock, a native of Moorestown, N.J. and a veteran of 22 collegiate seasons as an assistant coach, became just the fifth head coach of the Blue Hens since 1940.
The University has produced six national championships, five national runner-up finishes, 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, 20 Lambert Cup trophies, three College Football Hall of Fame head coaches, and numerous All-Americans and National Football League players during that time.
Highlighted by an exciting offensive attack and formidable special teams play, the Blue Hens found success in Brock’s rookie campaign in 2013 as Delaware produced an overall record of 7-5 and earned a fifth place finish with a 4-4 mark in the rugged Colonial Athletic Association. Delaware earned votes in The Sports Network Media Top 25 Poll every week during the season, peaking at the No. 15 spot on Nov. 4.
Delaware jumped out to a 7-2 start that included big victories over No. 14 James Madison on Sept. 28 and a thrilling 32-31 last minute triumph over eventual NCAA FCS national runner-up Towson on Nov. 2. Two of Blue Hens’ five losses came by just three points or less and the squad was an impressive 5-2 at Delaware Stadium.
A total of nine Blue Hen players received All-CAA notice led by defensive tackle Zach Kerr, who earned All-American notice and an invitation to the East-West Shrine All-Star Game and the National Football League Scouting Combine.
Kerr (Indianapolis Colts) was one of three Blue Hens to sign NFL free agent contracts following the season, joining defensive back Travis Hawkins (New England Patriots) and offensive tackle Erle Ladson (Oakland Raiders).
Delaware scored 30 or more points eight times and ranked No. 2 in the CAA in scoring offense (31.2 points per game) and No. 3 in passing offense (240.0 yards per game). On special teams, the Hens led the CAA in net punting, blocked punts for and against, and punt returns.
“I'm thrilled to welcome Dave Brock to UD,” said University of Delaware President Patrick T. Harker in making the announcement on Jan. 18, 2013. “Dave has substantial coaching experience at some highly competitive schools and has nurtured an impressive roster of players. Just as importantly, Dave has a strong reputation for integrity and caring leadership. I think our student-athletes will thrive with him as their coach and mentor. And I know Dave will benefit from working with such a talented and committed group of young men.”
Brock, 47, came to Delaware after serving one season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under coach Kyle Flood at Rutgers University. In 2012, Rutgers posted a 9-4 record, won a share of the Big East title, and advance to the Russell Athletic Bowl. Prior to Rutgers, Brock coached at Boston College, Kansas State, North Carolina, Temple, Hofstra, Salisbury State, and Western Connecticut State.
“When we started this search process to begin a new chapter in our football history, we received tremendous interest from around the country,” said University of Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Eric Ziady. “The interest speaks so highly of our University and of our football program’s rich tradition. In the end, it was clear that Dave Brock has the character, the experience, the passion, the recruiting skills, and the leadership qualities that will enable him to lead our program to championships on the field and success off the field.”
“The opportunity to coach at a place with such a storied tradition, in the footprint of where I grew up and where I have coached most of my life, is an honor for my family and I am humbled by the opportunity,” said Brock. “The University of Delaware represents excellence in academics and athletics and I want to thank President Harker and Eric [Ziady] for inviting me into the family.”
The New Jersey native’s coaching career includes stops at North Carolina, Temple, Hofstra, Kansas State and Boston College. He has been an offensive coordinator for seven of those seasons and has mentored many current NFL standouts, including Hakeem Nicks (Indianapolis Colts), Josh Freeman (current free agent), Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers) and Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints).
Brock was also instrumental in recruiting quarterback Dave Shinskie, a one-time Delaware recruit who came to BC after a career in professional baseball. Despite being picked to finish last in the ACC's Atlantic Division in preseason media voting, the 2009 Eagles finished with an 8-5 record and came within one win of playing in a third consecutive ACC Championship Game.
Brock spent the 2008 season as Kansas State's offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach after coaching the wideouts in 2007. Kansas State ranked 18th nationally in passing (269.6) and 19th in scoring offense (34.9) under Brock's leadership.
As offensive coordinator at Kansas State, Brock spearheaded a Wildcat offense that produced the 2008 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year in wide receiver Brandon Banks and Kansas State's most prolific passer in school history in quarterback Josh Freeman. Banks set a Wildcat junior record with 67 receptions and 1,049 yards last season, while Freeman became Kansas State's career leader in passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and total offense in 2008.
In 2007, Brock tutored Kansas State's Jordy Nelson, who was a consensus All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalist, as well as Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year Deon Murphy. Nelson, who became the Wildcats' first-ever offensive consensus All-American, ranked second in the nation in receptions (10.2) and receiving yards per game (133.8) en route to setting 11 Kansas State receiving records.
Kansas State, which set school records for passing yards, completions and attempts in a season, also ranked 20th nationally in passing offense (285.4) and 21st in scoring offense (35.2). The Wildcats finished the season with a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,600-yard receiver and a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time in school history.
Prior to Kansas State, Brock spent two years at North Carolina, where he served as the Tar Heels' assistant head coach/recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. In 2005, Jarwarski Pollock became the all-time leading receiver at Carolina with 177 catches.
In 2006, Brock coached wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to honorable mention freshman All-America honors by The Sporting News as Nicks set UNC freshman records with 39 receptions for 660 yards and four touchdowns.
Before coaching at North Carolina, Brock was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons at Temple. In 2004, Temple ranked third in the Big East in rushing, generating 173.0 yards on the ground per game.
Brock served in various roles during seven seasons at Hofstra from 1995 through 2002, including running backs coach (1995), wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator (1997-99), offensive coordinator (2000-01) and associate head coach (2002). In 2000, Hofstra finished the year ranked No. 7 with a 9-4 record.
He played linebacker at Ferrum (Va.) College before earning a bachelor of science degree in political science from Salisbury (Md.) State University in 1994.
Brock and his wife, Karen, have five children - Henry, William, Richard, Kate, and Maggie.
The Brock File
What Others are Saying About Dave Brock
Patrick T. Harker - University of Delaware President
Eric Ziady - University of Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services
Kyle Flood - Rutgers University Football Head Coach and former Delaware Assistant Coach
Jordy Nelson - Current NFL Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver and former All-American player at Kansas State
Luke Kuechly - Current NFL Carolina Panthers Linebacker and 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors; former All-American at Boston College
Scott Brunner - Former Delaware All-American Quarterback and Hall of Fame Member; Former NFL Quarterback
Pat Devlin - Current Miami Dolphins Quarterback and Former Delaware All-American