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Coaching Staff - Football
Assistant Coach Nick Rapone (Defensive Coordinator/Safeties)
Nick Rapone, a veteran of 34 seasons as a football coach, including 27 as an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision assistant, begins his eighth season on the University of Delaware staff in 2013 as defensive coordinator and safeties coach.
One of the nation's top defensive coaches, he has been a part of two NCAA national championship runner-up squads at Delaware, including the 2010 season when he led the Hens to a 12-3 record, a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title, and a berth in the NCAA FCS title game. He helped lead a unit that led the nation in scoring defense (12.1 points per game), ranked No. 5 in total defense (280.7 yards allowed per game), and was No. 12 in rushing defense (105.3) in 2010.
The defensive back unit included four All-CAA performers, including All-American selections Anthony Walters and Anthony Bratton at safety. The Hens also ranked No. 9 in the nation in passing efficiency defense (102.75) and the team's 21 interceptions were the third highest total in the nation at the FCS level. For his coaching efforts in 2010, Rapone was named the 2010 FootballScoop NCAA Division I FCS Coordinator of the Year presented by SpeedTrac.
How You Say It: ruh-pone
Born: April 25, 1956
College: Bachelor of Arts, Virginia Tech, 1979; Master of Education, Pittsburgh, 1981
College Coaching Career:
1979-80: Graduate Assistant, University of Pittsburgh
1981-82: Defensive Backs, East Tennessee State University
1983-88: Secondary, Temple University; Defensive Coordinator in 1985-88
1989-92: Defensive Backs, University of Pittsburgh; Defensive Coordinator in 1992
1993-94: Head Coach, New Castle (Pa.) High School
1995-98: Defensive Coordinator, Secondary, University of Connecticut
1999-2005: Secondary, Temple University
2006-Present: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs, University of Delaware
Family: Single, daughters Johanna and Mary
Recruiting Areas:Delaware; Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, Lycoming, Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike, Bradford, Monroe, Tioga, Montour, Columbia, Carbon counties)
Walters is now a member of the NFL's Chicago Bears and is one of three former UD defenders coached by Rapone currently in the NFL - joining Arizona Cardinals defensive end Ronald Talley and New York Jets rookie defensive tackle Matt Hardison.
He led the Blue Hens to another outstanding season in 2007 when Delaware went 11-4 and advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision title game.
Before coming to Delaware, Rapone, 56, served the previous seven years as defensive backs coach and kickoff coverage coach at Temple University. He took over the added responsibilities as Delaware's defensive coordinator just before the start of the 2006 season.
Thanks to a much-improved defense, he led the Blue Hens to another outstanding season in 2007 when Delaware went 11-4 and advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision title game. The Blue Hens also captured the Lambert Cup Trophy as the top team in the East and were named the ECAC Team of the Year.
The Hens struggled to a 4-8 mark in 2008, but the Delaware defense, led by All-American safety Charles Graves, ranked among the top units in the Colonial Athletic Association. The 2009 defensive unit included three first team All-CAA selections in All-American Graves, Walters, and DE Brandon Gilbeaux.
A native of New Castle, Pa., Rapone was an All-State receiver at New Castle High School who attended Virginia Tech and was a four-year letterwinner for the Hokies. He earned his bachelor's degree in education from Virginia Tech in 1979 and his master's degree in education from Pittsburgh in 1981.
He began an extensive coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh in 1979 and has also served at East Tennessee State, Temple, and Connecticut. In addition, he was head coach at his alma mater, New Castle High School, for two seasons in 1993-94. He has coached numerous All-Americans and National Football League players during his tenure.
While a graduate assistant at Pitt, he worked with the defensive secondary coach for two seasons before getting his first full-time job as defensive backs coach at NCAA I-AA East Tennessee State in 1981 where he assisted for two seasons. He joined the Temple staff for the first time in 1983 and worked with the Owls for six seasons as secondary coach, including serving as defensive coordinator in 1985-88.
He returned to Pitt in 1989 and was a member of the staff for four years as defensive backs coach, doubling as defensive coordinator in 1992. The Panthers advanced to the John Hancock Bowl in 1989 where they defeated Texas A&M 31-28.
After two years at the high school level in 1993-94, Rapone returned to the college game in 1995 at then I-AA University of Connecticut. He served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach for four seasons, leading the Huskies to the I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history. That squad was ranked No. 7 in the final The Sports Network Top 25 poll led by a defense that forced 29 turnovers for the season.
He joined head coach Bobby Wallace's staff at Temple in 1999 and served as secondary coach for seven seasons before coming to Delaware. The Owls were one of only eight teams in the nation to rank in the top 20 in total defense in both 2001 and 2002.
Rapone is single and resides in Newark, Del. He has two daughters, Johanna and Mary.
Head Coach Dave Brock
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Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Nick Rapone
Passing Game Coordinator/Receivers Coach Brian Ginn
Running Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Gregg Perry
Defensive Line Coach Phil Petitte
Cornerbacks Coach Henry Baker
Tight Ends Coach Andy Marino
Defensive Assistant Frank Law
Defensive Quality Control Assistant Brad Hilovsky
Offensive Quality Control Assistant Fritz Stueber
Head Athletic Trainer John Smith
Assistant Athletic Trainer Dan Watson
Director of Football Operations Jerry Oravitz
Personal Development Coach David Baylor
Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine Dr. Andrew Reisman
Sports Medicine Physician Dr. Geoffrey Gustavsen