Friday, February 17, 2006

Coach Coen at Stabler on Saturday

If you're planning on going to the Lehigh/Lafayette men's basketball game this weekend, you have a chance to meet and greet new coach Coen. Show up at 12:30PM (a half-hour before tipoff) and you will be able to talk to the new coach!

Also, next week we'll get our full list of recruits. According to the article, we'll get 30 new student-athletes, which is mighty impressive considering we went through a coaching transition through the entire coaching season! It's very encouaging to see that Lehigh seems well-known enough to attract great student-athletes in spite of the time it's taken to assemble the staff!

Next week will be interesting! See you then!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kotulski Named New Lehigh Defensive Coordinator

Coach Coen has yet again proven that he can lure the best collegiate coaches in the business to South Mountain with the hiring of David Kotulski as Lehigh's defensive coordinator.

A former defensive coordinator at Bucknell, Utah State (I-A) and most recently Holy Cross, Kotulski is known as a coach who creatively attacks offenses. Kotulski's 1996 squad won the Patriot League title, and last year Holy Cross' defensive improvement helped the Crusaders get to a 6-5 mark, their first winning season since 2000. Last year, Holy Cross had a +11 turnover ratio, meaning Kotulski presided over an opportunistic defense that forced a lot of turnovers.

I was in the press booth at th Lehigh/Holy Cross game last year, and I sat right next to the defensive coaches' box. They were a firey, vocal, and motivated group who were focused on beating Lehigh. Although the Crusaders get a Herculean-sized assist with the weather, coach Kotulski did manage to successfully get his troops to force turnovers and do just enough to beat us. I imagine coach Kotulski will also bring a little "fire & brimstone" to the defensive corps.

At Bucknell, forcing turnovers was again Kotulski's forte, as well as dominating pass rushing. Bucknell averaged 34 sacks per year while he was there, as well as averaging 101 yards per game on the ground.

Both coach Coen and former Utah State offensive coordinator Bob Cole have gushed over the creativity that a Kotulski-led defense provides.

“I am very excited to have David Kotulski join our coaching staff,” said coach Andy Coen. “I have known David for many years and I know our defense will be in good hands. I am a believer that you learn a lot about a coach from competing against him. In my many games competing against David’s defenses, I always knew that we would be in for a physical game and have to give our best effort in order to compete.”

Then-Utah State offensive coordinator Bob Cole: "I coached against Dave in the past and he gave me fits... Dave is as creative in attacking offenses as anyone I have ever been around."


Just in case you thought this wasn't enough good news, look at what then-coach Dennehey said about coach Kotulski at Utah State:

"Our staff was completely blown away by Coach Kotulski's enthusiasm, confidence and organizational skills," Dennehy said. "I feel to a man that every single one of us felt that Dave was the right guy in every single aspect of what this job entails. Most importantly I know that the kids will feel the same way."

"Anybody coming to watch us, number one we are going to play very hard," Kotulski said. "We are going to do the fundamental things very well, tackling, defending the deep ball, and those things that you have to do to be successful."



It looks like we've got yet again a great coach with I-A coaching experience and loads of respect about Division I football. I'm having a really hard time criticizing coach Coen's picks - I'm continuously pleased every time I hear about a new coach joining out ranks.

You're still skeptical? Well, just check out this assessment from coach Coen:

“I have always had much respect for Coach Kotulski,” Coen explained. “With the addition of Coach Kotulski, I really believe we have one of the best staffs in the country. Our players are going to enjoy playing football for this coaching staff.”



Only a few days until the (anticiapated) announcement of the Class of 2010, and spring ball not too far away either. I think we may have an interesting 2006 season in store.

The only aside I have is this: Coach Gilmore at Holy Cross will now be searching for his fourth defensive coordinator in four years. If you're a Crusader fan you have to ask - how is he losing so many talented people so quickly?
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