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More Names; Some Departures

Coach Lembo at Elon has officially hired two Lehigh assistant coaches to join him at Elon to rebuild their football program. Defensive line coach Jay Bateman and linebacker coach Tony Trisciani are joining Elon. Jay Bateman is joining Elon as defensive coordinator, while Trisciani is keeping his same position, linebackers coach.

Both Bateman and Trisciani were in their first years as the defensive line and linebackers coach, respectively, in 2005 for the Mountain Hawks. Trisciani was known as an excellent recruiter for New Hampshire (his previous coaching stop), and Bateman had a wealth of experience coaching -- not only had he coached every defensive position imaginable, he was also head coach at Siena before they stopped football there.

Lehigh didn't have a dominating defense in 2005 (partially due to injuries), but this mass defensive defection to Elon means that the new Lehigh head coach may also need to get a brand-new defensive coordinator in there as well - the third in three years for this new batch of seniors. It will be imperative that the new head coach - in my opinion, preferably a defensive mastermind himself - solidify this defense, and get a new staff in there that will be sticking around for a long time. I am hoping Gerard Wilcher, the current Lehigh defensive coordinator, will remain in his post. He did an excellent job developng senior FS Kaloma Cardwell and senior LB Anthony "Graz" Graziani into all-Patriot League players.

It's been an anxious week in Lehigh Nation. It's important that the head coach search be completed very soon, so there's no more nasty surprises.

The rumor mill has resulted in two more coaches that are (rumor has it) interviewing, or been in the running for the head coaching position.

Muhlenberg head coach Mike Donnelly. Rumor has it Donnelly has been interviewed for the position already - putting him on the "short list" if true. An eight year head coach down the street at D-III Muhlenberg, he was an assistant coachh at Lafayette and the defensive coordinator at Columbia before guiding the Mules back to D-III prominence. Already local, a defensive guy, very experienced, and a proven winner - right down the street. This resume makes him a very intruiguing option. He's definitely a guy on the rise.

University of Chicago head coach Dick Maloney. Another deeply experienced D-III guy, Maloney has been head coach of the Maroons for the past 12 years. An offensive guy, the Maroons have had a history of being one of the top passing offenses in D-III, so he would fit right in with Lehigh's passing attack. He may want a head coaching gig out east so he can see his son play college football - an all-state WR in Chicago, he may be playing football out east (I beleive it may be VMI, but I haven't been able to confirm this). He has experience at Penn to go with his University of Chicago resume, making him familiar with recruiting athletes with high academic profiles. He has experience and a strong resume to bring to the table.

Here's to 2006, and a quick resolution to this head coaching vacancy.


Ngineer said…
Your post implies that Wilcher is leaving too? He was our Def. Coordinator last year, not Bateman. He had the D-line. I agree shoring up the D-side of the staff will be crucial. I think Wilcher did a decent job last year with a slew of injuries in the secondary and lb corps. We have a seasoned D-line coming back and good experience in the secondary so at least a good number of the players won't be in 'transition'.
Anonymous said…
I heard Wilcher was a candidate as well.
S Martin LU '78 said…
I'd vote for Gary Sewak. The loss of assistant coahes is very typical and expoected when an entrenched coach leaves. Rather then focus on short term coaching needs I would look to the long term requirements of the program. In my mind Lehigh needs to do a better job at recruiting skilled position players and build overall team speed. Swak has roven himself in both areas. The SOCON conference is highly regarded for up tempo skilled position players. With Threatt in the same mold he would benefit tremendously with Sewak as a mentor. Think of the effect on the other Patriot League teams if he could successfully incorporate these concepts into both the offensive and defensive schemes. Potential HS recruits would rather play for a proven "winner" with a track record of taking I-AA players to the playoffs, developing All American candidates, and NFL draftees. I sure hope Lehigh steps beyond the Sucon valley to bring in a coach that can establish a national presence. This would help LU broaden it's appeal both athletically and scholastically.
Ngineer said…
I agree Sewak could be a heck of an acwquisition--IF he believes he can work within the parameters of Lehigh and the Patriot League. After GSU and the SoCon, the culture is alot different in this conference. If he accepts that, he could really bring a new mentality to the program that is missing to get to 'the next level.'

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