Skip to main content

We Have Two Assistant Coaches

The official announcement comes from on coach Coen's first two assistant coaches. One is a name I dropped yesterday from the rumor mill, and the other is from coach Coen's days at Penn. Both have ties to the local area, and are, like coach Coen, being "brought home".

Coach Coen nabbed TE coach Brett Sawyer (pictured here), who comes to the offensive staff from Penn where last year he coached Quaker TE Chris Mizell to become an honorable mention all-Ivy selection. A former offensive lineman at Muhlenberg ('98), Brett has spent the last three years coaching at Princeton and Penn, where he has gotten a reputation of being an excellent recruiter. Interestingly, Brett's recruiting area at Penn includes some areas that haven't been largely represented in years past at Lehigh: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin.

Another name who is coming "home" is Allentown Central Catholic head coach Donnie Roberts. Donnie was a Lehigh defensive line coach at Lehigh at the same time coach Coen was offensive coordinator under Kevin Higgins - another link to the Higgins era. Roberts coached some really good defensive linemen at Lehigh, including NFL DE Rich Owens. Last year, Roberts coached CCHS to a 9-3 record and an Eastern Conference 3A title.

"We are very excited to have both of these men on our staff," Coen said. They are both quality individuals who view themselves as both teachers and motivators. Having worked with both of them before, I know we share the same values and passion for the game that we need in order to keep this program moving forward."

Anything to read between line lines on the hirings? Just this: Coach Coen is getting back to basics. He knows that the key to winning football games is the offensive and defensive lines. Prepare to see a Lehigh team that wins a lot more trench battles - and maybe even smash some opponents in the mouth. Here's one fan who is excited at the prospect of extra physical play on the lines.


Ngineer said…
I know nothing about Sawyer, but bringing back Roberts is great. The players loved him when he was here. A motivator and a sense of hard fundamentals. Looking forward to more news this week.
Neighbor said…
Temperatures rising!

Go Lehigh!
Lehigh74 said…
The point about focusing on the Offensive and Defensive lines is well taken. In the last few years Lehigh has become somewhat of a finese team. Unlike years past, we didn't always seem to match up physically with Colgate and Lafayette. Also, I would like to see the shotgun formation get the boot, except of course on 3rd down and long.
Anonymous said…
For those that know, the last O-line coach took all the "smash mouth" mentality away from his linemen. They were chastised for being agressive, scraping piles, leagally chopping etc. not the way an OLman wants to play. Very frustrating for the OL. Look at the number that have left over the last few years. This and Powers' coaching methods(anybody that has attended a practice knows about him going off on his linemen practice after practice) have stripped LU of quality athletes.
BunsnBurnr said…
Using the word "refreshing" would be an understatement concerning Coen's moves. As a guy who played under Powers, and still has contact with the team, the guys are more excited about him getting the ax than Lembo leaving. A miserable attitude and horrible communication skills were Powers' M.O.'s, and I had a sneaking suspicion that it wouldnt take Coach Coen more than one conversation with the guy to realize what type of individual he is. As a group, we lost at least a dozen O-Linemen b/c of him alone, and were set to lose more had he not been canned. Without a doubt the most ignorant coach I've ever played under, he was also the only coach I've ever known who was hated not just by his own group, but by the whole team, right down to the DB's (who have virtually no interaction with him). Great decisions by Coach Coen so far, it appears he is very much in tune with the recent attitude deficiencies among the team.
Anonymous said…
Is anyone other than me alarmed by the revelations since Lembo's departure? I wanted Lembo out and Coen in all last season.

The question has to be asked, "How the heck did Sterrett let this get so bad and go on so long?" I think Sterrett made a great choice in Coen. I'm not sure that this lets him off the hook for letting Lembo and his assistants screw things up so badly.
- Hawkineer
Anonymous said…
In case anyone hasn't noticed. Coach Powers is still on the coaching staff, accordong to the website. The ones that are gone are no longer pictured. He is certainly creating a swirl of controversy. It would be nice to know what is really going on internally. For that, unfortunately we have to wait and trust that Coach Coen will put the best possible staff together for the team, not the fans and alumni.That will give them the best chance for success. Everyone will be happy with results!
BunsnBurnr said…
Hey response to the last post, I know a couple of guys that are graduating this year that have seen Powers in the gym running on the treadmill, etc...he approached one former D-Lineman and shook his hand noting that he would stick around the campus (his house is near the stadium) until he found another job because "he has two kids and a wife to support." According to one O-Lineman I know, Powers called over Xmas break to check in and stated that he would be returning, but was blindsided by his dismissal upon returning from vacation. Apparently he has been visually distraught according to those who have interacted with him in the past week. Why this has been kept on the down-low is a mystery to me, perhaps b/c firing a coach with two young children (very much against his will as he had no intention of "stepping away") isn't really a feel good story, and should be approached with tact and caution. Either way, I can assure you with 100% certainty that he will not be back next season.
Lehigh 74 said…
It seems strange that it is taking so long for Coach Coen to finalize his coaching staff. The announcement about Roberts and Sawyer doesn't say much except they are joining the defensive and offensive staff. Who will be the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators? Is Powers staying or going? With regard to the website, why aren't Roberts and Sawyer listed yet? All this uncertainty about the coaching staff can't possibly help recruiting.
Ngineer said…
Yes, I'm concerned about lost time on the recruiting trail, as well. Not knowing what's going on is like water torture. One would hope that top notch recruits looking for a quality academic school and aware of the coaching change would not commit until giving Coen a chance. Fingers crossed.

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

#TheRivalry Flashback: November 21st, 1987: Lehigh 17, Lafayette 10

Since becoming an undergrad at Lehigh back in the late 1980s, I first heard about the historic nature of the football team and "The Rivalry" through the stories that fellow students would share.

I did not attend the final meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Taylor Stadium, which was the final time a football game would be played there.

Those that did attend said that was that it was cold.

"I remember it being one of the coldest games ever," Mark Redmann recollected, "with strong Northwesterly winds and the temperature hovering around 20.  By the end of the game, the stands were half empty because most of the fans just couldn't take the cold.

"Fortunately, several of my fraternity brothers snuck in flasks to help fend off the chill."

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn't unknown before this week - after all, as a freshman and a sop…