Skip to main content

Promotion To Assistant Head Coach And Strength & Conditioning Records

Coach Coen announced today some coaching changes that to me seemed very significant for the upcoming season.

First was the promotion of defensive line coach Donnie Roberts to assistant head coach, a move that to me seems like a fantastic move. Originally part of the Lehigh coaching "dream team" in the 1990s, his second stint with Lehigh has featured developing a defensive line that seems to be perennially loaded with all-American talent like NT Eric Rakus, DT Royce Morgan, DE Kyle Adams, and this year's all-American candidate in senior DL Brian Jackson. (Not to mention former NFL veteran DE Rich Owens and another one of Lehigh's best in DE Nick Martucci, who were under his tutalage in the early 1990s.) Roberts couldn't be a better choice for assistant head coach and I'm looking forward to see what his impact will be on the entire team defense going forward.

Other staff additions would not be complete with mentioning the two coaches which are off the staff: last year's running backs coach Mike Kapusta (now gone into private business) and last year's linebackers coach Kenny Lockard (who joined the staff at Cheney University as defensive coordinator). However, the two folks that coach Coen got to join the staff are pretty exciting additions.

Linebackers coach Matt Sanders comes to South Mountain from perennial Big East power Louisville where he was a student-assistant after an injury brought his playing career to an end in 2007. The thought of Sanders bringing his expertise from Louisville to Lehigh to work with senior LB Tim Diamond, junior LB Matt Cohen and junior LB Heath Brickner could make our defense the most fearsome in the Patriot League (I hope). If he can do that, I'll promise to not remind him how his last trip to the area went (hint: it involves the town of Piscataway, NJ).

The other addition comes from the staff of Franklin & Marshall College and new running backs coach Scott Brisson. From the press release:

“Scott came very highly recommended from the staff at Franklin and Marshall,” said Coen. “Scott worked very closely with RJ Ryan who is a former player for us and also coached at Lehigh. Scott has experience in our offensive system and also did a very nice job recruiting for F&M last year. I am confident that he will do a great job coaching our running backs.”

Again, I'm optimistic how he will be able to work with senior RB Matt McGowan and sophomore RB Jaren Walker to improve the rushing game from last year - and keep the unit away from the injury bug that bedeviled us in 2006. I think his fresh perspective could be exactly what the unit needs.

Speaking of injuries, not a lot has been mentioned about the revamping of the strength & conditioning program which was quietly added to the official Lehigh website recently. Not only are there two full-time employees on strength and conditioning, the new website talks about the top strength & conditioning records from 2004 to the present - which includes some starters for the fall.

Bench press features something interesting: beating out senior OL Kevin Bayani (420 lbs) and sophomore OL William Rackley (415 lbs) is... junior FB Anthony Fossati (425 lbs). So a ballcarrier is stonger than the linemen, eh? Bet that's the subject of some discussions on the Lehigh "O" line, and it makes you wonder if we could see Fossati perhaps line up a little bit at TE to use some of that strength on our line.

Also with two strength and conditioning records are senior OL Chris Tiefenthal (Squat, 585 lbs) and senior WR Nick Johnson (4.42 40-yard dash time).

These records might point some tantalizing clues about the 2008 season - not only the thought of Fossati appearing as a TE, but Rackley's strength appears to potentially make him well positioned to perhaps start on the "O" line this year. As for Johnson, could be be our Dexter Jackson, the speedster that causes opponents fits?

Comments

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 …

What Are You Doing the Night of Lehigh's 2017 Home Opener?

I have this vision.

It's the weekend of the home opener at Murray Goodman Stadium, Labor Day weekend.  It could be a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

And it's 6:00 PM.

In 2018, the Lehigh football team will open the season with a big celebration of the football program - at Navy, Lehigh's first game against an FBS team in over a decade.

In 2017, why not, as a one-off opportunity, try to have one Lehigh football game, the home opener, be the first-ever night game at Murray Goodman Stadium?

Will it cost money?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.

However, is it doable?  I've got to believe the answer is "yes".


Seven Positive Thoughts About All the Patriot League Recruiting Classes

It's recruiting season.  Every incoming recruit is a Patriot League all-star, everyone is a first team all-American, everyone is undefeated.  It's all good times, a chance for kids to be admitted to some of the best Universities in the world.  In that, it's a win for everyone.

While we wait for each of the remaining recruits to be announced as a part of their recruiting classes, I thought I'd comb through all of the incoming classes of the Patriot League and tell you what sticks out to me.

This summart isn't a ratings-based system, than folks like 247Sports have in terms of measuring the number of "starred recruits" (they list Holy Cross as the "winner"), or even a hybrid-based system, like LFN's yearly Patsy Ratings (last seasons "winner": Lehigh) or HERO Sports' list of the top overall FCS recruits (which lists Lafayette as the "winner").  It's just one guy, looking at the recruit lists, and giving his opinion.