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Showing posts from August 23, 2009

Patriot League Offseason 2009: Holy Cross

The season starts a week from today, and the first patriot League football game pits Georgetown against the next team I'm profiling: the preseason pick to win it all. I bring you the continuation of my "Patriot League Offseason" series: next up: *your* Holy Cross Crusaders.

HOLY CROSS
Coaching Changes: While the core of head coach Tom Gilmore's staff remains intact - offensive coordinator Mike Pedone and defensive coordinator Richard Rodgers return - you could simply call much of the Crusaders' new assistant coaching staff "Lehigh North". New names include former Lehigh CB Neal Boozer (Dutch Fork HS (GA), Secondary) and former Lehigh LB Matt Mohler (The Citadel, Outside Linebackers). Rounding out the (non-Lehigh) staff is Bill McCarthy (Springfield College; Running Backs) and Walt Houseman (Chicago Rush, AFL; Defensive Line).

The Hardest Guy To Replace: Randolph's two top targets from last year, WR Jon Brock and WR Brett McDermott, have both gradua…

Patriot League Offseason 2009: Georgetown

We continue our tour around the Patriot League, this time stopping in the District for my offseason blog series. After taking in the Washington Monument, and waving hello to President Obama, I introduce to you: *your* Georgetown Hoyas.

GEORGETOWN
Coaching Changes: It's Year Four of the Hoya rebuilding project for head coach Kevin Kelly, and despite a 5-27 record during his first three years (and only one Patriot League victory) the core of his coaching staff remains largely intact. Gone is linebacker coahc Sudeep Garg (apparently to the private sector) while Kelly welcomes in former club football offensive coordinator Chris Brown (George Mason; Defensive Backs) and former marine Matt Webb (Louisville; Special Teams).

The Hardest Guy To Replace: An easy call: it's the defensive lineman with the hard-to-pronounce name. DE Ataefiok Etukeren's 61 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks made him by far the most dominant defensive player on the Hoyas last season, and was the Georgetown player …

Patriot League Offseason 2009: Fordham

As if Fordham needed a little more press going into the regular season in football - did you hear, Fordham will be offering merit-based aid in football starting this fall? - I'll oblige the Fordham athletic department further and offer my own take on the Rams' offseason an prospects for the 2009 season. Ladies and Gentelmen: *your* Fordham Rams.

FORDHAM
Coaching Changes: Talk about switching to the dark side. Head coach Tom Masella might be calling former offensive coordinator Ed Argast "Anakin" under his breath as he left Fordham this offseason to become offensive line coach under the Rams' crosstown rival, Columbia. (Though I don't think Hayden Christensen ever wore powder blue in those movies.) Furthermore, former defensive coordinator Frank Forcucci also left the Bronx to take the same position at Northeastern, leaving Masella to promote from within to full both the offensive (Bryan Volk) and defensive (Patrick Moore) coordinator positions. At assistan…

Patriot League Offseason 2009: Colgate

My "Patriot League Offseason" series continues with that pesky team in the Great White North that has a disturbing tendency to win Patriot League championships in football. Ladies and gentlemen: *your* Colgate Raiders.

COLGATE
Coaching Changes: Replacing longtime defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham, who went to Rutgers two years ago, has proved to be a more difficult challenge than many might have thought. Last year's candidate, Steve Szabo, left after only one year to become an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan, leaving head coach Dick Biddle to promote from within to implement co-defensive coordinators: defensive line coach Ryan Knowles and secondary coach Nick Monroe. Aside from that and the addition of Pat Foley (Merchant Marine Academy; Linebackers) and Gabe Harrington (USMA; Strength & Conditioning), coach Biddle's staff - notably on offense - is almost completely intact from last year.

The Hardest Guy To Replace: Even though he was injured a good portion of…

Patriot League Offseason 2009: Bucknell

It's that time of year again: where I attempt to bring in the 2009 Patriot League season with a small recap of the goings-on of Lehigh's league-mates since we last left them in November 2008.

I make my picks in alphabetical order, so the first team I profile is *your* Bucknell Bison.

BUCKNELL
Coaching Changes: Another year, another offensive coordinator. After the former Rhode Island OC Harold Nicholls left to become head coach at Presbyterian, head coach Tim Landis promoted from within as Brent Thompson goes from offensive line coach to running the offensive show. He gives the Bison desperately needed consistency on coaching offense: he will be their fourth offensive coordinator in the last five years. Other new faces in Lewisburg include Fordham grad Ed Lynett (Safeties, former defensive coordinator at Iona), Lafayette grad Mike O'Connor (Defensive Line, Rutgers assistant) and - here's a name Lehigh folks will recognize - former all-League CB Sam Perryman (Running B…

Sunday's Word: Ouch

Finally feeling better, I was able to take advantage of the (relatively) cooler weather to play a game outdoors with my son: "Ouch." For those of you who don't have a child in soccer, it's a game where your child tries to kick the soccer ball (or football) and hit you, the parent, with it.

"Ouch" is an appropriate "Sunday's Word" today for Lehigh fans as well. It's the end of preseason camp - matter of fact, all the players are showing up for their first day of classes today - and I'm sure everyone who practiced the past two weeks might be forgiven if they thought they were in Bogota rather than Bethlehem: heat index 90+, humidity damn near 100%. The heat, the humidity - and the contact from camp adds up to one thing: "Ouch!"

Preseason camp is always a time of optimism, and for Lehigh this year's offseason has been the most optimistic in some years. While a 5-6 record - loaded with frustrating losses - normally wouldn&…