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Defensive Coordinator Dave Kotulski Leaves for Stanford

It's always bittersweet to hear about a key part of the coaching staff leaving for a different job.

But when the new job involves a move to a BCS-level program, it does take away a little bit of the sting.

Coaching veteran Dave Kotulski, who was Lehigh's linebackers coach and defensive coordinator, will be taking a position as the inside linebackers coach at Stanford.

From the official release from Stanford:

"David Kotulski is a veteran in 3-4 defense and has a very positive history with both [defensive coordinator] Derek Mason and [OLB coach] Lance Anderson," said Shaw. "He has demonstrated through the years that he is an outstanding teacher, great motivator and a very good recruiter - especially in the Northeast. Our entire staff will benefit from his experience and expertise." 
Under Kotulski's direction, Lehigh's defense ranked in the top three in six Patriot League defensive categories in 2011, including total defense (2nd; 315.7), rushing defense (3rd; 102.8), pass efficiency defense (1st; 109.6), interceptions (3rd; 11.2), sacks (1st; 2.62) and opponent third down conversion (1st; 33.3). 
The Mountain Hawks finished in the top 20 nationally in rushing defense (12th), pass efficiency defense (14th), sacks-per-game (16th) and total defense (19th). 
Lehigh held six of its final eight opponents to 13 points or less and the defense scored points in three late season games against Georgetown (interception return for TD), Lafayette (fumble return for TD) and Towson (game-winning safety). 
Five Mountain Hawks earned All-Patriot League honors, including first team selections linebacker Mike Groome and left tackle Ben Flizack. Groome was also named an All-American by Phil Steele and College Sports Journal. 

Lehigh also issued a release on the move as well:

“I am very happy for Dave, his wife Cissy and for their children,” Coen said. “This is truly a great opportunity and one which I believe is very well deserved. Everyone associated with Lehigh football will certainly miss Dave, not only as a coach but as a person and a friend.  Dave has done a great job leading our defensive staff and our players while building one of the top defenses in FCS football.  I want to thank Dave for all his contributions in making Lehigh football a nationally ranked program. I wish him and his family all the best at Stanford.”

While Kotulski's hiring by Stanford is a boon for both programs, in the short-term it leaves a new job opening for Lehigh's defensive coordinator.

"All options are on the table," Lehigh head coach Andy Coen told Mike LoRe of the Express-Times this week.

Two possible names to replace Kotulski as defensive coordinator are already on Lehigh's coaching staff, with defensive backs coach Gerard Wilcher and defensive line coach Donnie Roberts being possible candidates.


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