Skip to main content

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.


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…