PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 13, 2012) – Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood announced Tuesday the completion of his inaugural coaching staff “On the Banks” with the hiring of Norries Wilson and Joe Rossi. Wilson comes to Rutgers after spending the previous six seasons as head coach at Columbia University while Rossi has served as defensive coordinator at Maine for the past three years.
Wilson has been named running backs coach while Rossi will serve as Rutgers’ special teams coordinator and assist the defensive coaching staff.
Wilson, one of the top assistant coaches in the nation while at the University of Connecticut, became Columbia's 18th head coach of football in December 2005. Wilson's student-athletes earned 33 All-Ivy League honors since 2006, including two Rookies of the Year and 12 first-team selections.
After a 4-6, 2-5 Ivy League season in 2010, Columbia had a total of eight student-athletes named All-Ivy League in football, the second most in school history.
In 2009, Wilson led Columbia to a fourth-place finish in the Ivy League, the Lions' best league finish in six years. Columbia also posted its most wins in six years as eight players earned All-Ivy honors.
Wilson, who served as offensive coordinator at UConn for four seasons, was one of five finalists for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach in 2004, a season in which the Huskies led the Big East in both total and scoring offense. In 2003, he guided UConn's offense that posted 477.5 yards per game, which ranked eighth in the nation. In 2002, Wilson was promoted to the Huskies' offensive coordinator after joining the UConn staff in 1999 as offensive line coach. He continued to work specifically with the Huskies' centers and guards.
Before UConn, Wilson spent four seasons at Bucknell. He was the Bison's offensive line coach in 1995 and 1996 before a promotion to offensive coordinator in 1997 and 1998. He was also defensive coordinator at Livingstone College (1993), offensive line/tight ends coach at North Carolina Central (1991-92) and graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota (1989-90).
Wilson was a captain and two-year starter for the Gophers. In 1985, the team defeated Clemson to win the Independence Bowl and competed in the Liberty Bowl vs. Tennessee the following year. He was a three-year letterwinner in football, and earned two letters and qualified for the NCAA Championships as a heavyweight in wrestling. He graduated from Minnesota in 1989 with a degree in psychology.
In addition to his college coaching experience, Wilson has served minority coaching fellowships in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs (1992), Jacksonville Jaguars (1995) under two-time Super Bowl champion head coach Tom Coughlin and the Indianapolis Colts (2000).
Rossi reunites with Rutgers defensive coordinator Robb Smith after the two worked together for two seasons at Maine (2007-08). Rossi, who has coached at Maine since 2007, was promoted to defensive coordinator following Smith’s departure to Rutgers after the 2008 season.
Maine annually had one of the top defensive units in the Football Championship Subdivision under Rossi’s watch. In 2011, the Black Bears ranked 26th nationally in sacks, 31st in pass defense and 25th in pass efficiency defense.
In 2010, Rossi helped develop the Maine linebackers and secondary into two of the best positional units in the CAA. Linebacker Donte Dennis collected All-CAA honors for the second straight year and ranked sixth in the conference with 108 tackles.
In his first season as defensive coordinator in 2009, Rossi’s unit totaled 19 interceptions (second in the CAA), led by All-CAA defensive back Steven Baker.
Prior to his promotion as defensive coordinator, Rossi directed Maine’s special teams in 2007 and 2008. During those two seasons, the Black Bears totaled 16 kickoff returns of 30 yards or more. In 2007, punter Kash Kiefer set a school record with an 82-yard punt at Villanova.
Before arriving at Maine, Rossi coached six seasons at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., including the final four years as defensive coordinator. In 2006, Thiel led the President’s Athletic Conference in scoring defense, total defense, rush defense and pass defense.
In 2005, he was instrumental in leading Thiel to the PAC championship as the squad made an appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
2012 Rutgers Football Coaching Staff
Kyle Flood – Head coach
Dave Brock - Offensive coordinator/wide receivers
Robb Smith - Defensive coordinator/secondary
Joe Rossi - Special teams coordinator/defensive assistant
Dave Cohen – Linebackers
Jeremy Cole – Head strength and conditioning coach
Darnell Dinkins – Tight ends
Jim Panagos – Defensive line
Rob Spence – Quarterbacks
Norries Wilson – Running backs
Damian Wroblewski – Offensive line