PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 31, 2014) – Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood announced Friday the hiring of Ralph Friedgen as offensive coordinator and Bob Fraser as special teams coordinator/linebackers coach, along with the promotion of Joe Rossi to defensive coordinator.
“We got significantly better as a football program today,” said Flood. “All three of these coaches have proven track records as excellent tacticians and recruiters.”
One of the nation’s most highly acclaimed offensive coaches, Friedgen has coordinated the offense for both a collegiate national champion (Georgia Tech in 1990) and a Super Bowl team (San Diego in 1994). He is known as an offensive tactician who utilizes multiple looks and features a balanced offense both through the air and on the ground.
Prior to joining Flood’s staff at Rutgers, the Harrison, N.Y., native spent 10 years (2001-10) as head coach at the University of Maryland.
Friedgen directed the Terps to unprecedented heights in his tenure, taking the program to seven bowl games, including a pair of New Year's Day appearances, and a school record five bowl victories. Prior to Friedgen's arrival, Maryland had just one bowl game appearance in the previous 15 seasons.
The consensus national coach of the year in 2001, when he led Maryland to its first ACC title in 16 years, Friedgen ranks third in ACC history with five bowl wins and is one of eight coaches with seven or more bowl game appearances.
“We could not have found a better coach or person to lead our offense than Ralph,” said Flood. “His track record of success both in college and the NFL is second to none on the offensive side of the ball. He will be a tremendous addition to our Rutgers football family.”
Friedgen has 32 years of assistant coaching experience (including 21 as an offensivecoordinator either in college or the NFL) and received the Frank Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach in 1999 while at Georgia Tech.
Rossi directed one of the nation’s top special teams units over his first two seasons “On the Banks.” In 2013, Rutgers scored four special teams touchdowns, including two kickoff returns and a punt return touchdown. True freshman Janarion Grant earned All-AAC Second Team honors as a return specialist.
Rossi served as interim defensive coordinator in the2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl against No. 25 Notre Dame.
“All along we were fortunate to know we had an excellent option at defensive coordinator already in our program in Joe Rossi,” said Flood. “Joe has shown he is a tremendous teacher of the game and has been able to maximize the talent of our players. I am excited to promote one of the nation’s most promising defensive coaches.”
In all, the Scarlet Knights blocked four kicks in 2013, which tied for 10th nationally. In Rossi’s first year as special teams coordinator in 2012, RU blocked eight kicks, which ranked first in the nation.
Rossi, who coached at Maine from 2007-11, was promoted to defensive coordinator following 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 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.
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.
Fraser is set to begin his third tenure at Rutgers. He was on the coaching staff from 2006-11 in various capacities, including defensive coordinator in 2011. Fraser began his coaching career at Rutgers as a graduate assistant in 1987.
“Bob is one of the most knowledgeable coaching minds I have been around,” said Flood. “His expertise in our Rutgers defense will be an excellent resource for our staff. We have prided ourselves in our special teams play and I look for that to continue under Bob.”
Fraser was the assistant defensive coordinator the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. For the first time since 2005, the Buccaneers placed two players on the Associated Press All-Pro First Team in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and outside linebacker Lavonte David.
In 2012, Fraser coached David to an outstanding rookie campaign. He led the team in both tackles and tackles for loss, while ranking in the top 10 in the NFL in tackles and among the top five in the league in solo tackles and tackles for loss. David was named NFL Rookie of the Month for November, becoming the first Buccaneer to win the award.
During his time at Rutgers, Fraser was instrumental in helping orchestrate some of the best defenses inschool history. In 2011 as defensive coordinator, Rutgers ranked first in the Big East in four defensive categories: total defense, scoring defense, passdefense and pass efficiency defense. The defense also ranked in the top 20 nationally in total defense (14th), scoring defense (8th), pass defense (9th), pass efficiency defense (5th), sacks (15th) and tackles for loss (8th). In addition, linebacker Khaseem Greene was named an All-American and the first Big East Defensive Player of the Year in school history.
The Friedgen File
Hometown: Harrison, N.Y.
Alma Mater: Maryland, '70
Born: April 4, 1947
Children: Kelley, Kristina, Katie
Playing Exp.: Guard, two letters at Maryland ('66 and `68)
Years as Coach: 42 (37 in college)
2014: Offensive Coordinator
2008-10: Head Coach
2006-07: Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
2001-05: Head Coach
1997-2000: Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
San Diego Chargers
1994-96: Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator
1992-93: Assistant Coach - Running Game Coordinator/H-Backs/Tight Ends
1987-91: Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
1982-86: Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
1981: Assistant Head Coach
William & Mary
1980: Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator
1977-79: Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator
1973-76: Assistant Coach - Defensive Line
1969-72: Graduate Assistant
The Rossi File
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Alma Mater: Allegheny, ‘01
Born: April 5, 1979
Playing Exp.: Four-year starter and three-time all-conference performer at Allegheny (1996-00)
Years as Coach: 13 (13 in college)
2014: Defensive Coordinator
2012-13: Special Teams Coordinator
2009-11: Defensive Coordinator
2007-08: Special Teams Coordinator
2003-06: Defensive Coordinator
2001-02: Assistant Coach
The Fraser File
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Alma Mater: Allegheny, ‘85
Born: January 18, 1963
Children: Justin, Jason and Jessica
Playing Exp.: Four-year letterwinner and All-American defensive lineman at Allegheny (1982-85)
Years as Coach: 29 (27 in college)
2014: Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2013: Assistant Defensive Coordinator
2012: Assistant Coach - Linebackers
2011: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
2009-10: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2007-08: Assistant Coach – Linebackers
2006: Assistant to the Head Coach
1998-2005: Assistant Coach – Linebackers
1997: Assistant Coach – Linebackers
1996: Assistant Coach – Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends
1992-95: Assistant Coach – Defensive Line
1989-91: Assistant Coach – Linebackers
1987-88: Graduate Assistant
1985-86: Graduate Assistant