|With more than 100 football recruits scheduled to arrive on the Stetson University campus this weekend, head football coach Roger Hughes has taken another step toward the return of Hatters football in 2013.
Hughes, who has been working virtually around the clock since first arriving on the Stetson campus last June, has completed his initial coaching staff, adding six new coaches to the staff of four already in place.
The new staff is already hard at work building schemes and terminology as well as building camaraderie. The group includes a mixture of veteran coaches as well as young coaches who just starting their careers.
“I am really pleased with the depth and experience, in terms of both recruiting and football knowledge, this staff brings to the table,” Hughes said. “They are energetic, knowledgeable and personable and will be great mentors for this group of young players, especially since they will all be dealing with all of the things that go along with being freshmen.”
The two most experienced members of the coaching staff will be Tim Keating and Dennis Danielson. Keating comes to Stetson from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) where he served as head coach for the last 19 seasons. Danielson has coached at every level during a career that started in 1973.
“I have never been one of those guys who has to feel like I am the smartest guy on the staff,” Hughes said. “These guys bring a wealth of talent and experience to help us get where we want to go.”
The Stetson coaching staff will welcome in more than 100 players on Monday, August 6. After a day loaded with meetings and paperwork, the new Hatters will take to the field on Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. for their first practice session.
The new coaching staff members, who have been meeting as a group with Hughes, defensive coordinator Brian Young and offensive line coach Terry Tighlman, have been instrumental in preparation for the players to arrive on campus.
“Since we haven’t worked together as a group before, we have really been focused on getting our schemes and terminology finalized while, at the same time, evaluating the talent level of the incoming group of players so that we have an idea as to where everyone will fit when they get here. Brian and I have an idea about what we want to do, but we have been able to incorporate what some of the others have brought with them, both from a scheme standpoint as well as from an organizational standpoint.
“We have also spent a lot of time preparing the University community for all that it takes, logistically, for 130 people to move and be somewhat coordinated. I know that this is a high quality group of coaches.”
Practices are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday evening (August 8-9) at 7:30 p.m. and again on Friday and Saturday (August 10-11) at 2 p.m. The Hatters’ training camp will continue through the start of classes (August 23) when they will begin their regular weekly practice schedule, which will include 6:30 a.m. practices three days per week.
After more than a year of planning and work, Hughes said he is excited, but also anxious, about finally getting the new Hatters on to the practice field.
“I am excited about getting started, but I also want to make sure everything is covered,” Hughes said. “There are so many little things about running a football program, and we will all have to keep our heads on a swivel to make sure these young men have the best freshman year experience possible.”
The new members of the coaching staff join with Young, offensive line coach Terry Tilghman and director of football operations Nolan Behrns, all of who were previously announced.
Here is a look at each of the new members of the Stetson football coaching staff.
Keating ended his almost two decade run as the most successful coach in McDaniel history last fall. His 110-83-3 mark at the college is 50 wins better than the second most successful coach in school history.
Keating’s teams won seven Centennial Conference titles during his career. The Green Terror ran off 33 straight conference wins en route to the handful of those championships. He also led the squad to five straight appearances in the NCAA playoffs between 1997 and 2001.
For his efforts, Keating was named the Division III Coach of the Year by American Football Quarterly magazine following a 10-1 season in 1997.
Prior to his stint at McDaniel, Keating orchestrated the turnaround of the Wesley College program in 1988. He inherited a club with a two-year mark of 0-17, then steadily improved the program to a 9-2 mark over five seasons.
A native of Amherst, N.Y., Keating played football at Bethany College (W.Va.), where he picked up his 100th career win as a head coach in 2002. He graduated in 1975 with a degree in communications.
Keating broke into the collegiate coaching ranks with a pair of two-year stints as an assistant at Georgetown (1978-79) and DePauw (1980-81). Keating followed DePauw coach Jerry Berndt to the University of Pennsylvania (1982-85), where he helped construct a dynasty that dominated the Ivy League. He then moved to Rice University for the 1986 and 1987 seasons.
Keating and his wife, Claudia, have one son, Matt, who was a four-year attackman on the Green Terror lacrosse team while their daughter, Hillary, also earned a bachelors from McDaniel in 2009.
Dennis Danielson was the final member of the coaching staff to join the Hatters. He is fresh off a long career as a coach and scout in the numerous American football leagues that have blossomed across Europe. As of this past March there were more than 600 professional or semi-pro teams playing American football in 28 European countries.
Most recently he has worked as defensive line coach with the Swarco Raiders in Austria, helping the team to the Austrian title and a berth in the Eurobowl. Prior to that he was with the NFL’s International Player Development in London, England. His NFL Europe coaching experience also includes stops with the London Monarchs (1991-92), England Monarchs (1997-98) and Berlin Thunder (1999-2000).
While Danielson has extensive experience coaching in Europe, he got his start coaching high school football. After several stops as a high school assistant coach, he was the defensive coordinator at Groves High School in Savannah, Ga., when a young defensive back named Brian Young played for him.
His collegiate coaching career started at Willamette University in 1977 and has included stops at Wayne State (1982-88), the University of South Carolina (1990), Wingate University (1994-98) Liberty University (2000-02) and Southwest Missouri State (2003-04).
A native of Barstow, Calif., Danielson is a graduate of Willamette University and received his Master’s from Wayne State.
Kareem Bacon comes to Stetson after a two-year stint as co-Defensive Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator at Post University in Waterbury, Conn. He started his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Clark Atlanta, where he served as the secondary coach and assistant special teams coordinator.
A three-year team captain and two-time All-Conference performer in college, Bacon spent several seasons after college playing professionally. He was a member of the 1995 Grey Cup champion Baltimore Stallions in the Canadian Football League.
His career as a coach started at Lithonia (Ga.) High School (1998-2000) before making stops at Liberty County (Ga.) High School (2001-02) and North Atlanta High School (2004-05) before his return to Clark Atlanta.
Patrick Saporito comes to Stetson from Alderson-Broaddus College and will coach the Hatters’ defensive backs along with defensive coordinator Brian Young. Prior to spending the 2011 season coaching receivers at Alderson-Broaddus, Saporito coached receivers and tight ends at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., in 2010.
Saporito’s other college coaching stops have included serving as running backs coach at SUNY-Maritime in the Bronx and coaching receivers at the University of Charleston (WV) in 2009.
Saporito played wide receiver at Western New Mexico University. A native of Larchmont, N.Y., where he attended Mamaroneck High School, Saporito earned his bachelor's degree in history from Iona College in 2006.
Brandon Wright joins the Stetson staff as linebackers coach after spending the previous two seasons coaching defensive backs at Franklin College. He started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Ridge View High School in Columbia, S.C.
Wright played for two years at Newberry College before suffering a career-ending shoulder injury. Afterward, he contributed to the football team with quality control responsibilities.
He graduated from Newberry in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in sociology. He then graduated from Strayer University with a master’s of business
Eric Kornhauser in a native Floridian who is returning to his home turf after spending one seasons as an assistant coach at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. During the 2011 season, his first as a collegiate coach, he oversaw the running backs and assisted with special teams.
Prior to his year in New York, the Coral Springs, Fla., native played in the Pioneer Football League at Jacksonville University. He was named to the PFL Academic Honor Roll four times while earning honorable mention All-Conference as a member of the 2008 PFL champion JU Dolphins.
During his playing career he contributed on offense, defense and special teams. Following his playing career, Kornhauser stayed on JU to help coach, working with the running backs and special teams.