Maryland assistant head coach/defensive line coach Greg Gattuso has been hired as the head coach at the University of Albany, according to several reports.
Gattuso, 51, had spent the past three seasons on Coach Randy Edsall’s staff at Maryland, first exclusively as the defensive line coach then in the dual capacity after being promoted in February 2012. He signed a contract with Maryland on Jan. 10, 2011, initially worth $200,000 per year, according to a copy obtained via an open-records request, with bonuses maxing out at $70,000 per season, the same potential amount as every Maryland positional coach. That contract was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31.
Known as a strong recruiter who helped secure oral commitments from defensive end Brett Kulka and tight end Andrew Gray for Maryland’s class of 2014, Gattuso also enjoyed a strong season from his defensive line. Gutted after the graduations of A.J. Francis and Joe Vellano, both of whom are currently on active NFL rosters, the unit enjoyed solid seasons from Andre Monroe (14 TFL, 8.5 sacks), Quinton Jefferson (7.5 TFL, 3 sacks) and Darius Kilgo (5.5 TFL, 2 sacks).
Gattuso served as the head coach at Duquesne for 12 seasons before spending six at Pittsburgh, coaching various positions before ultimately serving as an assistant head coach for the Panthers. After Dave Wannstedt resigned in late 2010, several members of his staff, including Gattuso, were forced to seek employment elsewhere.
The Albany job opened after the retirement of Bob Ford, who joined the Great Danes in 1970 to resurrect a program that had been discontinued 46 years before. According to an Associated Press story, “the 76-year-old Ford ranks first among active FCS coaches with 265 career victories and fourth all-time. And the school believes he’s the only coach to take a team from the club level to Div. III, Div. II and Div. I at one institution.”
The FCS Great Danes went 1-11 this past season, including a season-opening loss to Duquesne. They also lost by 56 points to Old Dominion, a team Maryland beat in its second game this fall.
Pete Roussel of Coachingsearch.com was first to break the news.
Attempts to reach the Maryland football team seeking comment Saturday were not immediately returned because the Terrapins were on the practice field. With a bowl game mere weeks away, it is unlikely Maryland will fill Gattuso’s vacated position before then. Every other assistant coach, besides coordinators Mike Locksley and Brian Stewart, have contracts that expire on Dec. 31.