Profiles In Terpage - A Countdown To The Football Season: Greg Gattuso

A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.


Today we profile a coach with an impressive background in the FCS.

Greg Gattuso, Defensive Line Coach, Assistant Head Coach

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via grfx.cstv.com

Stats:

Date of Birth: 5/5/1962

When he joined Maryland: 2011

Twitter: @bigterp70

Alma Mater: Penn State '83

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.

How'd He Get to College Park?

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Greg Gattuso was named the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Class AA Player of the Year in 1980 during his senior season at Seton-LaSalle high, and then continued his football career at Penn State. As a starting nose guard for the Nittany Lions, he was a two-time All-East defensive lineman and won a national championship in 1982. As a senior, he was an honorable mention All-American by the AP and played in the East-West Shrine Game.

Following his senior year, he stayed on as a graduate assistant in State College for one year, before one year stints in the Pittsburgh area as the JV coach for Seton-La Salle and as the defensive coordinator for Center Township High School.

After another one-year job, this time as a part-time assistant at Duquesne, Gattuso got his first head-coaching job – back at his alma mater, Seton-La Salle. When Gattuso took over the team, they were 6-34 over the previous four years. In his three years as head coach, they went 28-10-1 and won a conference championship.

Gattuso then returned to Duquesne in 1992 as a full-time assistant, before accepting the head coaching position in 1993.

When Gattuso came to Duquesne, he was taking over a team that won six games over the past three years. In 12 seasons with the Dukes, he established himself as one of the most successful coaches in the FCS, posting a 97-32 record (66-7 in the MAAC) and winning eight conference championships (including one streak of six in a row). While with the Dukes, he coached two future NFL players – cornerback Leigh Bodden and fullback Josh Rue. Duquesne is a very small program, even by FCS standards, so that accomplishment can’t be overstated.

Gattuso was hired in 2005 as Pittsburgh’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, spent the next two years as the Panthers’ defensive line coach, and then was promoted to assistant head coach in 2008, keeping his status as defensive line coach while earning the reputation as one of the top recruiters on the east coast.

Gattuso coached many an impressive defensive linemen in his time at Pitt, namely Greg Romeus, former Big East DPOTY Jabaal Sheard, Brandon Lindsey and Mick Williams. In his first season with the Panthers, they had one of the top ten recruiting classes in the nation (according to Scout).

In his time at Pitt, Gattuso brought in five four-star recruits and a whole host of three-stars. He has done incredibly well in the Western Pa. region, and has continued to bring that success to Maryland, as the Terps have seen an increased presence in that area since his hiring.

Nickname:

"Goose"

Career Highlight:

Winning the 2003 FCS Mid-Major National Championship.

Career Lowlight:

Two years, two times passed over as Maryland's defensive coordinator.

Dream Season:

Maryland's defensive line has a banner year, led by Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, and the transition to a 3-4 is an easy one.

Nightmare Season:

Maryland's defense struggles with the transition, and with only three down linemen the Terps don't manage to get enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

2012 Prospectus:

Well that's the fear, isn't it? With only three defensive linemen on the field, it might be a struggle at times to get people in the background. Two years ago, Maryland managed to do it effectively with Don Brown when he chose to only put three guys out there (at times), thanks to complex blitzing schemes and game secondary players.

With Brian Stewart, the Terps are now going full-time 3-4, and while the pressure of a transition falls on all of the defensive units, the unit that arguably has to handle most of it is the defensive line, especially at nose tackle.

Luckily for Gattuso, he has two of the best defensive linemen in the conference in Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, and enough depth at the other defensive end position to find an effective option to play alongside them. He has more conventional options in Keith Bowers and Isaiah Ross, or a converted defensive tackle in Andre Monroe as the main choices to start.

Luckily, whoever doesn't win the job will still be in rotation as a useful back-up. This unit has talent and accolades up top, and depth enough to sustain itself and help lead the charge into the 3-4. That's enough optimism for Profiles in Terpage. It's time to move over to the offense.

Up Next:

Our next player's father and brother both played on Maryland's football team, and his dad was selected to two consecutive Academic All-ACC teams.

Maryland1206 got yesterday's right, giving him sole command of the lead once again.

Standings:

Maryland1206 - 6

kbuts151 - 5

Terpsfinish - 1

ClickClack62 - 1

Mdak06 - 1

bubbasparks - 1

clevesanterp - 1

Everybody else - 0

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