Bill Ziskin

UAlbany announces coaching staff changes, promotions

UAlbany Sports Information   03-13-2018

ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany Head Football Coach, Greg Gattuso, has announced changes and promotions on his coaching staff, including the hiring of former Great Danes linebacker Michael Nicastro as a defensive assistant.

 

"We've had some coaches have opportunities to increase their roles with new positions in other programs, and we're happy for them," Gattuso said. "Now, as we move forward, we've decided to restructure our coaching staff. We feel as though we've put together a strong group of coaches."

 

Among the changes to the existing staff, Joe Bernard, who has served as the Great Danes offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, now will be co-defensive coordinator with Keith Dudzinski, whose promotion from safeties coach had been announced in January.

 

Bernard has experience as a defensive coordinator at the Football Championship Subdivision level, having held the position at Fairfield (1996-2001) and then under Gattuso for two seasons at Duquesne, where together they won the 2003 NCAA I-AA Mid Major National Championship.

 

In addition, Bernard will serve as special-teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach.

 

Also on the defensive staff, Bill Nesselt has been promoted to director of football operations and outside linebackers coach. Nesselt was a defensive assistant this past season.

 

On the offensive side, Joe Davis will serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Davis had joined the staff this past winter after having been offensive coordinator at Fordham for the past two seasons. He held the same position at Northern Iowa in 2015.

 

Nate Byham, who had been special-teams coordinator and tight ends coach, will be the run-game coordinator while also continuing as a position coach.

 

Will Fiacchi, the all-time leading passer in Great Danes history, has been promoted to recruiting coordinator and wide-receivers coach after having served as an offensive assistant in 2017.

 

Nicastro, a 2016 graduate, returns to the program after finishing his career fifth on UAlbany’s all-time list with 310 career tackles. His 126 tackles as a senior rank as the ninth-highest single-season total in program history.

 

The Great Danes begin Spring Practice on Tuesday, March 27. The series of 15 practice concludes with the Spring Game on April 28.

 

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