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

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A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.

Today we profile a coach with one of the more impressive backgrounds for any of the Terps’ assistant coaches.

Greg Gattuso, Defensive Line Coach

Stats:

Date of Birth: 5/18/1962

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.

College: Penn State ’83

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. More after the jump.


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 has coached many a impressive defensive linemen in his time at Pitt, namely Greg Romeus, reigning 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 hopes to bring that success to Maryland.

Nickname:

Greg “Goose” Gattuso

Career Highlight:

Winning the 2003 FCS Mid-Major national championship.

Career Lowlight:

Being passed over by Todd Bradford for Maryland’s defensive coordinator slot.

Arbitrary Top Five List:

Unanimous selections to 2010 All Big-East Team:

1. Jordan Todman, Connecticut

2. Zach Hurd, Connecticut

3. Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh

4. Zach Collaros, Cincinnati

5. Mark Wetterer, Louisville

Dream Season:

The changes on the depth chart work out well, as Clarence Murphy and Andre Monroe blossom in their redshirt freshmen seasons, and Joe Vellano earns first team All-ACC honors.

Nightmare Season:

Those changes backfire, and Murphy and Monroe have to be replaced by Isaiah Ross and A.J. Francis midseason.

2011 prospectus:

Greg Gattuso is arguably coaching the deepest unit on Maryland’s team. With a current starting lineup of Murphy-Monroe-Vellano-Mackall and extremely proven and talented players off the bench in A.J. Francis, Justin Anderson, Isaiah Ross, and Bradley Johnson, he will not be short of options this season. Many Maryland fans have already questioned his decisions – namely, starting Monroe over former freshman All-American Francis – but the guy certainly has the coaching background to back up whatever decision he wants to make.

Most likely, a lot of the starters and bench players will play similar amount of snaps each game – they’re that close in ability. I wouldn’t be surprised to see essentially a 1A/1B rotation at both defensive end and defensive tackle, with Vellano and Mackall as the only established starters. He’s got a lot to work with, we’ll just see how he handles it.

In terms of recruiting, that’s where his specialty is. He covers Western PA for the Terps (Districts 5-10) as his primary, and Bishop McDevitt High School, as well as Northeast Ohio. It’s interesting that McDevitt is singled out – it’s where Brock Dean, one of Maryland’s 2012 commits, comes from and where his star teammate, Noah Spence, goes. Gattuso also covers the rest of Ohio and West Virginia as his secondary, and in terms of local areas, he covers Frederick, Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties.

Gattuso has already brought at least three recruits in to Maryland – Dean, Joe Riddle and Perry Hills, and he almost assuredly had at least a part in the recruitment of Quinton Jefferson. If he can land Spence, that would be out of this world, but he’s already off to a great start at Maryland.

Up Next:

Our next profile will be on a pair of walk-on offensive linemen.