|« Elon's Wilcox Dubbed National Statistical Champion FG Kicker||NDSU Names Fuchs from SIU as Offensive Line Coach »|
Robert Morris Announces Changes to Coaching Staff
Robert Morris University head football Joe Walton announced changes and additions to his coaching staff for the 2009 season Tuesday, as assistant coach Scott Benzel has been promoted to co-defensive coordinator, former graduate assistant coach Andrew Richardson has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach and Bill Hurley has joined the staff as an assistant.
“We are happy to have both Andrew and Scott stay with our coaching staff in their new capacities,” Walton said. “They have been with us and know our goals, which is to compete for and win a Northeast Conference championship. We consider them both great additions to the upgrading of our staff. The addition of Bill Hurley also is positive for us, as he brings a wealth of knowledge having played and coached at the highest level.”
Benzel, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and a 1997 graduate of Mercyhurst, completed his sixth season as an assistant coach at Robert Morris in 2008 and in addition to being promoted to co-defensive coordinator with Scott Farison will continue to coach the defensive backs and serve as assistant recruiting coordinator. Over his six seasons at Robert Morris, the Colonials have led the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in pass defense twice (2002, 2006).
Over the last three seasons, Benzel’s secondary has allowed just three receivers to post a 100-yard receiving game, while just three quarterbacks have thrown for 225 or more yards in a contest, a span of 32 games.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to become co-coordinator of the defense,” Benzel said. “My working relationship with Coach Farison has been one of the highlights of my career at Robert Morris, and I believe because of that it will be an easier transition and allow us the flexibility to accomplish more things on the defensive side of the ball. We want to get back to an aggressive, attacking defense that Robert Morris has always been known for in the past. I also thank Coach Walton for giving me the chance and look forward to the opportunity.”
Richardson has spent the past two seasons as a graduate assistant coach, tutoring the RMU offensive line, a position he will continue to coach in his new full-time role. A 2005 graduate of Penn State University and a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Richardson earned a Master of Science degree in instructional leadership while serving as a graduate assistant coach.
In 2008, Richardson coached an offensive line that featured two freshmen and two sophomores and helped give Robert Morris its first 1,000-yard rusher since 2003 as sophomore halfback Myles Russ (Boca Raton, Fla. / West Boca) finished with 1,255 yards rushing en route to 2008 All-NEC Second Team honors.
“It’s a great opportunity to continue as a coach on the Robert Morris staff,” Richardson said. “I’m excited about how our offensive line has grown over the last two seasons, and I hope to bring some stability to the position with all the promising youngsters we have.”
Hurley, a 1980 graduate of Syracuse, will join the Robert Morris coaching staff for the 2009 campaign. A former defensive back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1980), New Orleans Saints (1981-83) and Buffalo Bills (1983-84), Hurley will help tutor the Colonial defense. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Hurley had his most recent coaching experience at Duquesne, serving as defensive backs coach from 2004 to 2007.
In the summer of 2006, Hurley served as the defensive backs coach of the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Bethel Park High School in 1989 and 1990. A two-time MVP with the Orange, Hurley was a four-year starter who set 23 offensive records at Syracuse. As a senior, Hurley helped lead the Orange to the Independence Bowl, the program’s first bowl appearance in 12 years.
Under the direction of Walton, the only head coach in the 15-year history of Robert Morris football, the Colonials won four of their final six games of the 2008 campaign to finish tied for third in the Northeast Conference with a 4-3 record. Overall RMU posted a mark of 5-6.
By Robert Morris University Sports Information