As recruiting and preparation for the spring season carries on, head football coach Dave Cecchini announced his coaching staff Tuesday.
Cecchini has brought three assistants with him from Lehigh: Jason Miran, Vinny Giacalone, and Justin Stovall. The first-year head coach also retained Crusader assistants Steven Donovan, John Snyder, Kasey Teegardin, and Eric Deutsch in addition to hiring Ernest Moore from the University of Chicago.
Miran will serve as offensive coordinator at Valparaiso after four seasons as Lehigh's wide receivers coach. The Pottstown, Pennsylvania native oversaw one of the best receiving corps in Lehigh school history in 2011. The unit as a whole that season ranked third in the FCS in total offense and fifth in passing offense. Under Miran's tutelage, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Ryan Spadola flourished to finish his Lehigh career second in receptions and receiving yards.
Miran played collegiately at Penn where he started at fullback his senior season. He earned his degree in communications from there in 2009. Miran also spent a season at Franklin and Marshall as the tight ends and assistant offensive line coach.
"Jason has been a pleasure to work with the last four seasons. He's a bright coach with a bright future in this profession," Cecchini boasted.
Giacalone has been named the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. The 2008 Carnegie Mellon graduate was an assistant coach and co-recruiting coordinator at his alma mater for two seasons before making the transition to Lehigh in 2012. In his first year on the Mountain Hawk staff, Giacalone helped mold an offensive line in transition into one of the Patriot League’s top offensive line units. With four first-time starters in the mix, Lehigh led the Patriot League in passing offense and ranked fifth in the nation in fewest sacks allowed.
"Vinny did an outstanding job with the offensive line at Lehigh and I look forward to that success here at Valpo," Cecchini remarked.
Stovall also served as assistant coach at Lehigh for two seasons. He will work as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for the Crusaders. Stovall played college ball at three-time Patriot League champion Lafayette from 2003-06. Stovall worked alongside the defensive coordinator at Franklin and Marshall for three seasons before accepting the defensive assistant position at Villanova. He was the outside linebackers coach at Lehigh.
"Justin brings a great deal of enthusiasm, passion, and excitement to special teams," Cecchini said.
Cecchini hired Moore from the University of Chicago, where the former Lehigh assistant spent three seasons. He has been assigned as defensive coordinator. Most recently, Moore served in the same capacity with the Maroons for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Moore graduated from Lehigh in 2008 before beginning his coaching career at Franklin and Marshall that same year.
"Ernest did a phenomenal job with the defense at the University of Chicago," Cecchini stated.
Donovan, Snyder, Teegardin, and Deutsch will all stay on the Crusader coaching staff.
Donovan will shift from defensive line coach to tight ends coach. Snyder will remain as running backs coach. Teegardin will move from special teams coordinator to defensive line coach. Deutsch will stay in his role as assistant defensive line coach.