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Gattuso Retains McCarthy, Smith, Scott, And Dittman On Football Staff

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Gattuso Retains McCarthy, Smith, Scott, And Dittman On Football Staff

ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany head football coach Greg Gattuso has retained four from Bob Ford’s 2013 staff in Ryan McCarthy, Aaron Smith, Matt Scott, and Jeff Dittman.

Upon his hire, Gattuso gave everyone on Ford’s final staff an opportunity to interview.

“The interviews all took two hours or more,” said Gattuso. “Through it, I was impressed with most of them and I was really impressed with these four. I thought they fit in the staff where I needed them.

“I decided having some continuity was a good thing for the players and for the program, so I decided to keep them,” added Gattuso. “So far they haven’t disappointed. They’ve been very good.”

Ryan McCarthy will coach his 13th season at UAlbany next fall, serving as the quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator. The offensive coordinator from 2008-13, McCarthy’s mentees have rewritten the Great Danes’ record book, including quarterbacks Vinny Esposito (5,692) and Will Fiacchi (4,514) who rank second and third, respectively, for career passing yards. In addition, Dan DiLella (2,804) broke the single-season passing yards record in 2011 en route to one of six NEC championship titles that were won since McCarthy joined the staff. Earning a B.S. in physical education while being a standout quarterback at Cortland, McCarthy earned his masters from UAlbany in 2004.

“Ryan is an experienced coach,” said Gattuso. “He’s worked his way up through the ranks at UAlbany and has been a coordinator. I’ve been impressed with him.

“He’s a guy I’m going to lean on in a lot of ways. He has a good feel for the community, which is important to me and he understands the University.”

Entering his second season as a Great Dane, Aaron Smith will head the wide receivers and will serve as recruiting coordinator. A former player at both Maryland and the UConn, Smith has previously been on staff at the United States Coast Guard Academy (2006), Columbia University (2007-11), and Boston College (2012).  At Boston College, Smith helped junior Alex Amidon develop into one of the ACC’s best, accruing 1,210 yards receiving at the end of the regular season, which ranked second in the ACC and just four yards behind the leader. At Columbia University, Smith coached two All-Ivy League honorees, including Austin Knowlin, Columbia’s all-time leader in receptions (210) and receiving yards (2,484). Smith also served as the Lions’ recruiting coordinator in 2011.

“Watching Aaron work in the first recruiting functions we’ve had, it just jumped out at me that he is a recruiting coordinator,” said Gattuso. “He is very personable, very outgoing, and he’s got a quick wit. I’ve been very pleased with Aaron. He also happens to be a very good wide receivers coach.”

Matt Scott will coach his fifth season at UAlbany, taking on the role of outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. Scott previously worked with cornerbacks and special teams on Ford’s staff. During his tenure, Scott helped lead the Great Danes to back-to-back NEC titles (2011-12), and in the summer of 2013, he was selected by the Buffalo Bills as a Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship participant. Scott came to UAlbany after stints at the University of New Haven and his alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“Matt did a great job on the interview and earned his way onto the staff,” said Gattuso. “He came in and impressed me with his knowledge and work ethic.

“I decided to keep him and move him to the outside linebacker position, which will help utilize some of his pass rush skills and also his ability to teach them how to cover.”

Director of football operations Jeff Dittman will enter his second season as a member of the Great Danes’ staff. Dittman oversees the administrative side of the football program, which includes: pre-season planning; road-game logistics; recruiting administration and organization; serving as the liaison with various departments within athletics; and managing official visits. Dittman came to UAlbany after assistant coaching stints at RPI and St. Lawrence University. He earned a B.A. in accounting at Hartwick College where he was a two-time captain and linebacker on the Hawks’ football squad.

“Jeff works diligently every day,” said Gattuso. “I’ve been very impressed with his work ethic, his ability to get things done, and his ability to work without direct supervision. The level of confidence that he shows has been outstanding, and I’m glad that he’s staying with us on our staff.”

McCarthy, Smith, Scott, and Dittman, join new hires Bob Benson, Joe Bernard, Bernard Clark, and Jim Sweeney on Gattuso’s 2014 staff. Gattuso also expects to add two more coaches to his staff for the upcoming season.

“It’s a unique group of guys, but they’re doing a great job,” said Gattuso. “They’re blended together and working hard to try and help our team become a championship caliber program. It’s fun to watch.”

2014 Football Staff
Greg Gattuso, Head Coach
Bob Benson, Defensive Coordinator/DB
Joe Bernard, Offensive Coordinator/RB
Bernard Clark, Assistant Head Coach/LB
Jim Sweeney, OL
Ryan McCarthy, QB/Pass Game
Aaron Smith, WR/Recruiting Coordinator
Matt Scott, OLB/Special Teams Coordinator
Jeff Dittman, Director of Football Operations


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