Staff
Head Coach
Greg Gattuso

Greg Gattuso enters his fourth season at the helm of the UAlbany football program in 2017.

UAlbany had its best season as a CAA member in 2016, finishing 7-4 with a 4-4 conference tally and was ranked for five weeks, including as high as #16. UAlbany earned its first-ever victory over an FBS opponent with a 22-16 road win over Buffalo plus earned wins over NCAA Tournament participants New Hampshire and Saint Francis. The Great Danes earned a program record six All-CAA players, including three on the First Team with Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, an All-American with 1,401 rushing yards for fourth in all of FCS, Anthony Manzo-Lewis and Michael Nicastro.

With a 7-5 overall record and 3-5 mark in the CAA, Gattuso led the Great Danes to a six-win turnaround in his inaugural season in 2014. Going undefeated in non-conference play while opening the season with four straight victories, the Great Danes received votes in the national polls for 10 consecutive weeks. UAlbany appeared in The Sports Network Top-25 for four weeks, ranking as high as No. 23.

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Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Keith Dudzinski

Keith Dudzinski enters his second season on UAlbany's staff in 2017, currently serving as the assistant head coach.

With over two decades of coaching experience, Dudzinski came to UAlbany after five seasons at Maryland. There, he worked with the inside linebackers and was the defensive coordinator in 2015.

Prior to Maryland, Dudzinski had two stints at UMass Amherst, including seven years as the defensive coordinator. The Minutemen finished among the top-20 in total defense three times (third in 2005; 20th in 2006; 13th in 2007) and the Minutemen were also first nationally in scoring defense in 2005 and fifth in 2006.

Dudzinski spent two seasons (2002-03) as linebackers coach at Northeastern, including defensive coordinator his final year. During the 2002 season, the Huskies allowed opponents only 299.3 total yards and 16.0 points per game. During the 2002 campaign, Dudzinski helped lead Northeastern to a record of 10-3, a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference title and the school's first-ever trip to the NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) Playoffs.

During his first stint as an assistant coach at UMass, Dudzinski served in a variety of roles on the defensive side of the ball. He coached the secondary in 2001, the linebackers in 1999 and 2000, and the defensive line in 1998. He also oversaw the special teams his final three seasons.

Dudzinski first joined the UMass staff after spending four years at Brown as the defensive line coach for the Bears. Dudzinski helped the Brown defense hold opponents to just 194 total points during the 1997 season (19.4 points per game) -- the fewest number of points allowed by the school in 10 years.

Prior to coming to Brown, Dudzinski was a defensive assistant at New Haven for three years (1991-93), working with the outside linebackers. He has also worked as an assistant coach at Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport, Conn., and St. Joseph's High School in Trumbull, Conn.

Dudzinski is a 1991 graduate of the University of New Haven, where he was an All-New England linebacker and team captain as a senior. He and his wife, Kathy, have one son, Jack who plays football for UAlbany, and two daughters, Mary Kathryn and Elizabeth.

Co-Defensive Coordinator/ST Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach
Joe Bernard

Joe Bernard enters his fourth season at UAlbany in 2017. After serving as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach in 2014, Bernard has also added assistant head coach to his title for the 2015 season.

In 2016, Bernard coached All-American running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks to 1,401 rushing yards, first in the CAA and fourth in all of FCS. The Great Danes ranked fourth in the CAA with 24.9 points per game, including wins over New Hampshire, Buffalo and St. Francis to compile a 7-4 record.

In his first year at UAlbany, Bernard oversaw running back Omar Osbourne who earned second-team All-CAA honors and finished his career ranked third all-time in the program archives with 3,229 career rushing yards.

Bernard came to UAlbany with 11 years of experience as a defensive coordinator at the FCS level, as well as hefty high school and college head coaching experience. Bernard began his coaching career at Nazareth Area High School in Pennsylvania where was on staff from 1985-1996, helping lead the squad to four league championships and two district championships. As the head coach (1990-95), he compiled a 37-28-1 record.

From there, Bernard joined Fairfield University's coaching staff from 1996 to 2002. Serving as the defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator, the Stags captured the 1998 MAAC Championship. Bernard was elevated to the position of head coach for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

In 2003, Bernard joined Gattuso's staff at Duquesne as the defensive and special teams coordinator. During his seven-year tenure, the Dukes won a Mid-Major National Championship, had the top ranked defense in the FCS, and won five straight MAAC titles (2003-07). Bernard met up with Gattuso again as a member of the University of Pittsburgh staff from 2009-11. As the strength assistant, Bernard helped the Panthers to an 18-8 record, two bowl victories, and a 2010 Big East title.

Bernard came to UAlbany after three seasons in the high school ranks. The head coach at Stroudsburg High School, Bernard led his team to a 19-5 record across the 2011 and 2012 seasons, as well as back-to-back conference championships. In 2013, he was the offensive coordinator for Carolina Forest High School in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Offensive Coordinator
Joe Davis

Joe Davis joined the University at Albany football coaching staff in January of 2018. He will serve as the Great Danes' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the 2018 season.

Davis previously served in the same role at Fordham for the past two seasons. In 2017, the Rams ranked third in the Patriot League in total offense (371.7 yards per game), passing efficiency (126.5) and passing yards (238.9 per game). Quarterback Kevin Anderson threw for 1,756 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“We’re very excited about the experience Joe brings to our staff,” UAlbany Head Coach, Greg Gattuso, said. “He has experience coaching quarterbacks, and he’s been an offensive coordinator. Having him on staff will help our offense on the field and help us in recruiting.”

Davis was offensive coordinator at Northern Iowa for the 2015 season, when the Panthers reached the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals thanks in part to a school-record 3,266 rushing yards. He also worked as an offensive coordinator at Shippensburg University and has coached at Wheaton College, North Park University and Wayne State.

A 2002 graduate of Adrian College, Davis played three seasons of professional football in the Arena Football League and National Indoor Football League, starting at quarterback for the Evansville Bluecats, Lubbock Lonestars, Fayetteville Guard, Tampa Bay Storm, Columbus Destroyers and Green Bay Blizzard.

Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach
Delbert Cowsette

Delbert Cowsette enters his fourth season with the University at Albany in 2017 as the defensive line coach. A standout at Maryland who went on to play in the NFL, Cowsette brings a wealth of experience to the Great Danes.

In 2016, his line helped UAlbany earn 24 sacks and have the #2 scoring defense in the CAA at 18.8 points allowed a game. Malachi Hoskins earned Second Team All-CAA honors with seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 82 total tackles.

In his first season, the UAlbany defense led the nation in turnover margin (1.25) as well as fumble recoveries (20) under Cowsette's watch.

Cowsette came to UAlbany after two stints at Hampton University where he served as the defensive line coach, defensive coordinator, and recruiting coordinator.

In 2010, Cowsette tutored two All-Americans on the defensive end: Kenrick Ellis and Brandon Peguese, who helped the Pirate defense finish in the top three nationally in total defense. The Pirate defense also finished No. 1 in red zone stops.

As the assistant defensive line coach, Cowsette helped the Virginia Destroyers win the 2011 UFL Championship. Under his direction, the Destroyers finished first in every defensive statistical category.

Cowsette then returned to Hampton for the 2012 and 2013 seasons where he served as the pro liaison for NFL scouts, as well as developed an all-conference defensive end.

Cowsette was a four-year player for the University of Maryland, where he was team captain his senior year while earning All-ACC honors. After receiving a bachelor's degree in geography (with a double minor in sociology and graphic design), Cowsette was drafted by the Washington Redskins and played for the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears from 2000-06.

Cowsette began his coaching career in 2007 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Terrapins, before moving on to become an assistant defensive line coach in 2008-09.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Cowsette is married to Alena Cowsette. They have three children: Laila, Delbert II, and Joseph Cowsette. He is a co-founder of the Premiere Intermediate Football League (wwwgopifl.com), and he owns the non-profit youth organization In Between The Lines (www.ibtlsports.com).

Tight Ends Coach/Run Game Coordinator
Nate Byham

Nate Byham enters his fourth season at UAlbany in 2017 after competing for three seasons as an NFL tight end. He currently is the team's special teams coordinator and tight ends coach.

Before being named tight ends coach in 2015, Byham served as a volunteer assistant for UAlbany in 2014. He mentored senior tight end Brian Parker who earned third-team All-CAA honors, as well as signed an undrafted free agent deal with the San Diego Chargers.

Byham, a sixth round pick (182nd overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, battled in 29 NFL games, playing 14 games, including three starts, with the 49ers before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

While Greg Gattuso was on the coaching staff at the University of Pittsburgh, Byham was a three-year starter for the Panthers (2006-09), seeing action in 48 games with 36 starts. Byham served as a team captain during his senior season, also earning All-Big East honors after starting 12 games and catching 10 passes for 108 yards. As a junior, he recorded 20 catches for 260 yards in 12 starts and was named first- team All-Big East.

Byham attended Franklin High School (Franklin, Pa.), where he helped lead his team to three district playoff berths as a three-year starter, seeing action at both tight end and linebacker. He was considered the nation's top prep tight end by Scout.com and was named first-team All-State, All-Region, All-District and All- Conference after recording 45 catches for 883 yards and a school-record nine touchdowns as a senior. Was also an all-star performer in basketball, helping Franklin win the state AAA championship in 2006.

Byham and his wife, Erica, married in July 2012. His son, Grayson, was born in 2016.

Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Will Fiacchi

Will Fiacchi, a three-year team captain and former academic All-American, returns to his alma mater after being a quarterbacks coach and video coordinator at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. He helped a quarterback and running back earn all-conference honors at St. John Fisher and formerly was a student assistant with UAlbany in 2015.

Gattuso on Fiacchi: “I am very pleased to add a former Great Dane star to our staff. Will had an outstanding career as a player here and knows our system and what we are trying to build.”

Director of Football Operations/Outside Linebackers Coach
Bill Nesselt

Bill Nesselt comes to UAlbany from Holy Cross after stops at Maryland, Ferrum College and UMass. The former UMass defensive lineman has worked with linebackers as a coach and was a former interim defensive coordinator at Ferrum. He has also worked with video coordination and strength and conditioning programs.

Gattuso on Nesselt: “Bill is a student of the game that brings an incredible work ethic to our defensive staff. I've been very impressed with him since he has joined our staff.”

Safeties Coach
Jarred Holley

Jarred Holley joined the University at Albany football staff in January 2018 as the safeties coach.

Holley, a two-year starting defensive back at the University of Pittsburgh, came to the Great Danes from Arizona State, where he worked since 2015, serving as a graduate assistant on both the special teams and defensive staffs before working as a defensive analyst in 2017.

At Pittsburgh, Holley was a two-time Big East All-Academic Football Team Honoree and two-time member of the All-Big East team. He finished his career with 11 interceptions and attended mini-camps with the Pittsburgh Steelers after signing as an undrafted free agent.

“I’ve known Jarred since he was in high school,” UAlbany Head Coach, Greg Gattuso, said. “He was a terrific football player, and we think he’s going to be a great addition to our staff. He’s a very talented young coach.”

Offensive Line Coach
Jim Sweeney

Jim Sweeney, a 16-season veteran of the NFL, enters his fourth season as UAlbany's offensive line coach in 2017.

In 2016, Sweeney's offensive line blocked for All-American Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks with UAlbany gaining 167.2 yards per game on the ground, helping the Great Danes to a 7-4 record, including the running game earning 295 yards in a 36-25 comeback victory at New Hampshire. Kevin Malloy, the left tackle, earned his third-consecutive place on the All-CAA team.

Under Sweeney's direction, left tackle Kevin Malloy earned consecutive third-team All-CAA honors in 2014 and 2015. In addition, the offensive line protected quarterback Will Fiacchi in 2014, allowing him to break the program's single-season passing record (2,636 yards) and career passing record (7,150 yards).

Sweeney was a four-year standout on the offensive line at Pitt (1980-84) where he earned a B.S. in sociology and administrative justice. A second round pick in the 1984 draft, Sweeney was named to the All-NFL Rookie Team after his first season with the New York Jets. Playing 11 seasons with the Jets with 158 consecutive starts, Sweeney was named to the All-Time Four Decades Team and is still referenced as one of the most consistent centers in franchise history. Sweeney also played one season with the Seattle Seahawks and closed his career with four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From 2000 to 2002, Sweeney was a member of Gattuso's staff at Duquesne where he coached the offensive line that helped produce two 1,000-yard running backs in a pass-oriented offense. Sweeney then went on to coach eight seasons at the high school level in Pennsylvania.

In the summer of 2010, Sweeney served at the offensive line stand-in coach for Russ Grimm and the Arizona Cardinals before participating in the NFLP/NCAA Coaching Internship Program at Frostburg State University in 2011. Sweeney came to UAlbany after spending 2013 as an offensive line consultant for the Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League.

Defensive Assistant
Michael NiCastro
Offensive Assistant
Jordan Orlovsky

Jordan Orlovsky, a former assistant at Old Dominion University, was responsible for the Fordham linebackers in 2017.

In 2017, freshman linebacker Glenn Cunningham, who was named a finalist for the STATS Jerry Rice Award as the top NCAA FCS freshman, received NCAA FCS Freshman All-America honors from both Phil Steele and HERO Sports as well as being named first team All-Patriot League. He led the Rams with 82 total tackles, 54 solo, in ten games. Among his 82 stops were 9.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks, both team-highs. Cunningham ranked third in the Patriot League in sacks/game (0.55) and fifth in both tackles/game (8.2) and solo tackles/game (5.4).

Orlovsky served for three seasons at Old Dominion University where he worked primarily with the linebackers and special teams. He helped the Monarchs to a 10-3 record in 2016, including a win over Eastern Michigan in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl.

Orlovsky started his coaching career at his alma mater, Miami (Fla.), as the quality control coach where he worked with the offensive coaching staff in 2008 and 2009, helping develop game plans and daily practice schedules.

A 2009 Miami graduate with a degree in business management with a minor in sports administration, Orlovsky moved on to the University of Connecticut where he started by helping the offensive coordinator and director of operations. The following year he coached the linebackers and assisted with the secondary.

Orlovsky earned a masters in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2014 and is completing a second masters in sports management from Old Dominion.

Video Coordinator
Jimmy Le

Jimmy Le is the University at Albany football program’s video coordinator and assistant director of football operations.

A 2015 graduate of the University of Washington, Le comes to UAlbany from the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League, for whom he served as video coordinator during a 2017 season that ended in a United Bowl championship.

Le also coached in several capacities at KM High School in Kent, Wash., from 2014 to 2016, including working as head freshman coach and varsity video coordinator in 2016.

Le holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and certificate in database management from Washington. He also has a certificate in XOS Thunder Digital Video Editing Software from Sports Management World Wide.