Staff
Head Coach
Greg Gattuso

Greg Gattuso completed his fifth season at the helm of the UAlbany football program in 2018.

A former standout defensive lineman at Penn State who’s worked at Duquesne, Pittsburgh and Maryland, Gattuso has led the Great Danes through five seasons in the Colonial Athletic Association, one of the top Football Championship Subdivision conferences in the nation.

The 2018 season included a win over No. 10 Stony Brook in the season finale. The Great Danes played one of the most difficult schedules in the nation, with four games against ranked teams and a season-opening game against Pitt, of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

In 2017, he led the Great Danes to their first win over a Top 10 program -- a 19-10 overtime victory over No. 7 Villanova at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. UAlbany also shut out New Hampshire, an FCS playoff qualifier, 15-0 in the season finale. It was one of several superlative efforts from a defense that finished the season ranked No. 9 nationally. The Great Danes were 4-7 overall and 2-6 in the CAA against a rigorous schedule that featured games against an FBS opponent (Old Dominion) and five matchups with Top 25 teams.

Under Gattuso’s leadership, UAlbany had its best season as a CAA member in 2016, finishing 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the league. The Great Danes were ranked for five weeks, including as high as No. 16. UAlbany also earned its first victory over an FBS opponent with a 22-16 road win over Buffalo.

Hallmarks of Gattuso’s teams have included discipline and taking care of the football. In 2016, the Great Danes were second in the CAA with a plus-16 turnover margin.

In his first season, in 2014, Gattuso led the Great Danes to a six-win turnaround from the previous year. The Great Danes picked up votes in the national polls for 10 straight weeks and appeared in The Sports Network Top 25 four times on their way to a 7-5 overall record and 3-5 CAA mark.

A year later, the Danes earned CAA victories over Rhode Island and perennial power Delaware.

Gattuso was a defensive lineman at Penn State, where he helped lead the Nittany Lions to a national title in 1982. In his first collegiate head-coaching role, Gattuso piloted Duquesne to a 97-32 record during his 12-season tenure, and while making three bowl appearances at Pittsburgh, he turned the defensive line into one of the best in the nation as an assistant head coach.

Gattuso came to UAlbany after spending three seasons as a member Randy Edsall's staff at Maryland. There, he led the defensive line that ranked among the top in the ACC and was promoted to the position of assistant head coach in February 2012.

From 1989-1991, he served as head coach at his high school alma mater, Seton-LaSalle. Taking over a team that went 6-34 during the four seasons prior to his arrival, Gattuso led the Rebels to a 28-10-1 mark (.731), including three WPIAL playoff berths, a WPIAL championship and Parkway Conference title.

Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Keith Dudzinski

Keith Dudzinski, who entered his third season with the program in 2018, is the Great Danes' Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator.

He had spent his first two seasons with UAlbany as Assistant Head Coach/Safeties, helping oversee a defense in 2017 that ranked No. 9 in the Football Championship Subdivision and second in the Colonial Athletic Association with just 282.1 yards allowed per game.

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.

Co-Defensive Coordinator/ST Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
Joe Bernard

oe Bernard enters his fifth season at UAlbany in 2018.

Prior to the 2018 season, Bernard became the Great Danes' co-defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator. He previously had served as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach since 2014. He added assistant head coach to his title in 2015.

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.

Tight Ends Coach/Run Game Coordinator
Nate Byham

Nate Byham enters his fifth season at UAlbany in 2018 after competing for three seasons as an NFL tight end. He currently is the team's tight ends coach and run-game coordinator.

In 2017, Byham coached Anthony Manzo-Lewis, who was named to the All-CAA Second Team after catching 20 passes for 188 yards. After the season, Manzo-Lewis signed a free-agent contact with the Los Angeles Chargers.

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.

Offensive Coordinator/ Quaterbacks Coach
Joe Davis

Joe Davis comes to the University at Albany as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach after serving as the Pass Game Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Fordham the past two years.

Under his guidance in 2017, quarterback Kevin Anderson finished his career by setting a school record for career touchdown passes with 73, while also ranking third in career passing yards (7,663) and career completions (580).

In his first year on the Fordham sidelines in 2016, Davis helped the Fordham passing game rank second in the Patriot League and 18th in the NCAA FCS, averaging 268.5 yards per game while the team passing efficiency (155.96) was second in the league and 10th in the nation. The year 2016 marked the eighth consecutive season that Davis’ quarterbacks accounted for more than 3,000 yards of total offense and 30 touchdowns.

Individually, quarterback Kevin Anderson earned Second Team All-Patriot League honors after completing 201 of 325 passes for 2,724 yards and 27 touchdowns as well as running for 255 net yards and two scores. He led the Patriot League and was 10th in the NCAA FCS in passing touchdowns and led the League and was 12th in the nation in passing yards/game (272.4). Anderson also led the conference and was 21st in the NCAA FCS in total passing yards and led the league and was seventh in the country in points responsible per game (17.6). The passing game helped the Fordham offense lead the Patriot League and rank fourth in the NCAA FCS in total offense, averaging 498.2 yards per game, and lead the league and rank fourth in the nation in scoring, averaging 40.1 points per game.

In 2015, Davis served as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Northern Iowa. UNI advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA FCS Championship and a #6 ranking in the final FCS polls. The Panthers’ offense established a school record for rushing yards in a season (3,266) and for the first time in school history produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season. The Northern Iowa offense ranked 12th nationally in first downs and 15th in rushing yards per game.

Davis coached the 2015 Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year in quarterback Aaron Bailey, a second team All-MVFC selection who broke the conference record for rushing yards (1,334) and rushing touchdowns (19) in a season by a quarterback. Bailey also established a school mark for touchdowns responsible for in a season with 32.

Prior to his season at Northern Iowa, Davis served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania for two seasons, leading the Raiders offense to new heights.

During the 2014 season, Shippensburg was ranked eighth in Division II football in total offense (513 YPG) and first downs (29 PG). He also coached junior quarterback Chris Lawshe to a single-season school record in completion percentage in 2014.

In his first season at Shippensburg, Davis led an offense that averaged 335 yards through the air, 37.4 points and 465 total offensive yards per game. He provided influential coaching to quarterback Zach Zulli, who led the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference with 35 touchdowns as a senior and averaged 318.2 passing yards per game.

In 2013, Davis was a participant in the 2013 NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy in Charlotte, which provided 30 coaches from the NCAA and 30 coaches from NFL teams with an opportunity to gain further knowledge in the coaching world.

Prior to his stint with Shippensburg, Davis spent four seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the highly successful Division III program at Wheaton College in Illinois from 2009-2012. Under his direction, the Thunder averaged more than 35 points and 400 yards per game while totaling 18 All-Conference selections on offense along with two All-Americans.

Davis was also the quarterbacks coach at Wayne State from 2003-05 before heading to North Park University in Chicago to become the associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Vikings from 2006-2008.

The Brighton, Mich., native played collegiate football at Adrian College, where he was the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs. He finished his career with eight school records and was a two-time team captain. Davis continued his career after graduation, playing overseas and working as the offensive coordinator for the Vienna Rangers in Austria in 2003. He also spent three seasons as a quarterback in both the National Indoor Football League and the Arena Football League.

Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Will Fiacchi

Will Fiacchi, a three-year team captain and former academic All-American, enters his second season on his alma mater's coaching staff in 2018. Fiacchi serves as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Fiacchi had come back to the Great Danes as an offensive assistant in 2017 after being a quarterbacks coach and video coordinator at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.

A 2014 graduate of UAlbany, Fiacchi still ranks as the program's all-time leading passer with 7,150 career yards. He holds team records for most pass completions in a game (28), season (207) and career (602). He made 35 consecutive starts at quarterback.

"I am very pleased to add a former Great Dane star to our staff," Head Coach Greg Gattuso said upon Fiacchi's hiring. "Will had an outstanding career as a player here and knows our system and what we are trying to build.”

Director of Football Operations/Defensive Line Coach
Bill Nesselt

Bill Nesselt enters his second season with UAlbany in 2018. He serves as the defensive line coach and director of football operations.

In 2017, Nesselt was a defensive assistant after coming to UAlbany from Holy Cross. He also had coached 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.

“Bill is a student of the game that brings an incredible work ethic to our defensive staff," Head Coach Greg Gattuso said. "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.”

Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach
Jim Sweeney

m Sweeney, a 16-season veteran of the NFL, enters his fifth season as UAlbany's offensive line coach in 2018.

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.

Running Backs Coach
Damian Mincey

Damian Mincey joined the University at Albany football program as running backs coach in the summer of 2018.

Mincey came to the Great Danes from Pace University, where had served as defensive coordinator since 2015.

Before joining the Pace staff, Mince worked as the first football coach for the Capital Region Education Council School District in Hartford, Conn. He also was a defensive coordinator for East Coast Prep in Great Barrington, Mass., for the 2013 season and at East Catholic High School in Manchester, Conn., in 2012.

From 2006-2011, Mincey was on the University of Massachusetts football staff, working as assistant linebackers coach (2006-07), linebackers coach (2008-2010) and tight ends coach (2011). He also assisted with coaching special teams.

Mincey earned a Bachelor of Scienece degree from the University of New Haven in 2002. He was a three-year starter for the Chargers, playing two seasons on the offensive line and one on the defensive line.

Cornerbacks Coach
Curome Cox

Curome Cox joined the University at Albany as cornerbacks coach in February of 2019.

A standout defensive back at Maryland who went on to play 43 NFL games with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, Cox comes to the Great Danes from Connecticut, where he also coached defensive backs for two seasons under Head Coach Randy Edsall.

Cox also had coached defensive backs and special teams at Coastal Carolina from 2013-2017, helping the program to Big South Conference championships in 2013 and 2014. In 2016, Coastal led all of the Football Championship Subdivision in interceptions.

Cox also was a graduate assistant at his alma mater for two years beginning in 2010.

As a player, Cox was part of Maryland squads that played in the 2002 Orange Bowl, 2002 Peach Bowl and 2004 Gator Bowl. In the Peach Bowl, he returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown. Cox still ranks seventh on Maryland’s all-time list for career interceptions with 10.

Cox played three NFL seasons. First signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2004, he was part of Broncos teams that won the 2005 AFC West Title and reached the 2006 AFC Championship Game. He started five games for the Broncos over those two seasons, recording two interceptions along with 46 tackles and five passes defended.

Also a standout special-teams player, he was a finalist for the 2006 AFC Special Teams Player of the Year Award. In 2007, he played in seven games with the Texans as part of one of the top kickoff return units in the league.

Defensive Assistant
Michael NiCastro