Staff
Head Coach
Tony Reno

Anthony (Tony) Reno became the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football on Jan. 12, 2012. The 34th head coach of the Bulldogs came back to the program after serving as an assistant at Yale and Harvard. His return to New Haven transformed the Elis into a program that got better - and closer to the top of the league - each season.

Yale's 2014 campaign brought much national attention back to New Haven's gridiron. Not only was it the Yale Bowl's 100th anniversary, it was a remarkable season for the Bulldogs, who went 8-2 and had a shot at the Ivy title while ESPN's GameDay broadcast live from the season finale.

The 2014 Elis led the FCS in total offense while TB Tyler Varga '15 led the nation in scoring and WR Grant Wallace was tops in yards per game receiving. The season included an OT win over Army and an award for the nation's team of the week by the College Football Writer's Assocation of America. Reno was also honored as a finalist for the 2014 Eddie Robinson Award.

His 2013 Yale team made national news by beating a ranked Cal Poly team on the road in October. His Bulldogs also produced numerous league and national honors.

Reno, the Harvard special teams coordinator and defensive secondary coach from 2009 to 2011, helped engineer an undefeated 2011 Ivy League Championship team, which earned a No. 14 Football Championship Subdivision National Ranking. Three of his Crimson special teams units were ranked statistically among the nation's top 20 in 2011.

The 41-year-old Oxford, Mass., native and a 1997 Worcester State College graduate, helped develop 10 All-Ivy players and an All-American over his last two seasons in Boston. His defensive backs enabled the Crimson to lead the league in scoring defense while earning impressive national rankings in numerous categories.

Reno, who spent six years in New Haven and rose to assistant head coach under Jack Siedlecki, helped the Bulldogs win a 2006 Ivy title. He was Yale's wide receivers coach in 2003 and the defensive secondary leader from 2004 to 2008. His 2003 receivers played an integral role in the Blue's No. 2 national ranking in total offense. When he took over the Eli defensive backs, they helped the defense rise to new heights. The 2007 and 2008 Bulldogs were No. 1 in FCS scoring defense, while 14 of his players earned all-league honors during his Yale tenure.

A 2002 AFLAC/Coach Magazine National Assistant of the Year Award winner, Reno served as Worcester State's defensive coordinator from 1998 to 2002. The Lancers, who made two post-season appearances and went 27-5 with Reno as defensive coordinator, were 2001 ECAC Northeast Champions and made it to the title game the following year.

Reno, whose first job was defensive assistant coach at King's (Pa.) College for the 1997 season, earned a degree in history before completing a master's of science in health education from WSC in 2000. As a player at WSC, Reno was a three-year starter at free safety, and his team was league champion his last two seasons. His 1996 team led the nation in scoring, rushing and pass efficiency defense.

Reno is the first Yale football head coach from Massachusetts since Ted Coy '10 in 1910. He and his wife, Toni, have three children: Dante, Angelina and Vince.

Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers
Sean McGowan

Sean McGowan (3rd year at Yale in 2017), who has coached at seven different schools and been a defensive coordinator at three, brought a wealth of experience as Yale’s defensive coordinator and linebacker coach.

McGowan, who has 19 years of college coaching experience, came to Yale from Boston College, where he helped the Eagles win seven games in 2014 and earn a trip to the Pinstripes Bowl.

In the first of his two seasons at BC, McGowan orchestrated a special teams unit that included the nation’s best in field-goal percentage and a first-team All-American kicker (Nate Freese) who was perfect on 20 field goal attempts in 2013. The 2014 kick-return unit finished fourth in the nation with 26 yards per return, while the kickoff coverage was 19th with an 18.5 average. He also worked with the Eagle linebackers.

Before that he served as inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator under Steve Addazio (2011-12) at Temple.

McGowan spent seven (2004-10) seasons at the University of New Hampshire as a defensive coach. He coached the defensive backs his first two seasons before being promoted to defensive coordinator while helping New Hampshire to seven consecutive NCAA playoff appearances, including six appearances in the quarterfinals.

The Wilcats, who had 16 all-conference selections coached by McGowan, were 65-25 in those seven seasons including 5-1 against FBS squads.

His other coaching assignments included West Virginia Tech (2003, DC), Duquesne (2002, DC), Pittsburgh (199-2001, grad assistant) and Occidental College (1998, QBs). In his one campaign with Duquesne, his charges ranked first in I-AA in total defense.

McGowan, a quarterback and safety at Fordham from 1995-98, grew up in Cheshire, Conn., and attended Cheshire High School. He earned his B.A. in business from Fordham in 1998.

He and his wife, Ashley, have three children, Liam, Owen and Aden.

Assistant Coach- Outside Linebackers
Steven Vashel

Steven Vashel, who has coached football at seven different schools in the Northeast and is a graduate of Springfield College, finished his fifth season as defensive backs coach in 2016. He served as defensive coordinator from 2014 through 2016. He will coach the outside linebackers in 2017.

He coached the team MVP (Jason Alessi) and an all-league selection (Dale Harris) last fall. A pair of Eli backs earned All-Ivy honors in 2015 including first-team selection Spencer Rymiszewski and honorable mention pick Cole Champion.

Vashel spent three years (2009 to 2011) as the defensive backs coach at the University of Maine, where his charges led the Colonial Athletic Association in pass defense in 2011. Two of his former players, Jerron McMillian (4th rd draft, Packers) and Trevor Coston (free agent, Bears), were signed by NFL teams.

He worked with the DBs and kickers at Bucknell for three seasons, from 2006 to 2008. The Lewisburg, Pa., work followed a seven-year (1999-2005) stint as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Bates College.

Vashel also worked at King’s College (1995-98), Harvard (1994), Springfield (1992-93) and Trinity (1991), while getting his master’s degree in sports management from Springfield in 1994.

Vashel and his wife, Cathy, have two sons, Ethan and Cole.

Assistant Head Coach- Pass Game Coordinator (QB)
Kevin Cahill

The 2016 season marked Kevin Cahill's fifth year coaching at Yale and his third as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

His first year (2014) with the Yale QBs produced amazing numbers. QB Morgan Roberts and the Yale offense led the nation in total offense and were third in scoring and fifth in passing yards. Roberts connected often with WR Grant Wallace, who led the FCS in yards per game.

Cahill spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as Yale’s special teams coordinator and WRs coach.

Prior to that, he spent four years as an assistant coach at the University of Maine - the last three working with special teams – before coming to New Haven.

He was a three-year starting quarterback at Springfield (Mass.) College, who led the team to two NCAA Playoff appearances.

Cahill also coached the Black Bears’ running backs and wide receivers while serving as the director of personnel and the NFL liason. He coached two All-Americans (Jared Turcotte, Jhamal Fluellen) and six all-conference players while at Orono.

A two-year assistant at Murray State, Cahill coached the wide receivers, assisted in the passing game and served as recruiting coordinator for the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. He mentored a pair of All-Ohio Valley Conference players.

Before going to Kentucky, Cahill was a wide receivers coach for Tennessee-Martin for 2004 and 2005, helping the program engineer its first winning season in 13 years.

He also spent time coaching at Maine Maritime Academy (2001) and at Springfield (2002, 2003).

Cahill and his wife, Carah, have two sons, Patrick and Thomas, and a daughter, Elizabeth, and reside in Madison.

Defensive Line Coach (Pro Liason)
Jordan Stevens

Jordan Stevens, the first David D. Kelley Defensive Line Coach in 2015, just completed his second season at Yale. He came to New Haven after serving as an assistant coach at Maine the previous four years.

There were a pair of 2016 All-Ivy League defensive ends among his pupils, Marty Moesta and Kyle Mullen, while Copache Tyler was a first-team all-league lineman in 2015.

Stevens, also Yale's pro liaison, spent his last two falls in Orono as the Black Bears’ defensive line coach after two seasons as assistant to that position. He helped Maine register 30 sacks for 221 lost yards in 2013 while mentoring the school’s career sack leader, Michael Cole. Stevens also helped Maine get to the 2011 NCAA quarterfinals and win the 2013 CAA Championship.

The young Yale coach also served as Maine’s NFL liaison while helping numerous players get Colonial Athletic Association honors and professional football opportunities.

Stevens, an All-CAA defensive end for the Black Bears, helped lead the team to the 2008 NCAA Playoffs while also earning All-New England honors. He served as team captain in 2009 and earned his degree in business management from Maine in 2010.

Stevens earned a tryout with the Detroit Lions before signing with the UFL Hartford Colonials in 2010. A year later he returned to his alma mater to coach.

His title, “David D. Kelley Defensive Line Coach” honors the long-time, beloved former assistant coach who worked under Carm Cozza from 1973 to 1996.

Assistant Coach-WR, Recruiting Coordinator
Art Asselta

Art Asselta, a former Hofstra University quarterback who coached that position at McNeese State University in 2013, completed his third year as Yale's wide receivers coach in 2016. It was his second as the team's recruiting coordinator.

His first (2014) campaign with the Blue produced big numbers. His WRs helped Yale lead the nation in total offense while Grant Wallace led the FCS in yards per game.

Asselta helped the McNeese State offense rank seventh in FCS scoring (40.0) and 17th in total offense (451.0) while the No. 11 ranked Cowboys went 10-3 and made the 2013 NCAA Playoffs. His pupil, Cody Stroud, who threw 28 TD passes, was Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Coaching at his seventh school, Asselta has moved back and forth between WRs and QBs. At the University of New Hampshire in 2012, he mentored the receivers and the pass game while the No. 13 Wildcats reached the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Asselta served as an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana (2010, 2011). A pair of SEL signal-callers, Tyler Beatty and Brian Young, grabbed spots in the school record books under Asselta. Beatty, as a first-year starter in 2010, posted the eighth-best total in passing yards (1,738 yards) while finishing his career sixth in passing yards (2,328) and completions (188). Young succeeded Beatty in 2011 and posted the third-highest single-season total in passing yards (2,855 yards) while finishing third in career passing yards (3,867) and completions (332).

He also spent six seasons as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks/receivers coach at Sacred Heart University. Asselta, who helped Dale Fink become the most prolific passer in school history, coached SHU’s three-time All-Northeast Conference receiver Steve Tedesco, who led the league in receiving with 67 receptions for 865 yards as a senior and holds school records for career receptions (229), career receiving yards (2,848), career TDs scored (37), career receiving TDs (37), receptions in a season (77), TD catches in a game (4) and catches in a game (12).

He coached the running backs in his first year at SHU and helped Ed Priccolo become the school’s all-time rushing and TD leader.

Before joining SHU, Asselta worked as a graduate assistant and running backs coach at Louisiana-Monroe, where he coached the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Warhawks since their move to Division I-A.

Asselta earned a 1999 degree in marketing from Hofstra where he was twice named conference player of the week. He holds a graduate degree from Stony Brook University and worked as a graduate assistant for the Seawolves for one season.

He and his wife, the former Jessica Andrews, have a daughter, Alexis, and a son, Ayden.

Assistant Coach, Tight Ends
Chandler Henley

Yale’s tight ends coach is a former Bulldog captain with a championship ring. Chandler Henley ‘07, captain of the 2006 Ivy League Champion Yale football team and a two-time All-Ivy pick, returned to the Bulldogs as an assistant coach in July of 2015.

Henley was a four-year letter winner during his time at Yale, recording 110 receptions for 1,609 yards and 11 touchdowns in 40 games. He led the team with six touchdowns in 2004, and was the team leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns during the 2006 championship season. He was awarded the 2006 Carm Cozza Leadership Award, given by the New Haven Gridiron Club, and then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2007.

Henley spent the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons at Vanderbilt University, where he received a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration while coaching the Commodores. After spending two seasons as an offensive/recruiting graduate assistant, he was named assistant quarterback coach, in addition to his offensive graduate assistant duties, in 2014.

He helped lead the Commodores to back-to-back, nine win seasons for the first time in school history in 2012-13. In Henley's second year, the offense averaged a school-record 30.1 points per game, and ended the year by setting a team post-season scoring record with 41 points in a BBVA Compass Bowl victory over Houston. Working directly with the wide receivers, his group led all SEC units in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. In 2013 he helped with the running backs in addition to wide receivers, and the group accounted for 31 touchdowns.

Henley left Vanderbilt to become the running backs coach at Holy Cross early in 2015 but could not pass up the opportunity to work at his alma mater.

Following his graduation from Yale, Henley pursued a career in sales for five years, working at International Business Machines Corp. and then Google. During that time, he also worked part time at NBC as a researcher for the Emmy-Award nominated Football Night in America.

A native of Littleton, Colo., Henley was an all-state wide receiver at J.K. Mullen High School in Denver in 2000. He then attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., where he was named the 2001 New England Prep School Player of the Year.

Henley lives in New Haven.

Assistant Coach, Running Backs
Derrick Lett

Derrick Lett (2nd year at Yale in 2016), a former collegiate receiver who won two Bowl games and went on to coach at Tennessee, joined the Yale staff as its running backs coach in July of 2015.

His corps of runners were hit by injuries the last two years, but there have been some impressive performances. Lett helped Alan Lamar, who began the season as the No. 4 back before becoming team rookie of the year, earn FCS Freshman All American honors while leading the Elis in rushing. In 2015 he helped DeShawn Salter produce the fifth best rushing total in a game (233, Lehigh) for an El and twice earn league player of the week honors, while former Yale back Austin Reuland is playing in the CFL this fall.

An offensive quality control assistant at Tennessee for two season prior to Yale, Lett worked with the running backs, wide receivers and punt return while assisting the recruiting coordinator.

He helped lead the 2014 Volunteers to their first Bowl victory since 2010. Working mainly with the wide receivers, the unit had four members record at least 30 catches. As a group, they caught 19 touchdown passes in 12 games. He helped accomplish this while helping secure top five classes in each of the past two years.

Prior to his time at Tennessee, Lett spent four years as an assistant at Bowling Green High School. He was in charge of the secondary his first two years before becoming the passing game coordinator, primarily in charge of quarterbacks and wide receivers. He implemented a new offense that more than doubled passing production, helping three of his players earn college scholarships. In addition to his coaching duties with football, he also coached the varsity track team.

A four-year letter winner at Bowling Green University from 2001-05, Lett appeared in 49 consecutive games, helping the Falcons to two Bowl wins, and at one point, a no. 16 ranking in the country. He was part of a wide receiver corps that ranked third in the country by Athlon Sports, as well as an offense that finished fourth in the nation in scoring.

Lett, who earned the school’s Coaches Award, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2006.

He and his wife, Andi Lett, have two daughters, Jaela (8) and Alise (5), and live in Branford.

Advisor to Head Coach
Larry Ciotti

Yale’s former running backs coach, Larry Ciotti, completed his 21st year of collegiate coaching in 2014, having worked primarily as the running backs coach for former Yale head coaches Carm Cozza and Jack Siedecki before leaving coaching from 2008 through 2011. He is now an advisor to head coach Tony Reno.

Ciotti began at Yale in 1991 and served two seasons as the head coach of the freshman squad. Since then he helped Rashad Bartholomew '01 become Yale’s career rushing leader before he signed with the Tennessee Titans. He also mentored two-time All-Ivy back Robert Carr ’05, who surpassed Bartholomew in the record books. He continued the trend by coaching Ivy MVP and All-American Mike McLeod ’09, who holds every major rushing record at Yale.

His latest protege, Tyler Varga '15, was an All-American who led the nation in scoring, served as captain of the North team in the Senior Bowl (scored 2 TDs) and was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Ciotti, who had an 8-4 record coaching the Bullpups, is a Connecticut high school coaching legend. In 19 seasons (1970-88) as the head coach at Daniel Hand in Madison, Conn., he compiled a 141-41-2 record and won five state titles. Ciotti then served as director of athletics at Hand from 1988 to 1992. In 1993, he was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame. Ciotti received the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

The captain of the 1965 Southern Connecticut State University football team (graduated in '66), Ciotti earned All-New England and All-Eastern League honors as a center/linebacker. He was inducted into the SCSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.

His son, Mike '90, was a center for the 1989 Ivy Champion Bulldogs. Ciotti and his wife, Barbara, reside in Madison. They also have three daughters, Susan, Deanna, and Cathryn and 12 grandchildren.

Chief of Staff
Jake Olson

Jake Olson re-joined the Yale football staff in the summer of 2017 as the Chief of Staff, where he handles the budget management, team travel and meals and puts together the team calendar.

Olson, who is the liaison for the team with the rest of the university, also oversees the football support staff, directs the Eli Football Camp and coordinates internships and professional development opportunities for student-athletes. Olson has served as a liaison between parents, Yale alumni and the football program. He has also organized the year-end team banquet, an event that included more than 300 guests.

He was with the Bulldogs for the 2016 season as an operations assistant, a stint that was bookended by a pair of roles with the Syracuse Orange football team. As an intern in upstate New York, he helped coordinate camp travel for coaches and assisted in organizing Syracuse's summer camp series. He also assisted with the team’s operations and recruiting while working with the director of operations in the management of team logistics, including helping organize the daily schedules of student-athletes, coaches, and staff.

A Morris, Ill. native, Olson attended Eastern Illinois University. He graduated from the school in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and sports studies, and a minor in business administration.