Bearcats Make Staff Moves

Publisher - Founder
Posted Feb 19, 2009
dave berk


After much internet talk, Brian Kelly confirmed what many have been waiting to happen by naming his new defensive coordinator. In the process Kelly also pushed two of his assistant coaches forward with promotions.

From the time Brian Kelly started looking for a new defensive coordinator talk surfaced that Bob Diaco was the front runner. On Wednesday the talk became reality as the University of Cincinnati announced the former Virginia assistant coach as the Bearcats newest staff member.

Diaco is no stranger to Kelly as he spent the 2005 season with the Bearcats head coach at Central Michigan where he served as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Diaco is another young up and coming coach Kelly now has on his staff and big things will be expected of him as he takes over a defense that many have considered one of the top in the country and the Big East Conference.

But while changing a coordinator is a major move, Kelly and Diaco will also be changing the defensive scheme Bearcat fans have become accustomed with going from the 4-3 to the 3-4.

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Bob Diaco was first a player and All-Big Ten selection at the University of Iowa under Coach Hayden Fry and brings another tie to the Iowa program as linebackers coach and William Inge and strength coach Paul Longo each have Hawkeye backgrounds.

As a player Diaco was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award (1995) as the nation’s top linebacker. On the field Diaco led the Hawkeyes in tackles as a junior and senior and finished his career as the seventh-leading tackler in Iowa history.

After college Diaco began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Hawkeyes for two seasons (97-99) and helped the team reach the Alamo and Sun Bowl. He then moved to his first full-time coaching job at Western Illinois where he coached running backs and served as special team’s coordinator for two seasons.

Diaco then moved to Eastern Michigan for three seasons Western Michigan prior to him being hired by Kelly at Central Michigan for the 2005 season. He then moved on to the ACC and the University of Virginia where he’s spent the past three seasons and was just recently named the Cavaliers’ defensive coordinator.

Coach Diaco is married and has three children.

But while the big news was surrounding Diaco, the Bearcats head coach wasn’t done making coaching moves.

One of the top assistant coaches in college football is Mike Elston. The Bearcats tight-ends and special teams coach is a coach many feel has a future as a head coach and on Wednesday he was awarded by Kelly by being named assistant head coach.

Another move saw hometown coach Kerry Coombs being named as associate head coach. The former head coach at Cincinnati prep powerhouse Colerain has seen a fast rise since being hired by Kelly when he arrived at Cincinnati. Coombs has used his local ties in helping the Bearcats strength their local recruiting efforts in the past two classes.

Bearcat Insider would like to welcome Coach Bob Diaco and his family to Cincinnati and also congratulate Mike Elston and Kerry Coombs on their promotions.



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