Meet New University of Delaware Head Coach Dave Brock
Fightin’ new hen: The new coach brings an aggressive approach to football and academics. Can he continue—and even improve upon—the program’s storied success?
Photo by Ron Dubick
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Delaware’s reputation is among the best in I-AA football, and it has been enhanced by UD alumnus and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s success in this year’s Super Bowl, not to mention Vice President Joe Biden’s high-profile support for his alma mater. So there were plenty of applicants to succeed Keeler. But Brock stood out, according to Ziady, who knew the coach from their days at Boston College.
In announcing the hiring, Ziady spoke in AD boilerplate: “In the end, it was clear that Dave Brock has the character, the experience, the passion, the recruiting skills, and the leadership qualities that will enable him to lead our program to championships on the field and success off the field.”
The man he chose is a 47-year-old New Jersey native who vaguely resembles Kyle Chandler, the actor who played Coach Eric Taylor on the TV series “Friday Night Lights.” Brock even speaks with a hint of Chandler/Taylor’s southwest twang, despite his Jersey roots.
Recently, he sat in his modest office, its walls still bare, and talked about his new responsibilities. “I think of Delaware as the elite job in the country at the FCS level. Very few programs at any level of football can match the history and the tradition here.”
He cited that tradition, combined with a great academic reputation, a beautiful campus and a strong fan base as “the pieces you need to compete for a national championship.”
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.
Hired just 11 days after Keeler was fired, Brock moved quickly, bringing in an all-new staff except for two of Keeler’s coaches, and preparing for spring practice.
Although he played linebacker at Ferrum (Va.) College, Brock’s coaching experience has been almost entirely on the offensive side of the ball. He was the offensive coordinator at Rutgers, Kansas State, Temple and Hofstra, and he coached tight ends at Boston College. At North Carolina, he served a year as assistant head coach.
He describes the offense he has installed as “multiple,” but the key word seems to be “aggressive.”
“We’re going to be really, really aggressive; fast, violent,” he says. “We are going to attack people. And that’s the kind of people we’re going to recruit—aggressive people.”
Special teams will be a key. “We’re going to try to block kicks; we’re going to fake kicks; we’re going to try to return kicks [for touchdowns].”
Brock subscribes to the old coaching truism, “It’s not the Xs and Os; it’s the Jimmies and Joes.”
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