Rutgers football holds dual-purpose coaches clinic – Asbury Park Press
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Today marks the first official day of practice for the upcoming 2016 season under new head coach Chris Ash. VIDEO BY: BRIAN JOHNSTON
PISCATAWAY – In the grooming of Chris Ash, before there was Urban Meyer there was Barry Alvarez.
Ash has molded much of the revamped Rutgers football program in the image of Meyer and Ohio State in his first five months at the helm, but he is tapping into older roots this weekend as Alvarez is the keynote speaker for the annual Rutgers football coaches clinic.
Alvarez is a College Football Hall of Fame inductee who spent 16 seasons on the sidelines at Wisconsin. He still serves as the school’s athletic director and became a mentor to Ash when the latter of the two was an assistant coach under Alvarez successor Bret Bielema in Madison, Wisc. from 2010-12.
The clinic for youth, high school and college coaches will be held today and Saturday at the Rutgers practice bubble. It is the first time that the entire clinic will be conducted indoors, as is common at other Big Ten schools.
“It’s an opportunity for us to do two things,” Ash said. “One, promote the game of football here in the state and in the region. We’re going to have a bunch of New Jersey high school coaches here, plus we’re going to have them from New York, Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Coach Barry Alvarez will be coming from Wisconsin to talk a little bit about just his philosophy on coaching.”
The lineup of presenters under Alvarez includes inspirational former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand, Princeton coach Bob Surace and Penn defensive coordinator Bob Benson from the college ranks, and Bergen Catholic’s Nunzio Campanile, Middletown South’s Steve Antonucci, Westfield’s Jim DeSarno and Haddonfield’s Frank Delano from the New Jersey high school ranks.
From Pennsylvania, St. Joseph coach Gabe Infante and Lebanon coach Gerry Yonchiuk also are part of the lineup of speakers.
All of Rutgers position coaches as well as strength and conditioning coach Kenny Parker also will participate.
“The other part of it is building relationships,” Ash said. “When you get a chance to promote the game of football and open your doors and let people come in to see your program, you hope we have an opportunity to build relationships that help you in recruiting and help you build the program that you want.”
Online registration costs $60 and begins in-person at 8 a.m. Friday. The fee includes a gift plus three meals Friday and two meals Sunday. Guest coaches will be permitted to watch Saturday’s spring practice scrimmage.
Those interested in last-minute attendance can email Rutgers director of high school relations Rick Mantz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Staff Writer Ryan Dunleavy: email@example.com