UAlbany announces defensive coaching staff changes

ALBANY,
N.Y. — There are more changes on the way for the University at Albany football
team as they begin preparing for the upcoming season. With 21 new recruits, a
new stadium and a shift into a new conference, it's no surprise that coaching
staff changes have subsequently followed.

Head
Coach Bob Ford announced Friday that former defensive coordinator Mike Simpson
will be stepping down from the position he held for 27 seasons. Simpson has
three decades of experience as a defensive coach, two of which were at the
coordinator position.

With
the graduation of four exceptional linebackers, including all-conference
selection Jon Morgan,
the Great Danes look to quickly rebuild, making Simpson the ideal candidate to refocus
his and the defensive line's efforts on the development of some of the team's
young linebackers.

“We
had one of our most veteran groups graduate, numbers- wise, last season, and we
will have one of the youngest groups on the field in a long time,” Simpson said.

Simpson
added that the incoming class seems to be composed of solid additions on which
to begin the rebuilding process. He said they are a talented group of freshman,
making the staff confident about where they stand heading into a landmark
season.

We
graduated a pretty good core of linebackers with a ton of playing experience,”said
Head Coach Bob Ford.
“We are now turning to a younger, pretty talented group of kids, but not with
many battle scars on them. Mike will step in and take those duties over, a little
more undivided than he has in the past.”

Filling
Simpson's position, Drew Christ will also be shifting his efforts in the
upcoming year. After seven seasons in UAlbany's program, two as a member of
Ford's coaching staff, the former defensive backs coach will assume the role of
defensive coordinator.

Christ
is no stranger to the defensive coordinator position, having previously served
the role at the University of Rochester. Christ also spent three years as a
secondary coach under Al Bagnoli at the University of Pennsylvania.

“We're
stepping up to a new challenge, a new league and so forth, and I'm excited to
get ready,”Christ said. “Our expectations haven't changed. We're moving around
the staff a little bit, but our expectations are to be able to stop the run
game, play good defense, and get off the field and put our offense in a position
to score.”

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