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Liberty University Announces New Head Football Coach; Univ. of Virginia's Danny Rocco to Lead Flames into 2006 Season
With a coaching career that includes the New York Jets and 19 years of collegiate successes highlighted by multiple bowl appearances, Danny Rocco joins Liberty University's athletic staff as head football coach.
Liberty University chancellor and president Rev. Jerry Falwell, made the hiring announcement today at a press conference at the University saying "Danny Rocco is a perfect fit for Liberty University in every way. Liberty is fortunate to have him. Coach Rocco is one of more than 20 NCAA Division I football coaches who expressed an interest in this position, which is a tremendous endorsement of the potential for Liberty's football program. I firmly believe Coach Rocco can lead Liberty in reaching its goal of becoming a dominant Division IAA program and then moving up to Division IA, all within the next decade."
Rocco just completed his fifth year as the University of Virginia's associate head coach and linebackers coach. He coordinated UVa's recruiting efforts in 2002 as Virginia landed one of the best recruiting classes in school history, ranked in the top 10 nationally by most recruiting services.
Rocco arrived at UVa after spending one season as a member of Al Groh's coaching staff with the New York Jets in 2000. His 19 year collegiate coaching career includes positions at the Univ. of Maryland and the Univ. of Texas where he helped lead the Longhorns to three consecutive conference championships as well as the Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Sun Bowl.
Rocco served as the defensive line coach at Boston College after spending three seasons at Tulsa that included an appearance in the Independence Bowl. In the 1980s, Rocco served on coaching staffs at the University of Colorado and Wake Forest.
His own college playing career began as a two-year letter winner at Penn State followed by two starting seasons at Wake Forest, from where he graduated in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in speech communication.
From a football family, Rocco's father, Frank, was a coach and administrator on Joe Paterno's staff at Penn State for 15 years. Rocco attended high school in Pittsburgh, Penn., earning All-State honors in both football and track.
Rocco succeeds Ken Karcher who coached the Liberty Flames to a 21-46 record in his six seasons as head football coach.
Rocco is a native of Huntington, Pa., and is married to the former Julie Mills and the couple has two children – David (14) and Amy (11).