Over winter break, John Garrett was named the new head coach of the Lafayette football team – and, with that, six new people joined the coaching staff.
Garrett, who was most recently the offensive coordinator for the University of Richmond, has been coaching for over 25 years. Prior to his stint at Richmond, Garrett served as the Dallas Cowboys’ tight ends coach and passing game coordinator from 2007-2012 under his brother, head coach Jason Garrett. Garrett replaces long-time head coach of Lafayette’s football team Frank Tavani, who retired after the 2016 season.
With a new head coach usually comes a whole staff. Defensive backs coach Doug McFadden and tight ends coach Luke Chiarolanzio are the only members of Tavani’s coaching staff that are staying on the team. So, let’s meet the new members of the Lafayette football team:
Rich Bartel – Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks coach:
Rich Bartel, a former NFL quarterback, takes over the duties of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. During his six years in the NFL, Bartel played for five different teams. Although often a practice squad player, Bartel suited up for the Arizona Cardinals in 2011 and threw his first and only touchdown pass to future Hall-of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald. Bartel comes from the IMG academy in Florida where he held the same position for the past two seasons.
Luke Thompson – Defensive coordinator:
Luke Thompson switches Patriot League schools and joins the Lafayette staff as the defensive coordinator. Thompson, who spent the last three seasons at Georgetown in the same capacity, has turned into one of the brightest defensive minds in the FCS. His Hoyas finished first in scoring and red zone defense in the Patriot League. With 20 coaching years at the collegiate level under his belt, Thompson looks to bring an experienced mindset to the Leopards’ defense.
Gordon Sammis – Offensive line coach:
Gordon Sammis, a former offensive lineman for the University of Virginia, takes the reigns as the offensive line coach. Sammis spent the past two seasons as the offensive line coach at Virginia Military Institute.
Gunnard Twyner – Wide receivers coach:
Gunnard Twyer, a former NFL wide receiver, most notably for the Cincinnati Bengals, comes to Lafayette after coaching the wide receivers at Dodge City Community College for four years. Twyer played under Garrett while he was with the Bengals.
Christian Pace – Running backs coach:
Christian Pace takes over as the running backs coach for the Leopards. Pace, who played collegiately at Michigan, served as a student assistant coach on the offensive line for the Wolverines after injuries sidelined his career. Pace was the tight ends coach for the Florida Gators this past season.
Marc Nudelberg – Recruiting/Special teams coordinator:
Marc Nudelberg takes over as the special teams and recruiting coordinator. Nudelberg, who coached with Garrett at the University of Florida in the same capacity, spent last season at the University of Nevada.