Danny Rocco Leaves Liberty for Richmond
by, 12-06-2011 at 06:52 PM (1401 Views)
After a highly successful six-year run as the head coach of Liberty University football, Danny Rocco has been named the new head football coach of the Richmond Spiders.
Rocco took over a Flames program that had gone 1-10 in 2005 and made it an immediate winner. He never had a losing season at Liberty, fashioning a 47-20 overall record. In addition, he guided the Flames to a 26-5 Big South record, turning out two undefeated league records and winning or sharing the league title in all four seasons from 2007 to 2010. Liberty went 5-1 in the Big South in 2011 but finished second to Stony Brook.
In those six seasons, Rocco’s team were frequent visitors to the FCS top 25 yet the FCS playoffs always proved elusive. The Big South did not land an automatic qualifier bid until the 2010 season, the season the Flames tied Stony Brook and Coastal Carolina for the league crown. The Chanticleers won the tiebreaker for the playoff spot. Liberty’s records of 8-3, 10-2, 8-3, and 8-3 from 2007 to 2010 were never quite enough to grab an at-large bid.
Still, it’s undeniable the upward trend of Liberty football under Rocco. Though he had never been a head coach prior to coming to Liberty, Rocco made an immediate impact on the program and created a consistent winner. His successor will inherit a strong FCS program.
As for the next coach, Liberty athletic director Jeff Barber said on the school’s athletics website that Carr Sports Associates will assist in the search for the next Flames coach. He said their focus will be as it has been in previous coaching searches – look for someone with “high Division 1 experience.” As for now, Barber said the “go-to guys” for the football program with be associate head coach/running backs coach Pete Sundheim and recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach Charlie Skalaski.