One day after it became apparent that the UMass Minutemen would make Mark Whipple their next head coach, the rest of the staff is beginning to take shape. A report late Saturday stated that current Wagner offensive coordinator Tom Masella had accepted an offer to be Whipple's defensive coordinator.
The report filed by CoachingSearch.com lines up with what has been speculated by others in the media.
Masella was UMass' last defensive coordinator under Whipple for the 2002-03 season. Since then, he has been the head coach at Central Connecticut State and Fordham before taking the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach position at Wagner in 2012.
Masella has also been a head coach at Fairfield (1995) and Boston University (1996-97).
UMass' defense had been coached by Phil Elmassian for the past two seasons and had its flashes of being a competitive FBS outfit. However, it also had games like the Western Michigan contest where it looked completely incapable of stopping anyone. Masella brings over 30 years of coaching experience, on both sides of the football, which should lend itself to developing the players on the roster.
UMass returns three of its top five tacklers, including linebacker Stanley Andre and his 111 tackles. The defensive line will be a little threadbare, but in the pass-happy college game Masella can take solace in the fact that he will have three of four starting defensive backs returning in Joey Colton, Trey Dudley-Giles and Demetrius Williams.