FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2009
Frank Verducci Named Notre Dame¹s Offensive Line Coach
Veteran offensive coach brings 27 years of coaching experience to Irish
NOTRE DAME, Ind. Frank Verducci, a veteran offensive coach with 27 years
of coaching experience at the NFL and collegiate levels, has been named
offensive line coach at Notre Dame, head coach Charlie Weis announced
Verducci joins the Irish after working eight of the past 10 years in the NFL
with Cleveland (2007-08), Buffalo (2004-05), Dallas (2002) and Cincinnati
(1999-2001). Prior to moving to professional football, he spent 19 seasons
in the college ranks at Iowa (1989-98 and 1985-86), Northwestern (1987-88),
Northern Illinois (1984), Maryland (1981-83) and Colorado State (1980).
³Frank provides an excellent background on both the offensive line and run
game in general from two perspectives, having coached several years in
professional football and at the Division I level predominantly in the Big
Ten,² Irish head coach Charlie Weis said. ³His experience will be an asset
both to our players and our staff.
³In addition, the name Verducci in New Jersey high school football is
legendary as both his father and uncle were coaching icons. This should aid
our recruiting efforts in New Jersey and the Northeast.
³On a side note, it didn¹t hurt that his wife (Noel) is a Saint Mary¹s
The past two years Verducci served as an offensive assistant coach with the
Cleveland Browns. His job responsibilities included assisting the offensive
coordinator in framing the run game, presenting the weekly opponent scouting
report to the offense and installing Friday¹s game plan for the offensive
unit. Verducci assisted the play caller on game days with situational
offense and was responsible for clock management.
In 2007, the Browns won 10 games behind an offense that was one of the best
in the NFL. The 10 victories were the most by the Browns since 1994 and the
offense ranked eighth in the NFL, best by Cleveland since 1981. Verducci
assisted with an offense that sent four players to the Pro Bowl that year:
quarterback Derek Anderson, wide receiver Braylon Edwards, left tackle Joe
Thomas and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr.
Thomas became the first Browns rookie offensive lineman ever to be selected
to the Pro Bowl. In 2008, Thomas was tabbed for the annual all-star game,
becoming the first Browns offensive lineman to be chosen in consecutive
seasons in 21 years.
Verducci also assisted an offense in Cleveland that resurrected the career
of running back Jamal Lewis. Lewis eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards in 2007 and
2008 and became the first Browns running back to accomplish that two-year
feat in 27 years.
³I¹m very excited for this opportunity and am grateful to Coach Weis,²
Verducci said. ³Notre Dame is the one college job I pursued and is the only
school I considered leaving the NFL for.
³I¹m looking forward to this return to college football and developing the
talent we have here. The difference between the pro and college levels is
the development you are able to see as they transform from young men when
they enter to mature men when they graduate. I can¹t wait to get started.²
Prior to joining the Browns¹ staff, Verducci spent two years with Buffalo as
an assistant offensive line and tight ends coach in 2004 before being
promoted to offensive line coach in 2005. He worked closely with tackle
Jason Peters (2007 Pro Bowler) who started 10 games in 2005 including each
of the final nine contests.
In his first two seasons as a pro, running back Willis McGahee gained more
than 1,100 rushing yards both years and scored 18 combined touchdowns, with
Verducci part of the offensive line coaching staff. In 2004, tight ends Mark
Campbell and Tim Euhus combined to catch seven touchdowns.
Verducci joined the Dallas Cowboys as offensive line coach in 2002 after
being the tight ends coach of the Cincinnati Bengals from 1999-2001. With
the Cowboys, Verducci worked with three Pro Bowl offensive linemen: guard
Larry Allen, guard Andre Gurode and left tackle Flozell Adams. Allen only
played five games while Gurode started 14 contests in his rookie season and
Adams started all 16 games while blocking for Emmitt Smith, the NFL¹s
all-time leading rusher.
Ten years of working with the offensive line at Iowa preceded Verducci¹s NFL
coaching career. From 1989-98 he worked for Hayden Fry as the Hawkeye
offense averaged 171.5 rushing yards per game during his decade in Iowa
City. From 1989-91 Verducci served as the assistant offensive line coach and
recruiting coordinator before becoming the offensive line coach in 1992. In
1995 he added run game coordinator to his title. Verducci was ranked one of
the top 10 recruiters in the country by Tom Lemming in 1990 and by Allen
Wallace at SuperPrep from 1990-92 and in 1995.
Twelve of his offensive lineman at Iowa went on to make NFL rosters and six
players were named first-team all-Big Ten performers. In 1992, center Mike
Devlin was selected the Big Ten Lineman of the Year and was a first-team
Verducci was part of the coaching staff that helped guide the Hawkeyes to
six bowl games during his decade in Iowa City (one Rose Bowl, one Holiday
Bowl, two Alamo Bowls and two Sun Bowls). He also served as a graduate
assistant at Iowa from 1985-86 when Iowa attended the Holiday Bowl and Rose
Three of the 10 best single-season rushing totals occurred with Verducci as
offensive line coach at Iowa, and five of the top eight individual
single-game rushing performances happened between 1989-98.
Iowa won the Big Ten Conference title in 1990, and the rushing attack was a
major contributor to the Hawkeyes¹ success. Iowa averaged 224.9 rushing
yards per game that year, the most by an Iowa team since 1968. The Hawks
averaged 221.0 rushing yards per game in 1994 and 217.0 rushing yards in
1997. The aforementioned rushing averages are three of the four best in the
last 40 seasons of Iowa football.
Sandwiched between his stints at Iowa was a stop in Northwestern where
Verducci coached wide receivers from 1987-88. He started his coaching career
in 1980 as a graduate assistant at Colorado State before working with
Maryland¹s tight ends as a part-time coach from 1981-83. The Bobby
Ross-coached Terrapins were ACC champions in 1983 and appeared in the Citrus
Bowl after concluding the 1982 season with a trip to the Aloha Bowl. In
1984, Verducci was the running backs and strength coach at Northern Illinois
for head coach Lee Corso.
A native of Glen Ridge, N.J., Frank James Verducci was born March 17, 1957
in East Orange, N.J., and graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School. He
played fullback and tight end at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Kings
Point and received his bachelor¹s degree from Seton Hall University in 1980.
He and his wife, Noel, have a son, Jack, and a daughter, Cameron.
Verducci replaces John Latina who resigned Wednesday to pursue other
THE VERDUCCI FILE
Year School/Team Assignment
1980 Colorado State Graduate Assistant
1981-83 Maryland Tight Ends
1984 Northern Illinois Running
Backs/Strength & Conditioning Coach
1985-86 Iowa Graduate Assistant
1987-88 Northwestern Wide Receivers
1989-91 Iowa Assistant Offensive
1992-94 Iowa Offensive Line
1995-98 Iowa Offensive Line/Running Game
1999-2000 Cincinnati Bengals Tight Ends
2001 Cincinnati Bengals Tight
Ends/Assistant Offensive Line
2002 Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line
2004 Buffalo Bills Assistant Offensive
2005 Buffalo Bills Offensive Line
2007-08 Cleveland Browns Offensive
2009 Notre Dame Offensive Line