This year, the Mountain Hawks have added four new football coaches that are motivated to lead Lehigh to a successful season. Lehigh has welcomed a new offensive coordinator, receivers coach, running backs coach and tight ends coach.
Drew Folmar, who is serving as both the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, spent the 2013 football season as the coach for Kutztown University. He was hired in January and has played a key role in preparing the Mountain Hawks for the upcoming season.
After spending time at St. Lawrence University and Lycoming College, Scott Brisson has returned to Lehigh after a four-year hiatus to take on the role of wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. Brisson has coached some of Lehigh University’s former wide receivers, including Jake Drwal and Ryan Spadola.
The new running backs coach and offensive assistant coach Jamel Matunga spent his last couple of seasons on the offensive coaching staff at Muhlenberg College. Matunga has experience coaching special teams and recruiting high school student-athletes.
Tight ends coach Andy Marino spent last season at Widener University, where he had the position of offensive line coach. He also served as the assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and run game coordinator. Prior to coaching at Widener, he coached at the University of Delaware, where he led the Blue Hens to the national championship game.
Lehigh head coach Andy Coen had the task of bringing this staff together. Coen has had this position with the Mountain Hawks for nine years. During his time at Lehigh, he has led them to two Patriot League Championships.
His hard work in choosing these new coaches hasn’t gone unnoticed by the student athletes.
“Coach Coen has done a great job selecting our new coaches and preparing our team for a new year,” senior player Gerard Poutier said. “Our new coaches have really meshed well with our team and created a seamless transition into the season.”
Although it took a little adjusting, it seems this year’s coaching staff has blended together well. Senior running back Rich Sodeke spoke about the team’s relationship between the new coaches and the returning coaches.
”I’d say that the new coaching staff is meshing well with the existing staff,” Sodeke said. “Our existing staff offers a wealth of knowledge about Lehigh football, so the new staff is doing a lot of learning but also a lot of teaching.”
Senior wide receiver Derek Gaul, who works directly with Folmar and Brisson, has already had some positive things to say about them.
“Coach Folmar and Coach Brisson really love the sport, and it really makes it fun to play the sport no matter how exhausting it can be,” Gaul said.
The new coaching staff has implemented different techniques and coaching strategies from previous years, which seems to be working well for the team.
“I really enjoy the new coaches and the different characteristics and techniques they bring to the table,” Gaul said.
According to Sokeke, The Mountain Hawks’ intensity and unity is what will drive them this year.
“I think that our team as a whole is very competitive with one another every day in practice,” Sokeke said. “So on game day, the intensity is something that we are already used to. That being said, we are a very close knit bunch of guys and on Saturday we play for each other, not for personal gain.”