Lehigh football’s coaching staff will feature 10 new faces for their 2023 season.
In addition to new head coach Kevin Cahill, Lehigh announced on Jan. 26 they have added offensive coordinator Dan Hunt and defensive coordinator Richard Nagy, among the new cohort. The changes follow an underwhelming 2022 season for the Mountain Hawks, where they finished 2-9.
Hunt brings knowledge and fresh experience to the Mountain Hawks, as he has seen three Patriot League titles in his coaching career. He also holds three Patriot League Coach of the Year awards.
Prior to Lehigh, Hunt spent 26 years as a coach for Colgate University, leading the program for seven seasons. In 2018, Hunt saw a 10-2 record with the Raiders and their 10th conference championship. His team also led the nation in scoring defense, total defense and pass-efficiency defense.
During the 2022 season, Hunt was the offensive coordinator at Franklin and Marshall College, where his team ranked second in the nation among Division III teams in red-zone offense, converting nearly 93% of their red-zone trips. The team ranked last in this metric the year prior.
“We’re not talking about how many games we want to win or championships or anything like that,” Hunt said. “We’re talking about getting better each day.”
Hunt said he believes Lehigh can be a top contender in the Patriot League next year, as the Patriot League is a conference where teams can improve quickly.
He said the team has the offensive weapons needed to become a force in the conference, including first-year wide receiver Geoffrey Jamiel, who won the 2022 Patriot League Rookie of The Year award.
“He’s as good as I’ve seen of a route runner as a freshman in college,” Hunt said.
He said Lehigh football will use a more aggressive offense to emphasize plays that will position them to get first downs and score more often.
On the defensive end, Lehigh was middle of the pack in the Patriot League last season, allowing 29.55 points per game. Nagy said he hopes to bring the Mountain Hawks back to the top of the conference.
“The biggest thing is I just want them to play as well as they can play,” Nagy said. “My hope is that we have a really good understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish defensively and that we’re able to do it in a very fast and aggressive manner.”
Having coached for more than 35 years collectively at both the Division I and III levels, Nagy offers the Mountain Hawks plenty of experience.
Team captain and junior quarterback Dante Perri said he is excited about the new coaching change and believes it will be worthwhile to have a fresh set of eyes on the program.
“Our big focus is building our toughness and brotherhood,” Perri said. “All of the work we do constantly stems around us working together under tension to build our trust and love for one another to an even greater level.”
Team captain and junior center George Padezanin said he noticed a difference in the program since the change, as the energy in practices has been more positive since the new coaches have been hired.
“With a more process-oriented approach being emphasized, I think the results will really show this year when they haven’t shown in the past,” Padezanin said.
Lehigh football will play its first game of the 2023 season at home against Villanova on Sept. 2.