Joe Trainer is beginning his second stint on the Villanova coaching staff and is in his ninth season overall as a Wildcat assistant. In his current role with the team Trainer coaches the defensive line and is the special teams coordinator.
Trainer was previously an assistant coach on Andy Talley's staff from 1997-2004, including serving as the program's defensive coordinator for five seasons from 2000-04. He arrives back on the Main Line from the University of Rhode Island, where he was head coach for the past five seasons.
Following his first stint at Villanova, Trainer was the head coach at Millersville University from 2005-07, before leaving to be the defensive coordinator at Rhode Island in 2008. After one year as a Rams assistant he was elevated to the head coaching position in 2009.
Trainer coached a top-notch defensive unit during his first coaching stint with the Wildcats. In 2003, Villanova led the Atlantic 10 in total defense allowing just 302.0 yards per game and finished second in the league in scoring defense at 16.2 points per contest. On the national scene, Villanova was seventh in scoring defense and 14th in total defense.
During the 2003 season Trainer also guided linebacker Brian Hulea to first team All-Atlantic 10 distinction after Hulea finished second in the league in total tackles, in addition to leading the country in solo stops. All total, three members of the 2003 Villanova defense were named first team All-League, while six players total earned All-Conference distinction.
In 1999, Trainer coached linebacker Shaun Lyons to second team All-Atlantic 10 accolades. In addition, Lyons became just the second Wildcat ever to record 400 career tackles. Trainer also coached linebacker Jamison Young to third team All-Atlantic 10 honors in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, Young led the country in forced fumbles.
Trainer has also held assistant coaching positions at Temple (1990-91), Frostburg State (1992), Colgate (1993-94) and New Haven (1995-96). He is a 1989 graduate of Dickinson College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Trainer earned a Master's degree in Education from Temple in 1992 and a Master's degree in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova in 2004.