Jan. 27, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova University head football coach Andy Talley today announced three changes to the Wildcat coaching staff. The changes include Billy Crocker being promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator and the hiring of Roc Bellantoni and Tony Trisciani. Bellantoni will coach the defensive line and serve as the special teams coordinator, while Trisciani will be the Wildcat secondary coach.
Crocker, who just completed his seventh season on the Villanova staff, earns his second promotion in as many seasons. After serving as the defensive line coach for six years, Crocker was elevated to linebackers coach and special teams coordinator in 2011. Under his direction last season, freshman linebacker Dillon Lucas was named both the CAA and ECAC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Lucas also garnered third team All-CAA honors. Throughout his Villanova career, Crocker has coached seven different players to All-Conference distinction. Crocker replaces Mark Reardon as the program's defensive coordinator. Reardon left Villanova in December to become the head coach at St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey.
Bellantoni comes to Villanova from Eastern Illinois University where he was an assistant from 2001-2011. During his stint at Eastern Illinois, Bellantoni was the defensive coordinator from 2002-2011 and the associate head coach from 2007-2011. In 2009, Bellantoni helped Eastern Illinois win the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. Prior to Eastern Illinois he was the defensive coordinator at Drake University. As a player, Bellantoni was a three-year letterwinner at defensive tackle at Iona College. Bellantoni replaces Dave Sollazzo who left to join the coaching staff at the University of Massachusetts.
Trisciani arrives at Villanova from Whitehall High School in Whitehall, Pa., where he was the head coach for the last five years. At Whitehall, he registered a 36-22 record and led his team to three Eastern Conference 4A playoff appearances. Trisciani also has a wealth of college coaching experience. Prior to his stint at Whitehall, he coached defensive backs and was the special teams coordinator at Elon University. He spent the 2005 season as the linebackers coach at Lehigh. Before his season at Lehigh, Trisciani spent three seasons in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) as the defensive backs coach at New Hampshire. He has also had coaching stops at Alfred University and Springfield College. As a player, Trisciani was a four-year starter and two-year captain at Springfield where he was the 1992 New England Rookie of the Year and the 1995 Springfield College Athlete of the Year and team MVP.