Mike Cassano is in his sixth season tutoring the UMass running backs. Throughout his tenure in Amherst, the Minutemen have consistently had one of the Atlantic 10 Conference’s top rushing attacks. During Cassano’s first season, UMass averaged 201.6 rushing yards per contest, with its total of 3,024 rushing yards ranking second in the league. The Minutemen also rushed for 187.9 yards per game in 1999, 170.4 yards per contest in 2000 and 166.1 yards per game in 2002.
During his tenure with the Minutemen, Cassano guided All-America tailback Marcel Shipp to one of the finest careers in collegiate history. Shipp finished his career with an Atlantic 10-record 6,250 rushing yards, while placing sixth on the NCAA Division I-AA career rushing list. Cassano was also instrumental in the development of 2002 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year R.J. Cobbs. In addition, Minuteman backs have recorded 100-yard rushing games 46 times during Cassano’s tenure as UMass.
Cassano joined the Minuteman staff after serving as an assistant running backs coach at Brown under Mark Whipple for one season. During Cassano’s one year with the Bears, the Brown offense set Ivy League and school records for total offense (474.3 ypg) and Brown records for single season first downs (233) and single game total offense (629 yards vs. Yale). Prior to going to Brown, Cassano served as a graduate assistant coach at Lehigh University in 1994 and as a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan University for two years (1995-96), where he was a master’s degree candidate in educational administration.
A 1994 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Cassano was a two-year starter at strong safety for the Wildcats and served as team captain in his senior season. He previously earned two letters at Colgate University, before transferring to New Hampshire.
Cassano is single and resides in Holyoke.
Cassano’s Collegiate Coaching File
Years School Assignment 1994 Lehigh Graduate Assistant 1995-1996 Eastern Michigan Graduate Assistant 1997 Brown Running Backs 1988-2003 Massachusetts Running Backs