Brian Picucci took over as the UMass offensive coordinator in January 2009 after serving five years as the run-game coordinator and offensive line coach. Picucci will work with head coach Kevin Morris on the offensive side of the ball. He is in his seventh season of his second stint on the UMass coaching staff in 2009. Picucci, who previously worked with the Minutemen from 1998-99, returned to UMass after spending four years at Northeastern University (2000-03).
2009 was a huge year for Picucci as one of his star players Vlad Ducasse became UMass' highest draft pick in more than 40 years. Ducasse was selected in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Ducasse finished a tremendous career at UMass as a consensus first team All-American.
Under Picucci's guidance, UMass has led the conference in fewest sacks allowed in four of the last six seasons. He has coached some of the top linemen in the nation over the last few years including All-Americans Matt Austin, Alex Miller and current honoree Vladimir Ducasse.
The Minutemen have also had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last five of the last six years with Picucci guiding the line of protection.
UMass had one of the top offensive lines in the nation in 2008 allowing just six total sacks in 12 games, for 0.5 per game. Headed by All-CAA selections Ducasse and Sean Calicchio, UMass was ranked third in the nation in fewest sacks allowed. The Minutemen's O-Line led the way for All-CAA pick Tony Nelson to gain more than 100 yards in six games. He finished third in the league in rushing yards per game with more than 110 yards per game.
In 2007, UMass allowed just 17 sacks in 13 games to rank among the national leaders. The Minuteman offense was stellar in 2007 as they piled up more than 400 yards per game. Tailback Matt Lawrence gained 1,585 yards as the starter.
Picucci worked closely with UMass' three all-conference selections in Austin, Calicchio and Nick Diana.
In the first three seasons Picucci returned to UMass (2004-06), the Minutemen allowed just 37 sacks in 37 games, a tremendous 1.0 per game, one of the nation's best marks. In 2006, UMass allowed 1.07 sacks per game, 14th in the nation.
As UMass worked all the way to the 2006 National Championship game, Picucci coached four all-conference lineman. All-American Alex Miller was named an all-conference pick for the third year in a row. Guard Matt Austin was also named an All-American as well as a First-Team All-A-10 selection. They were joined by second-team honorees David Thompson and Nick Diana.
That quartet along with Chris Hopkins, led the way for All-American and record-setting tailback Steve Baylark. The Arizona Cardinals' signee became the third I-AA/FCS player to gain more than 1,000 yard in four consecutive seasons. He finished second all-time in rushing yards at UMass with 5,332 with Miller and Thompson blocking for him in all 50 career games. Thompson signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams and Miller had a tryout with the Detroit Lions.
In 2005, the Minutemen led the A-10 in fewest sacks allowed, giving up just 11 in 11 games for 1.0 per game -- tied for eighth in the nation. Picucci worked with the A-10's first-team center Miller as well as second-team A-10 selection Brent Caldwell. The rushing attack led by A-10 first-team tailback Baylark, who picked up 133.2 yards per game as he finished third in the A-10 in rushing yards.
Back in 2004, the offensive line led the country in fewest sacks allowed per pass attempt (giving up nine on 344 pass attempts). Picucci helped set up Baylark, who led the Atlantic 10 in rushing, earning A-10 first team honors. UMass' running game picked up 138.8 yards per game, led by Baylark, who had 103.4 per game. Leading the way for Baylark was A-10 first team lineman Rob Kane.
Picucci served as offensive line coach at Northeastern under Don Brown for four years (2000-03), and added the responsibility of run-game coordinator for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. In 2003, Picucci directed a rushing offense which totaled 242.2 yards per contest, to rank second in the Atlantic 10 conference and ninth in the country. In 2002, the Huskies averaged 207.0 rushing yards per game, to rank second in the Atlantic 10 and 19th in the nation. During the 2002 campaign, Picucci helped lead Northeastern to an overall record of 10-3, a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference title and the school's first-ever trip to the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs.
During his first stint as an assistant coach at UMass under Mark Whipple, Picucci worked with the defensive tackles and linebackers for one year (1999) and the offensive line for one season (1998). In 1999, Picucci helped direct a defensive unit which led the Atlantic 10 in sacks (36), while ranking second in total defense (323.5 yards per game). During the 1998 season, Picucci assisted with a UMass offense that set 18 team single season records, including points scored (524) and total yards (7,074). Picucci came to UMass in 1998 after serving as offensive coordinator at Bristol (Conn.) Central High School for three years. In 1997, Picucci helped Bristol Central set school single-season records for total offense (3,876 yards), passing yards (1,435 yards) and passing touchdowns (18). Prior to working at Bristol Central, he served as tight ends coach at Southern Connecticut State for one season (1994).
A 1994 graduate of Syracuse University, Picucci was a three-year letterwinner for the Orangemen. He played fullback for his first three seasons at Syracuse, before starting at tight end in his senior year. Picucci was a member of four victorious bowl teams during his undergraduate career (1989 Peach, 1990 Aloha, 1991 Hall of Fame and 1992 Fiesta). A native of Leominster, Mass., Picucci is single and resides in Hadley.
Picucci's Collegiate Coaching File
Years School Assignment 1994 So. Connecticut Tight Ends 1998 Massachusetts Grad. Asst./Off. Line 1999 Massachusetts Defensive Tackles/Linebackers 2000-01 Northeastern Offensive Line 2002-03 Northeastern Run-Game Coordinator/Offensive Line 2004-08 Massachusetts Run-Game Coordinator/Offensive Line 2009 Massachusetts Offensive Coordinator
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