UMass Football Hires Two, Announces Staff Changes
Feb. 26, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - New UMass head football coach Kevin Morris announced the hiring of two coaches to his staff on Thursday. Dyran Peake joins the Minutemen as the Assistant Coach for Defensive Backs. Steve Tirrell rejoins the Minutemen as the squad's Associate Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach. He served in that capacity from 2004-07 before spending the last two seasons at Nichols College as Associate Head Coach.
Also as part of staff restructuring, Morris announced the following changes to the staff: Brian Picucci, who is beginning his eight year with UMass -- including the last six in a row, has been promoted to Offensive Coordinator. He will also work with the tackles and tight ends on the offensive line. Guido Falbo, who is in his sixth year at UMass, will move from coaching the running backs to the centers and guards on the offensive line in addition to his duties as the team's recruiting coordinator. Mike Wood will now coach the running backs after coaching UMass' tight ends for the past three years.
The remainder of the staff is status quo from last season with Keith Dudzinski beginning his sixth year as the Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach; Brian Crist is in his eighth year at UMass, and now his third at Wide Receivers Coach; Bryan Butterworth is in his fourth year as the Assistant Defensive Backs Coach and Damian Mincey in his fourth year as the Assistant Linebackers Coach.
Peake (who's first name sounds like Byron with a D)comes to UMass from fellow CAA member Delaware, where he served in a variety of capacities, including Assistant Defensive Backs Coach (2005-06), Cornerbacks Coach (2007), and Cornerbacks Coach/Special Teams Coordinator (2008).
In 2007, he helped lead a much-improved Blue Hens defense to an 11-4 record and a spot in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision title game.
Other experience includes time as Tight Ends Coach with Cornell University (2004) and Graduate Assistant at Duke University (2001-03). Peake also has extensive experience as a recruiter and as a video coordinator.
Tirrell begins his second stint with the Minutemen football program after serving as Defensive Line Coach, Special Teams Coach and Associate Head Coach from 2004-07. Tirrell came to UMass from Northeastern University, where he worked for four seasons under Don Brown.
In 2006, he helped lead the Minutemen defense to the FCS National Championship Game.
Tirrell spent four years on Brown's staff at Northeastern as Defensive Line Coach and Special Teams Coordinator. During the 2003 season, Tirrell led a group which ranked second in the Atlantic 10 Conference with 34 sacks on the season, while the defense as a whole surrendered just 338.2 total yards and 18.2 points per contest.
Prior to his time at Northeastern, Tirrell served as an assistant at Brown University for four seasons. He spent two years as the Defensive Line coach and Recruiting Coordinator (1998-1999) on Phil Estes' staff, after serving under Mark Whipple for two seasons as assistant defensive line coach and special teams coordinator (1996-1997). He previously served as an assistant at Plymouth State College from 1989-1995.
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