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Roc Bellantoni
Roc  Bellantoni

Defensive Coordinator/LB

Alma Mater:
Iona, '93


Game Week #4 vs Ball State and Segment from Inside the Owls' Burrow

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Clip from FAU Football: Inside the Burrow

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Football Adds Three to Scholarship List



Football Holds First Practice with School Underway

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Football Players Meet the Challenge to End Practice Early and then Team with Fellow Athletes to Help Students move into the Dorms

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Coaching Experience

2014-16 Florida Atlantic University (Defensive Coordinator/LB)
2012-13 - Villanova University (Special Teams Coordinator/DL)
2007-11 - Eastern Illinois University (Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/LB/DL)
2002-07 - Eastern Illinois University (Defensive Coordinator/LB)
2001-02 - Eastern Illinois University (DL/Recruiting Coordinator)
2000 - Drake University (Defensive Coordinator/LB)
1998-99 - Drake University (Assistant Coach/DL)
1995-97 - Buena Vista University (Assistant Coach/DL)
1993-94 - Mamaroneck High School (Assistant Coach/OL/DL)

Bowl /Post-Season Games Coached
2012 - FCS Playoffs (Villanova)
2009 - FCS Playoffs- (Eastern Illinois)
2007 - FCS Playoffs- (Eastern Illinois)
2006 - FCS Playoffs- (Eastern Illinois)
2005 - FCS Playoffs- (Eastern Illinois)
2002 - FCS Playoffs- (Eastern Illinois)
2001 - FCS Playoffs- (Eastern Illinois)

Playing Experience
Defensive Tackle, University of Massachusetts (1988) Iona College (1990-92)

Born: March 2, 1970
Hometown: Port Chester, NY
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration in Management, Iona 1993
Marital Status: Wife, Jenny
Family: Sons Gino (14), Marco (13), and twins Ricky and Nico (10)

At Florida Atlantic

Roc Bellantoni joined the FAU football coaching staff in December of 2014 with the task of reinventing a defense that had flourished the year before behind the efforts of two linebackers and a corner who continued their careers on NFL rosters. Not an easy request, but he did so behind the efforts of returning all-conference selections D'Joun Smith, at corner, and Andrae Kirk, at linebacker. Both players had been consistent starters during their four-year playing career and both were accustomed to adjustments with Bellantoni being their fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons. Kirk led the Owls in tackles, with 103, and became the program's all-time tackle assists leader, while Smith had a team leading eight passes defended and 53 tackles. Often times, the duo were two of just three seniors on the field. Kirk ended the season ranked No. 3 among C-USA tacklers and signed as an NFL free agent with Arizona and completed his first professional season in Canada. Smith was No. 16 nationally in kick returns and No. 43 in recovered fumbles he was a third round pick by the Indianapolis Colts. The defensive side of the ball also worked through injuries, losing an experienced defensive lineman and a linebacker to season ending injuries. Following his first season with the Owls Bellantoni was named Conference USA Recruiter of the Year by

Bellantoni began 2015, his second with the Owls, with several holes to fill and in many cases it was freshmen or redshirt freshmen who stepped up to the challenge. Just four positions saw the same starters play each of the squad’s 12 games. The season finale starting unit was comprised of four seniors, one junior, one sophomore and five freshmen. Despite its youth, the Owls’ defense improved its national ranking 40 spots between 2014-15 and 2015-16. FAU’s red zone defense was ranked No. 13 at season’s end. Owl defenders tallied 26 points in 2015 and were ranked No. 8 nationally in defensive TDs and No. 13 in sacks. Individually, four Owls were ranked among the nation’s leaders in interceptions with senior Cre’von LeBlanc leading the way at No. 39, nationally. Junior Trey Hendrickson was No. 2 nationally in both sacks and forced fumbles and freshman Azeez Al-Shaair was named Freshman All-American by the USA Today.

2016 was a year the Owls saw defensive end Trey Hendrickson flourish. Hendrickson began the year as the Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the year and he performed as one throughout the season despite playing with a new combination to his left. Hendrickson ended his storied career, three seasons of which under Bellantoni, as the program’s all-time leader in sacks, tackles for loss, quarterback hurries and forced fumbles. Hendrickson concluded the regular season No. 1 nationally in blocked kicks and he helped the offensive unit set the all-time single-season rushing touchdown record as the lead blocker in third and short and the goal line attack. Bellantoni oversaw the continued development of linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and Jalen Young, who were one-two in tackle efforts. Both earned 2016 C-USA Honorable Mention honors along with Hendrickson’s First Team efforts. Hendrickson concluded the award season named PFF Second Team All-American.

At Villanova
Roc Bellantoni coached two seasons at Villanova. While at Villanova he focused on the Wildcats defensive line and served as special teams coordinator. His recruiting area was Florida.

The 2013 Villanova team finished the season ranked No. 6 in the NCAA SRS rankings. He coached All-CAA defensive lineman Rakim Cox and Antoine Lewis as well as All-CAA punter Mark Hamilton.

In 2012, Bellantoni had four players earn All-CAA honors. On defense, nose guard Antoine Lewis and defensive end Rakim Cox were both first team All-Conference honorees and senior defensive end Marlon Johnson was a second team selection. On special teams, sophomore Poppy Livers garnered third team All-CAA distinction as a punt returner. Bellantoni's 2012 punt return unit led the CAA with a return average of 16.8 per game. Villanova won the CAA championship and received the automatic bid to the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs.

Eastern Illinois
He served as an assistant from 2001-11 while working his way up the storied program's coaching ladder to associate head coach. He was the defensive coordinator from 2002-11 and the associate head coach from 2007-11. Bellantoni helped Eastern Illinois win five Ohio Valley Conference Championships (2009, 2006, 2005, 2002, and 2001) and make six NCAA playoff appearances. During the 2007 season, he served as Acting Head Coach for the final regular season game and the first round FCS playoff game. During the 2006 campaign, his defense led the nation in turnovers forced with 36. Throughout his tenure as the Eastern Illinois defensive coordinator, Bellantoni coached three Ohio Valley Conference Defenders of the Year, including Donald Thomas (2006), Clint Sellers (2005) and Nick Ricks (2002).

Drake University
First collegiate coordinating experience came as the Defensive Coordinator at Drake University. In 2000, Drake earned a share of the Pioneer League title as Bellantoni's defense forced 26 turnovers and tallied 36 sacks that season. He also was a part of the 1998 Drake team that captured the conference championship.

High School Coaching Experience
Bellantoni began his coaching career at Mamoroneck High School in New York in 1993 and 1994. His first college job came at Buena Vista University in Iowa in 1995.

Playing Career
Iona College (1990-1993) - three-year letter winner at defensive tackle. University of Massachusetts (1988)- redshirted as a member of the Yankee Conference Championship team.

Professional Players Coached
Pierre Walters (DE- Kansas City Chiefs free agent)
Kory Lothe (DE- St. Louis Rams free agent)
Roosevelt Holliday (DT- NY Jets free agent)
Fred Miller (LB- St. Louis Rams free agent)
Adam Nelson (LS- Kansas City Chiefs free agent)
Rakim Cox (DE- Minnesota Vikings free agent)
Andrae Kirk (LB - Arizona Cardinals free agent/CFL)
D'Joun Smith (CB - Indianapolis Colts - 3rd round pick)
Cre'von LeBlanc (CB - New England Patroits - Free Agent)
Brandin Bryant (DL - Seattle Seahawks - Free Agent)
Trevon Coley (DL - Baltimore Ravens - Free Agent)
Sharrod Neasman (S - Atlanta Falcons Free Agent)

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