Jan. 2, 2014
Bellantoni joins the team with 21 years of coaching experience, as the Owls co-defensive coordinator. He will focus his primary attention on the defensive lines where he will welcome the return of rising juniors Trevon Coley, who has started the last 24 games, and all-conference honoree Brandin Bryant, who led FAU much of the season in tackles until he was edged in the final game due to a game-ending injury. Bellatoni comes to FAU after a two-year stint at Villanova University where he served as the defensive line and special teams coach as well as the primary recruiter for the state of Florida. Prior to Villanova, he coached at Eastern Illinois University for 11 seasons working his way from defensive line coach to associate head coach. He also focused his recruiting efforts in Florida. His first collegiate coaching experience was at Drake University where he was a part of two Pioneer Football League championships.
"Coach Roc [Bellatoni] will be a valuable resource as a defensive coordinator," said Partridge. "He has coordinated defense and special teams successfully and will be a great teacher for our defensive line. He also has been recruiting Florida for the last 14 years and is well respected by area high school coaches."
Chris Hurd will join the staff as the special team coordinator and tight ends coach. Hurd has nine years of experience coaching on both sides of the ball, and also as a strength and conditioning coach. Most recently, he was a special teams quality control coach at the University of Arkansas, where he worked with FAU Head Coach Charlie Partridge. He has been a part of eight bowl games as either a player or coach. Hurd will work with the tight ends, who return three-year letterman Alex Deleon, as well as with the Owls special teams which returns All-Conference Second Team punter Sean Kelly.
"I am excited about the future of the Owl special teams and tight ends under Chris Hurd's watch," said Partridge. "He has vast experience and tremendous knowledge as a football coach that will be an asset to our program."
The duo will join Brian Wright, associate head coach; Roger Harriott, assistant head coach; Jovan Dewitt, co-defensive coordinator; Bart Miller, assistant coach/OL; and Dan Shula, assistant coach/WR, bringing the assistant staff total to seven along with four graduate assistants. The remaining staff additions will be completed in the coming weeks.