BOCA RATON, Fla. - Tony Pecoraro has been named Florida Atlantic University’s defensive coordinator and linebacker coach.
In his first season at FAU, Pecoraro will be afforded the opportunity to work with a defense that returns all but one starter, including three 2017 Conference USA First Team honorees in Azeez Al-Shaair, Jalen Young and Shelton Lewis. In total, eight All-Conference honorees return in 2018. Pecoraro comes to FAU after spending two seasons at fellow C-USA member Southern Miss.
Pecoraro joined the Southern Miss staff in 2016. While in Hattiesburg, Pecoraro guided an USM defense that ranked No. 20 in total defense in 2017, and No. 45 in scoring defense. His two year’s work showed a 30-spot increase in total defense and a nine-spot increase in scoring defense. Southern Miss played in the 2016 R&L Carrier New Orleans Bowl where the defense was led by All-Conference defensive linemen Dylan Bradley and Xavier Thigpen, and linebackers D’Nerius Antoine and Elijah Parker. The 2017 Southern Miss participated in the Walk-on Independance Bowl and were led defensively by C-USA selections Thigpen and Curtis Mikell.
Prior to Southern Miss, Pecoraro served as Alcorn State’s defensive coordinator, a position he held for four seasons. His efforts at Alcorn State helped to lead the Braves to two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.
Prior to his stint in Lorman, Pecoraro served a two-year stint at North Alabama as defensive coordinator. He had an integral part in North Alabama's success as he coached a total of five All-Americans and 11 All-GSC players. Pecoraro helped lead the Lions to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Pecoraro earned his stripes with eight years of collegiate coaching experience, including having served for three seasons as the defensive quality control coach at Florida State.
During his tenure at FSU, Pecoraro was a part of Atlantic Coast Conference championship teams in 2002 and 2003. He also helped coach five bowl teams as Florida State played in the Nokia Sugar Bowl in 2003, the FedEx Orange Bowl in 2004, the Music City Bowl in 2007, the Champs Sports Bowl in 2008 and the Gator Bowl in 2009.
Pecoraro began his collegiate coaching career at Webber International University in Babson Park, Florida, where he worked as a graduate assistant from 2004-05. In 2006, Pecoraro was promoted to a full-time coaching position, responsible for the defensive line while also serving as recruiting coordinator.
In his first experience with FSU, Pecoraro served as a student assistant from the 2002-03 season working directly with the quarterbacks.
The Owls will open spring practice Tuesday, March 20. Pro Day will be Tuesday, March 27, the team’s Carter Park Practice is scheduled for Saturday, April 7 and the 2018 Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 21.
Season tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS. The ticket office is currently accepting seat deposits for $50 per seat.