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Deserving Credit

Thursday August 28, 2008 (Defensive Coordinators)

"Deserving Credit" is a series highlighting some terrific and/or lesser known coaches throughout the country that based on their hard work are worthy of national recognition.

Kevin Doherty (Harvard University): Do not put yourself in 3rd and long against the Harvard defense. Problem is, that's where most opponents end up when playing versus Kevin Doherty's defense. Doherty is set to begin his 8th season on the staff at Harvard University. For years, Doherty has caused problems for Ivy League opponents. That Crimson is extremely well coached on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, in 2007 the Harvard defense finished 3rd in the country in rushing defense, total defense, and scoring defense. However, that is not unusual for the Crimson as Doherty has led this defense to the top for several consecutive years. Just two seasons ago, the Crimson led the Ivy League in both rushing defense and total defense. Coaches in the profession say the Harvard defense attacks, play as physical as anyone, and consistently tackle well. DI head coaches may want to consider Doherty the next time your DC job comes open.

Darrin Hayes (Jackson State): In recent years under Coach Darrin Hayes, the Jackson State Tigers have improved significantly on defense. After leading a dominant defense at Tuskegee University in 2005, Hayes accepted the DC job at Jackson State. During his tenure at Tuskegee, Hayes led a defense that finished 1st in virtually every major defensive category in the SIAC. Since his arrival at Jackson State, the Tigers have produced back-to-back top 20 defenses while playing in the SWAC versus some wide open potent offenses. Last season, the Tigers led the SWAC in rushing defense and total defense, finishing 8th nationally. One season earlier, the Jackson State defense finished 16th in the country in total defense. Keep your eye on Coach Darrin Hayes.

Keith Dudzinski (UMASS): UMASS defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski is a ball coach. Dudzinski enters his 4th season as the DC of the Minuteman. Over the past several years, the UMASS defense has been tough to score against. In 2006, UMASS finished 5th in country in scoring defense (13.3 ppg) on their way to the national championship game. One season earlier in 2005, the Dudzinski's defense led the nation in scoring defense. Keep your eye on the UMASS defense early this season vs. James Madison and Texas Tech.