|Title:||Head Football Coach|
|Recruiting Area:||WV, VA, NY, NJ, MA, MD, DE, CT, RI, VT, NH, ME, OHIO: by area code (614, 740, 380)|
In the fall of 2012 Jack Hatem returns for his third season as the head football coach at Denison University.
In 2011 Hatem guided the Big Red to a 5-5 record and a 4-2 mark in the North Coast Athletic Conference that resulted in a third-place finish in the league standings. On Oct. 1, Denison squared off against The College of Wooster in the school's annual travelling trophy game for the "Old Red Lantern." After an impressive 27-13 win by the Big Red on the Fighting Scots' home field, the lantern returned to Granville for the first time in 16 years.
At the conclusion of the season, seven Denison players were named to the All-NCAC squad highlighted by first-team selections Joe Romanowski and Sam Fioroni. Last spring, Hatem and his Denison staff were selected to coach the South team at the third annual Ohio Army National Guard Senior Bowl. On April 13, the South squad, which included DU seniors Ed Hebb and Romanowski, topped the North, 21-7.
In 2011, Denison led the NCAC in time of possession and finished second in total offense with 3,943 yards. Junior quarterback Max Paulus posted the third-most passing yards in school history, throwing for 2,336 yards and 22 touchdowns while Fioroni led the NCAC in rushing with 1,093 yards.
Hatem became Denison's 20th head coach in the 121-year history of Big Red football in March of 2010. He had spent the previous five seasons at Denison as an assistant coach, serving as defensive coordinator for the final three seasons of that stint. In his first season as head coach in 2010 he led DU to a 4-6 record.
Prior to coming to Denison, Hatem spent 13 years as a high school football head coach. He also served three seasons as the head baseball coach at his alma mater, The University of Rio Grande. Hatem graduated from Rio Grande in 1982, earning his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. He also holds a master’s degree in physical education from Ohio University (1992).
A two-time Ohio High School Football Coach of the Year, Hatem brought 25 years of coaching experience and 13 years as a head coach at the high school level to the Denison program. He joined the Denison staff in 2005 and spent two years coaching defensive backs. In 2007 he was promoted to defensive coordinator and from 2007 through 2009 his defense forced 64 turnovers, which was the third most in the North Coast Athletic Conference during that span. In 2008 the Big Red posted a 6-4 record, winning five of their final six games of the season. Over the course of that streak, the Denison defense held its opponents to an average of just 12.8 points per game, and for the year, DU’s opponents gained just 333.0 yards of total offense per game, which was the lowest average allowed by a Denison defense since 1995.
A native of Lancaster, Ohio, and a graduate of Fisher Catholic High School, Hatem was named head football coach at Fisher in 1992. Over the course of three seasons, he led the Fighting Irish to a 22-9 record, including the program’s third undefeated season in school history in 1993. That year, Hatem earned his first Ohio High School Coach of the Year recognition and guided his Fisher squad to its first-ever state playoff appearance.
From 1995 to 1997, Hatem served as head football coach at Highland High School in Sparta, Ohio, and in 1998, he took over a struggling New Albany High School football program, quickly turning it into one of the top programs in central Ohio. Hatem was named Ohio High School Football Coach of the Year again in 1999 after guiding New Albany to a 9-1 record, the program’s best season dating to 1966.
In addition to his accomplishments on the football field, Hatem also has had considerable success on the baseball diamond. A former baseball standout at Fisher Catholic, Hatem served as head baseball coach at Rio Grande for three seasons, shortly after his graduation from the college. While he was an assistant football coach at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Hatem also served as head baseball coach there. In 1991, he led Watterson to its second state baseball championship.
Hatem currently lives in nearby Lancaster. He has two grown sons, A.J. and Ryan.
Zack Brent '07 returns for his third season as an assistant football coach for the Big Red in 2012. After spending the 2010 season as the team's co-defensive coordinator, Brent will begin his second season as Defensive Coodinator.
In 2011 the Big Red held team's to 21.7 ppg and limited opposing offenses to just over 300 yards per game. Denison finished fifth in the NCAC in total defense and second in rushing defense.
Prior to returning to the Big Red sidelines, Brent spent the
previous four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of
Colorado and Michigan Tech.
After graduating from Denison, Brent spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons as the recruiting assistant at Colorado. In 2009 he moved to the upper peninsula of Michigan as a graduate assistant for the Michigan Tech Huskies. An NCAA Division II institution and a member of the highly competitive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Brent coached the defensive backs.
In addition to his experiences coaching at Colorado and Michigan Tech, while studying abroad during his junior year at Denison, Brent served as the player development intern for NFL Europe and was the assistant coach for the London Warriors, the London Youth National Team.
In the spring of 2007 Brent also served as a defensive assistant for the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League and in the following spring, Brent had the opportunity to serve as a player/coach for the Swarco Raiders of Innsbruck, Austria where he helped them to the 2008 European Championship.
As a player for the Big Red, Brent was a four-year starter at wide receiver. On Sept. 27, 2004 he was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week after leading DU to a win over 35-23 win over Gettysburg. In that game, Brent caught 11 passes for 116 yards and three touchdown catches. As a freshman and sophomore, Brent also served as a representative on Football Leadership Committee.
Austin Holter returns in 2013 for his fourth season at Denison and has been promoted to Offensive Coordinator after spending his first three years as the Big Red's quarterback coach.
In 2012 the Denison passing game, led by senor quarterback and three-year starter, Max Paulus, threw for over 2,000 yards for the third straight season. Paulus left Denison as the career leader in passing yards (6,545), touchdown passes (53), completions (587), attempts (983) and completion percentage (59.7). He was named to the All-NCAC honorable mention in 2011 and 2012.
Those who have followed the NCAC should be familiar with Holter,
most recently as a three-year starting quarterback for the College
of Wooster. Prior to that, he was piling up yardage on the ground
and through the air as the starting QB at nearby Johnstown-Monroe
A 2010 Wooster graduate, Holter spent three seasons as the Fighting Scots’ starting signal caller. He was a two-time All-NCAC selection and in 2009, set a school-record with 2,873 yards of total offense. His 2,106 passing yards were also a school record.
On the recruting trail Holter will be responsible for 10 states including northwestern and central areas of Ohio.
|Title:||Asst. Football Coach (Offensive Line)|
Frank Little returns for his 13th season as a member of the Big Red coaching staff in 2012. He has been with Denison for two coaching stints in his career. The first spanning 1997-2000 and his present stint which dates back to 2003.
Little coached the offensive line at Kenyon from 2001-2002 before returning to Granville.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Little began his coaching career at Big Walnut High School in 1992. After four years he entered the college ranks in 1996 at Urbana University.
In 2008, Little's offensive line anchored the Denison rushing attack that led the North Coast Athletic Conference, averaging 203 ypg. The line opened holes for the DU backfield led by the triple-threat attack of running backs Jon Berg and Nick Krempasky, and quarterback Mike Barnes. The trio combined for over 2,000 yards and 18 scores on the ground.
Little's offensive lines have twice been awarded d3football.com's Offensive Line of the Week. In a 2006 victory over Kenyon, tackles Alex Weaver and Pat Downs, guards Derek Ulsh and Doug Macik and center Bobby George garnered the honor after powering Big Red backs Jon Berg and Fred Lee over the 200 yard mark for the game.
In 2007, Weaver, George, Nick Paolini, Bobby Fresch and Mike Muldoon took home the honor in a 51-41 victory over Kenyon in which three Big Red backs rushed for 100 yards. In 2007, the Big Red line led running back Jon Berg to second team All-NCAC accolades. Their 193.3 rushing yards per game was the most by a Big Red squad since 1992.
As a player, Little was a standout center for Ashland University, where he earned all-conference accolades and was voted the team's top offensive lineman in 1988. He graduated from Ashland in 1989 with a bachelors degree in physical education. He lives in Grandview with his wife, Kim.
|Title:||Asst. Football Coach (Defensive Line)|
Mark Watts returns for his ninth year as an assistant football coach at Denison University. He will coach the defensive line in 2012. Watts, who also serves as the college's Director of Strength and Conditioning is responsible for the performance enhancement and injury prevention of 17 of the 23 varsity men and women’s sports at Denison throughout the year. His football duties include coaching the defensive line, coordinating the punt & punt return teams, and assisting with football operations.
During his last tenure at Denison, Watts was the Defensive
Coordinator and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach from August
of 2002 until February of 2005. Watts coached the secondary,
linebackers and finally the safeties in those three years.
While coordinating the defense, Watts helped the Big Red improve in
all but one defensive statistical category over the course of three
seasons. In 2004, Denison was in the top half of the NCAC
conference defensive statistics in seven out of eleven categories
including 4th in total defense, 3rd in turnovers and 2nd in Pass
Defense Efficiency helping the Big Red earn a 6-4 record, their
best since 1991. Watts left Denison in 2005 for The United
States Military Academy where he spent 18 months as an Assistant
Strength & Conditioning coach.
Before coming to Denison, Watts was the defensive line and strength and conditioning coach at Allegheny College (Pa.) in 2001. During Watts' tenure, the Gator's defense was ranked 10th nationally against the run in Division III.
Prior to Allegheny, Watts served as defensive line coach and
assistant strength coach at Clarion University (Pa.) from 1998
until 2000. In 2000, Watts helped the PSAC West Champion Golden
Eagles earn a conference-leading 55 sacks, while also coaching
first and second team all-conference nose guards.
Clarion University is also where he earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education and his Masters in Elementary Education degree. While working on his masters, Watts managed to be on the Dean's list twice and was selected as Clarion University's 2000-2001 Outstanding Graduate Student. While at Clarion, Watts founded the Clarion Barbell Club in 1998, which in turn won the university's Community Service Award in the spring of 2001. Watts played nose guard on the Golden Eagle football team which advanced to the 1996 NCAA Division II semifinals.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Watts attended Brashear High School and earned 1990 All-Pittsburgh City League honors as a nose guard. After graduating high school in 1991, Watts served just under three years in the United States Marine Corps where he earned the rank of Lance Corporal. His unit was part of the 26th MEU and participated in operation "Deny Flight/ Provide Comfort" in Bosnia in 1993. Watts is 38 and he and his wife, Nikki, have a daughter, Claire, and reside in Reynoldsburg.
|Title:||Asst. Football Coach (Strong Safeties)|
Jeff Buchanan returns for his third season as a defensive staff assistant in 2012 and will coach the strong safeties.
Buchanan rejoined Denison's staff last season 25-years after beginning his coaching career as an assistant under Keith Piper on the Big Red's 10-0 North Coast Athletic Conference Championship team in 1985.
Since leaving DU, Buchanan has gone on to become one of the most
successful high school coaches in Central Ohio, guiding Lancaster
Fisher Catholic, Newark Catholic, Watkins Memorial and Newark High
School to a combined 141 victories.
Buchanan continues to teach physical education in the Newark City School system.
|Title:||Asst. Football Coach (Linebackers)|
Joe Ulrey '09 returns for his second year as an assistant football coach at Denison in 2012. After spending the 2010 season as the defensive line coach at nearby Kenyon College, Ulrey will resume his role as linebackers coach in 2012.
A native of Marengo, Ohio and Sparta-Highland High School, Ulrey was a three-year starter at linebacker for the Big Red from 2006 through 2008. He led the team in tackles in 2006 and 2007 and finished his career with 208 tackles and four interceptions. In 2007 and 2008 Ulrey was named to the All-NCAC honorable mention squad.
In addition to his coaching stint at Kenyon, Ulrey has also served one season as assistant football and baseball coach at Sparta-Highland High School.
|Title:||Asst. Football Coach (Running Backs)|
AJ Hatem begins his second season as an assistant with the Big Red in 2012 and will coach the running backs.
A 2011 graduate of Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, Hatem received a bachelor's in exercise science. A native of Lancaster, Ohio, Hatem played high school football at Fisher Catholic where he started at linebacker for the Fighting Irish.
Prior to taking over as the running backs coach at DU, Hatem has also volunteered at football summer campus at the University of Cincinnati, Lauren's Camp at Otterbein University and the Denison Big Red Football Camp.
|Title:||Asst. Football Coach (Defensive Backs)|
Tyler Lambert enters his first season as an assistant coach at
Denison. A former four-year starter at cornerback, he left DU with
99 tackles and 11 interceptions in 37 games.
In 2007 he posted a career-best seven interceptions in just seven games. He was also named the NCAC Defensive Player of the Week after a three interception effort against Earlham.
Lambert will coach defensive backs in 2012.
|Title:||Asst. Football Coach (Kickers/Punters)|
Gary Sitler is back for his 12th season as a volunteer coach of
the Big Red's kickers and punters.
A native of Newark, Ohio he has spent nearly 30 years teaching kicking and punting at local camps and clinics. A 1978 graduate of Wittenberg, Sitler was a part of the Tigers' national championship team in 1975 and was the program's all-time leader in punting for over 30 years. This fall Sitler is scheduled to be inducted into the Wittenberg Athletics Hall of Honor.
Sitler is the president of Flint Ridge Energy and lives in Granville with his wife, Penny. They have two children, Ryan and Aubrey.