NEWS, NOTES &
The Bradsher Beat
Monday, February 11, 2008
By Bethany Bradsher
Coaching fraternity breeds
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Photo: New York Giants
Dave DeGuglielmo and Skip Holtz spent seven
years coaching together as fellow assistants or, for a season at
Connecticut, with DeGuglielmo serving on Holtz’s staff.
But even if he once worked for Skip, DeGuglielmo
has been pulling rank on his friend this past week. At least while the
bragging rights are still fresh, the East Carolina coach will have to defer
to the Super Bowl Champion.
It’s been a good time for DeGuglielmo to
reconnect with friends like Holtz, ECU offensive coordinator Todd Fitch and
strength coach Mike Golden, all buddies from his days in the college ranks.
Because as the assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants,
DeGuglielmo has reached a milestone that his Greenville friends don’t share.
“He is a great friend and I miss coaching with
him,” Holtz said. “I am happy for his success and I wish him the best. Big
things are on the horizon for him.”
DeGuglielmo’s players on the offensive line held
to the classic linemen anonymity as the unsung heroes of the Giants’
stunning 17-14 upset of the Patriots. Eli Manning played a smart game with
toughness and a variety of offensive looks, but the whole offense worked in
concert to set the pace and tone of the game, he said.
“They had quite a few pro bowlers, and we had
one,” he said. “But the bottom line was we were hot, and they were not from
the first play. We caught them at the right time. We came out believing that
we could beat them.
“It was old-school, field position,
smack-you-in-the-mouth kind of football, and we had the upper hand.”
Before joining the Giants staff four years ago,
DeGuglielmo spent five seasons coaching the offensive line and tight ends at
the University of South Carolina, where Skip Holtz was also coaching under
his father Lou. And prior to that position, DeGuglielmo coached under Skip
Holtz at the University of Connecticut, working with the offensive line.
“He’s a fundamental football coach, and he’s no
nonsense,” Holtz said. “He pushes his players hard, but they love him. “
In both of those college posts, DeGuglielmo also
worked alongside current ECU offensive coordinator Todd Fitch, who came to
East Carolina from Iowa State after spending four years each at Connecticut
and South Carolina. He also worked with ECU strength coach Mike Golden at
both of those universities.
DeGuglielmo counts all three Pirate coaches as
good friends, and he has visited Greenville several times, he said.
“Last time I was there, I went by Skip’s house,
and we sat outside and talked until two in the morning,” he said. “We had so
many good stories that we don’t even talk about where we are currently. We
have a lot of fun when we get together.”
It was a testament to Holtz’s skills of
persuasion that he convinced Fitch to join him in Greenville two years ago,
DeGuglielmo said. On a game day, there is no one he would rather have
engineering an offense than Fitch.
“That was one heck of a grab,” he said of Fitch.
“I didn’t think Skip was going to be able to get him. Todd Fitch,
truthfully, is one of the best game-day play-calling guys I’ve ever been
around. He’s steady, he’s rhythmic in his calls, he understands when to go
for it and when to pull back.”
There’s plenty of mutual admiration in this
coaching clique, but for now DeGuglielmo can bask in his share of the world
champions title. But not too much celebration, please. Head coach Tom
Coughlin held his regular 7:30 a.m. staff meeting the day after the game, he
“One thing you know about this team, we will
remain on schedule,” DeGuglielmo said.
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02/28/2008 12:52:01 AM