2012 COACHING STAFF
Mike Whalen - Head
(860) 685-2908 - email@example.com
Beginning his long-standing collegiate coaching career at his alma
mater in 1983-84 as an assistant coach in both football and
wrestling, Mike Whalen, a 1983 Wesleyan graduate, returned to the
Cardinal staff to become head football coach and associate athletics
director in April, 2010. He is now in his third season at the helm of Cardinal football as as of July 1, 2012, serves as the college's Athletics Director.
Mike had been head coach at Williams College for six
seasons (2004-09) with a cumulative record of 38-10, leading the Ephs to only
their sixth undefeated season (8-0) in 2006. He won four Little
Three titles and had a perfect 6-0 mark against Wesleyan.
Along with being named the 2006 NESCAC Coach of the
Year, Mike is the recipient of many coaching honors, including
selection as a finalist for the prestigious 2006 Liberty Mutual
Coach of the Year Award, which is presented to the nation’s top
coach in all divisions. Mike was the only Division III coach among
the 16 finalists. He has also received the Johnny Vaught Head
Coaching Award from the All-American Football Foundation and was
named the Master Sports University/College Coach of the Year.
Mike had at least one Eph offensive lineman named All-NESCAC
first team every season. He has coached the only player in NESCAC
and ECAC New England history to win back-to-back Offensive Player of
the Year awards. Continuing the strong tradition at Wesleyan, Mike coached former Wesleyan captain Nick Seara '11 to a first-team all-NESCAC selection at center in 2010, and 2012 team tri-captain Jake Sheffer '14 was first team in 2011 as an offensive lineman.
Before being appointed head coach at Williams, Mike
served as an assistant football coach there for eight years, first
as offensive line coach for five years and then as the offensive
line coach and offensive coordinator for three years. Mike also
served as the head wrestling coach at Williams from 1996 until 2004.
As the head coach of Williams wrestling, Mike had 36
All-New England performers. In 2000 he was named New England College
Conference Wrestling Association (now the New England Wrestling
Association, NEWA) Coach of the Year for leading Williams to a
second place finish among the 15 teams in the region. The NEWA named
Mike the Rookie Coach of the Year in 1997 as well, and he has since
been inducted into the NEWA Hall of Fame.
While an undergraduate at Wesleyan, Mike captained the
football team, earning All-New England recognition three times and honorable-mention All-America honors as an offensive lineman. He was
also a captain of the wrestling team, a four-time all-New England
wrestling honoree as a heavyweight, and the first wrestler to win
four consecutive NEWA titles. He qualified for the NCAA Division III
Championships each of his four years.
Mike’s coaching career began at Wesleyan during the
1983-84 academic year when he served as as an assistant defensive
line coach and assistant wrestling coach. He went on to Springfield
College in 1984 where he served as a graduate assistant in both
football and wrestling while earning a master’s in physical
education. Upon completing his degree requirements at Springfield,
Mike joined the staff at the University of Pennsylvania, and the
1986 Quakers went undefeated and won the Ivy League title. From Penn,
Mike moved on to Lafayette College, where the Leopards won the
Colonial League title in 1988 and the Patriot League title in 1989.
In 1993, Mike went to Colgate University, where he was the Associate
Head Coach and offensive line coach for the Red Raiders.
Mike resides in Durham with his wife, Karen, and two sons, Jake (18), currently in a PG year at Phillips Exeter Academy, and Luke (16), a student at Cogichaug High School.
Dan DiCenzo - Associate Head Coach
(Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Backs)
Dan DiCenzo, formerly the head wrestling coach and assistant
football coach at Williams College, joined the Wesleyan
University coaching staff as associate head football coach and
defensive coordinator for the 2010 season and is now in his third campaign in 2012.
Dan, a 2001 graduate of Williams College where he
excelled in football and wrestling, coached at Williams for six
seasons including three as head wrestling coach. Earning all-NESCAC
football honors as well as all-New England honors on the mats as an
undergraduate, Dan served as a team captain of both sports and
received the Purple Key Award for 2000-01 as the top male athlete at
the college. Before returning to Williams for the 2004 football
campaign, Dan had coaching stints at both Trinity College, where he
working on his master's degree, and Brown University.
As head wrestling coach at Williams, Dan led the Ephs
to national prominance over his last several seasons, culminating in
both the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Duals team
championship and a NEWA tournament title in 2009-10. The NEWA
tournament title was his second in a row. His team was ranked 15th
nationally heading into the NCAA Division III Championships in March, 2010. His squad finished in a tie for 23rd nationally during
the NCAAs. Over his three seasons in charge of the Eph matmen, Dan
amassed a cumulative dual-match record of 50-16-1.
A part of the Williams football staff throughout the
head coaching career of Mike Whalen, Dan was on the defensive side
of the ball, handling defensive backs. Nine of the players under his
tutelage earned all-NESCAC recognition.
In addition to his football coaching assignment, Dan assists Wesleyan head wrestling coach Drew Black in his duties
as the athletic department's strength and conditioning coach. He also served as tournament director for both the 2011 and 2012 NEWA Championships, the former hosted by Trinity and the latter by Wesleyan. Dan resides in Portlamnd, Conn.
A tremendous veteran coaching talent whose prior assignments featured
a 12-year stint as head football coach at Yale University
(1997-2008), Jack Siedlecki joined the Cardinal football staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2010. He directs the attack for a third time in 2012.
Named New England Coach of the Year after guiding the
Bulldogs to a 9-1 mark in 2007, Jack compiled a 70-49 overall mark
at Yale. Prior to his years with the Elis, Jack was head
football coach at Amherst College for four seasons, directing the
Lord Jeffs to a 20-11-1 mark from 1993-96 after inheriting a team
that went 0-8 in 1992. In 1996, Jack's charges tied for the
best record in the NESCAC with a 7-1 posting. Before arriving
at Amherst, Jack handled the head coaching duties at WPI from
1988-1992. His squads there enjoyed four winning campaigns and
an overall record of 36-11-1. In 1992, he was named AFCA
District Coach of the Year as he helped the Engineers to a 9-2
overall record and a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament. His 1990 squad posted the first undefeated season in WPI history with an 8-0-1 record. Thus, Jack's 22-year head
coaching record is an outstanding 126-67-2.
Jack is a 1974 graduate of Union College and played both football and
baseball for the Dutchmen. He also had experience as a
coach/player in semi-pro football with the Glove City Colonials in New
York after graduating from Union. His initial college coaching
experience came in 1976 as an assistant at the University of Albany
(1976-79). Before taking over at WPI in 1988, Jack served as
an assistant at Wagner (1980) and Lafayette (1981-87). Jack lives in Madison, Conn. with his wife, Nancy. His daughter, Amy, is a Wesleyan athletics department intern and assistant women's lacrosse coach.
Jeff McDonald returns for his fourth season on the Cardinal coaching staff for 2012 after coming on board for the first time in 2009 by coaching the secondary. Once again this year, Jeff will direct the linebackers and special teams while also serving as recruiting coordinator.
Under Jeff's direction last year, the Cardinal linebacker corps placed Cyprian Oyamba '12 and Brett Bandazian '12 among the top five tacklers in the NESCAC, the only college in the conference to do so. Similarly impressive, all four of Jeff's special teams finished ranked in the top half of the conference in 2011, an achievement Wesleyan had not reached since the NESCAC began keeping conference wide statistics.
In 2008 Jeff served as the defensive coordinator for Towson University in arguably the best FCS conference in the country. Working with a young defense, which at times had six freshman on the field, Jeff led the group to a #2 national ranking in red-zone defense and had two players named to the all-CAA squad.
From 2002-07, Jeff served as an assistant football coach at Yale University. Coaching the defensive ends/outside linebackers, he helped the Bulldogs win the Ivy League Championship in 2006 while coaching six all-league players. The 2007 Yale defense become the #1 scoring defense in the FCS. Jeff also was the recruiting coordinator for Yale, overseeing the Elis' national recruiting efforts.
The veteran coach also has spent time coaching the linebackers at Central Connecticut State U. (spring of 2009) and the University of New Hampshire (2001). His college coaching career began at Quincy University (NCAA Division II) in Illinois where he served in a number of different roles including defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Hawks. Jeff received his master’s degree in 2004 from Quincy.
Upon graduating from the University of South Florida in 1995, Jeff taught history and coached football at Ridgewood High School in New Port Richey, Fla.
McDonald has led the team in its drive to get involved in the Middletown community. The team has partnered with Woodside Intermediate School, mentoring their students and adding extra supervision during recess. In both 2011 and 2012, more than 100 students from Woodside attended "Recess at Wesleyan", a chance for select third- through fifth-grade students to participate in activities with Wesleyan athletes.
Jeff also is a co-advisor for Wesleyan’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Jeff is active with the local United Way chapter and is a member of the United Way’s Community Impact Team for Positive Youth Development.
Within the athletic department, Jeff recently added the title of Assistant Director for Operations and Facilities. In this role, McDonald works with the department’s coaching interns and supports operations and facility development.
Recently, Jeff completed a series of instructional DVDs on defense in conjunction with American Football Monthly. Previously he had an article published in the magazine. He has been a regular clinic speaker for the annual Nike Coach of the Year Clinics.
Jeff, who grew up in Jupiter, Florida, now lives in Middletown with his wife, the former Rebecca Lieser, and their rescued greyhound, Blitzen.
Joe Giaimo returns for his second year on the Cardinal coaching staff after graduating from Wesleyan in 2011 with a degree in economics. A two-sport captain (football and baseball) at Wesleyan, Giaimo served as a team captain in Coach Whalen's first year as head coach in 2010. In football, Joe played both QB and H-Back and in baseball, he pitched, played first base and patrolled the outfield during his career. As a senior, Giaimo was awarded the Thomas Eck Award for outstanding commitment in football and is a two-time MacNaughten Award recipient for outstanding achievement in baseball. Joe also was selected by the conference head baseball coaches to the 2011 and 2012 all-NESCAC first team.
Joe serves as an assistant director for the Wesleyan Annual Fund in University Relations where he raises money for the school's financial aid program and also coordinates reunion planning. He also is pursuing a master’s degree from Wesleyan though its MALS program.
Joe graduated from Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, N.J. in 2007 where he was a two-sport captain and all-county player in both football and baseball.
Eric Ludwig - Assistant
Coach (Offensive Line)
Eric Ludwig joins the Cardinal coaching staff for the 2012 season after serving as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at New York Maritime College. In two seasons as offensive coordinator, the Privateers went 18-3 and made an appearance in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. In his three seasons as offensive line coach, Eric coached nine all-conference lineman. NY Maritime led the nation in both 2009 and 2010 in fewest sacks allowed and finished the 2009 season nationally ranked fourth in rushing offense.
Prior to his stint at Maritime, Eric was the offensive line coach at Springfield College for two seasons. In 2007 Springfield was ranked second in the nation for fewest sacks allowed and third in rushing offense. Before arriving at Springfield, Eric coached the tight ends for Williams College under current Wesleyan Head Coach Mike Whalen. The 2006 Ephs finished 8-0 in NESCAC play.
A 2006 graduate of Williams College, Eric was a captain of the 2005 squad and earned All-NESCAC, All-ECAC, and All-America honors as an offensive lineman. He was selected to play in the Aztec Bowl, a Division III All-Star game played between the United States and Mexico.
Eric and his wife Rachel, an assistant athletics director at Wesleyan, currently reside in Middletown, Conn.
Clay McGrath - Assistant
Coach (Defensive Line)
Clay McGrath joins the Cardinal staff this season as an athletics department intern and defensive line coach in football. Clay was a three-year starter at Brown University and a two-time All-Ivy selection for the Bears at defensive end. His senior year, Clay earned the William H. Perry award as the team’s most valuable defensive lineman. McGrath also led the Ivy League in tackles for loss his junior year and played an integral role in Brown’s Ivy League Championship season in 2008.
Clay’s father, Neil, is the defensive line coach at Brown, and his brother, Sam, is currently coaching the outside linebackers at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
Seth Jacoby - Assistant
Coach (Defensive Backs)
Seth Jacoby joined the Cardinal coaching staff for the first time in 2011 and returns to assist with the secondary in 2012 after spending more than a decade as an assistant coach at Glastonbury (Conn.) High School. There, Seth served as offensive coordinator in 2008 and played an integral role in the Tomahawks perfect 13-0 season and class LL state title. A 1986 graduate of Glastonbury High, Seth went onto attend Dartmouth College where he lettered for two seasons as an outside linebacker. Following his graduation from Dartmouth, Seth was a player/coach for the Marseille Phoceens football team in France. Seth both played linebacker and coordinated the defense, and helped lead his team to the French National Division 2 Championship with a 15-0 record.
In additonal to coaching football at Wesleyan, Seth assists with the men's lacrosse defensive midfielders for the Cardinals during the spring. Seth and his wife Mairead live in Glastonbury with their children Brigitte (15) and Ronan (13).
Raj Jaswal - Assistant
Coach (Running Backs)
Raj Jaswal begins his first season on the Wesleyan staff as the running backs coach. Raj is a Yale University graduate where he played football for four years as a member of the offensive line. Raj had been the offensive and defensive line coach and worked with the long snappers for 10 years at nearby Xavier High School. During his time at Xavier, the Falcons had three undefeated state championship teams.
Raj graduated from Yale with a degree in biology and received his MBA from the University of Connecticut.
A native of Kansas City, Mo., Raj now lives in Middletown and assists in Wesleyan's Career Center as a counselor.
Paul Bischoff - Assistant
Coach (Wide Receivers)
Paul Bischoff returns to the Cardinal coaching staff for his second season after previously serving as the Offensive Coordinator at Xavier High School in Middletown. Paul played an integral role in Xavier’s perfect 13-0 state championship season in 2010. Prior to his arrival at Xavier, Paul was a tenured faculty member in the history department of Oklahoma State University for 27 years. He retired from OSU in 2003 and moved back to Connecticut where he joined the social studies department at Xavier. Paul and his wife, Carol, reside in Higganum. Paul will be assisting with the wide receivers in 2012 after working on the offensive side of the ball with the linemen a year ago.
Matt Coyne - Assistant
Coach (Wide Receivers)
Matt Coyne joins the Wesleyan coaching staff after spending the last two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. A junior transfer from Williams College, Matt, who grew up in nearby Bristol, Conn., was a three-sport standout in high school. During the 2010 season, Coyne led a Wesleyan offense which produced 188 points, the program's highest offensive output since 1999. Matt also served as one of the team captains in 2011 and received the Thomas Eck award his senior year, signifying outstanding devotion to the team and the game of football at Wesleyan. Matt earned his degree in psychology.
Andrew Lieberman - Student Assistant
Starting his coaching career early, Andrew Lieberman is aboard as a second-year student assistant coach. He played quarterback for two years for the Cardinals before making the switch to coaching during his junior year. In addition to film assistant duties, Andrew will focus his coaching efforts on the offensive side of the ball. In the summer of 2011, Andrew established his own football camp, Air It Out Passing Academy in Scarborough, Me., where he developed the minds and abilities of young skill players. He plans to continue running this camp in the future with help from other collegiate coaches.
A resident of Portland, Me., Andrew was a three-year varsity starting quarterback at Portland High School. As a senior, his outstanding athletic achievement and community service earned him the National Football Foundation’s National Student-Athlete of the Month award in November 2008.
Andrew is a sociology major at Wesleyan and a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.