DOVER, Del. – Wesley College head football coach Chip Knapp announced on Monday the hiring of veteran coach Joe Bottiglieri as defensive coordinator.
"Coach Bottiglieri brings a wealth of experience and leadership to our program," said Knapp. "He has the passion and commitment to help us move forward after the loss of Coach Drass."
Bottiglieri comes to Wesley with over 47 years of experience coaching football. Bottiglieri most recently served at Division I Lehigh University where he spent five seasons as a defensive assistant in his second stint with the Mountain Hawks, three seasons as the defensive coordinator. He helped spearhead the defense that led the Mountain Hawks to two consecutive Patriot League Championships and berths in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Tournament.
Prior to returning to Lehigh, Bottiglieri spent 12 seasons as a high school football coach, 11 at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pa. As the head coach of the Emmaus Green Hornets, he led the team to seven postseason appearances in 11 years.
In his first stint with Lehigh, Bottiglieri was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Mountain Hawks' Patriot League Championship teams in 1998 and 1999. Those teams appeared in the NCAA Division I-AA Tournament and finished with a 22-3 record in two years.
Prior to his first stint at Lehigh, Bottiglieri spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Rhode Island. From 1990-95 Bottiglieri coached at William & Mary, spending one year as linebacker coach and the next four as the defensive coordinator for the Tribe. Bottiglieri also served as the head coach at Shippensburg University from 1986-89 before moving on to William & Mary.
Bottiglieri held his first head coaching position at Mansfield University, where he served from 1978-83. At Mansfield, he coached late Wesley football head coach Mike Drass to two All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors. His first college coaching experience came at Lafayette where he served as linebacker coach and freshman offensive line coach from 1973-78.
Bottiglieri received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bloomsburg University in 1971 before earning a Master of Science from Indiana State University in 1974.
"Thank you to Coach Knapp, Tracey Short and the rest of the staff for the opportunity to join such a storied program," stated Bottiglieri. "I am excited to get started and continue the success of the Wesley football program."
Knapp also announced several changes to the existing staff. Steve Azzanesi, who is entering his 17th season on the football staff, will take over as the offensive coordinator. Arthur Smith, who coached the linebackers in his first season on the staff last season, will oversee the secondary in 2018.