|Title:||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach|
Former Lehigh All-American wide receiver Dave Cecchini ’95 is in his fourth season as the Mountain Hawks Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach in this, his second stint on the Lehigh coaching staff.
In 2011, Cecchini oversaw one of the finest offensive seasons in Lehigh history. Ten offensive players earned All-Patriot League honors led by quarterback Chris Lum who also earned the league’s Offensive Player of the Year award. Lehigh led the Patriot League and ranked in the top five nationally in total offense (469.6) and passing offense (340.6), while averaging a league-best 32.5 points per game.
Cecchini was instrumental in four offensive players earning All-American honors, including Lum who shattered the Patriot League single-season record for passing yards passing yards (4,378) and the school record for touchdown passes (32). Lum was also the national runner-up in the voting for the Walter Payton Award.
Despite Lum’s graduation, Lehigh still featured a strong offensive unit in 2012. The Mountain Hawks ranked in the top 20 nationally in passing offense and the top 35 nationally in total offense. Quarterback Mike Colvin earned second team All-Patriot League honors in his first season as a starter, and ranked fifth nationally in total offense. Colvin completed 61.5 percent of his passes and threw for 19 touchdowns while rushing for 11 more scores.
In his first year back at Lehigh, Cecchini implemented an offensive attack that helped the program win its ninth Patriot League football championship. The Mountain Hawks ranked second in the Patriot League in passing offense and scoring offense, and averaged over 26 points per game during their eight game winning streak.
Cecchini was instrumental in the development of Lum into a team leader and first team All-Patriot League quarterback. Seven Mountain Hawk offensive players earned All-Patriot League honors including five first team selections. Sophomore Ryan Spadola blossomed into one of the nation’s top wide receivers with 1,130 receiving yards, the most for a Lehigh wideout in nearly a decade.
Cecchini spent four years as Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach at The Citadel where he mentored one of the nation’s top receivers in Andre Roberts, who earned First Team All-America honors following his junior season when he set school records for receptions in a season (95), yards (1,334) and touchdown receptions (14). Cecchini also coached the first pair of receivers since 1983 and second in school history to earn over 100 yards receiving in the same game in Roberts and Scott Flanagan.
In 2007 the Bulldogs set 16 team or individual offensive records, including points scored in a season (39.45 ppg), total offense per game (437.55 ypg) and passing yards per game (245.7 ypg). That team ranked fourth in all of FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) in scoring and 11th in total offense and finished with the school’s best record in 15 years. Cecchini’s 2006 offense was the most improved in all of I-AA football, rising from a national ranking of 113th in 2005 to 33rd in 2006.
Prior to landing at The Citadel, Cecchini directed one of the Ivy League’s most explosive offenses at Harvard University from 2003 through 2006. Cecchini, who also served as Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers Coach, helped the Crimson set 14 team or individual offensive records, including points in a season (33.9 ppg) during his tenure. He was awarded with the Mike Campbell Top Assistant Coach award from AAFCA in 2005 after leading Harvard’s offense to the number-one Ivy League ranking in aggregate offense.
Harvard’s 2004 squad posted a perfect 10-0 record and won the Ivy League championship with Cecchini directing an offense that led the Ancient Eight in scoring, total offense, rushing and pass efficiency and also committed the fewest number of turnovers in the entire league. Cecchini’s 2003 offense ranked fourth in the nation in total offense averaging 461 yards per contest.
Cecchini spent nine seasons at Lehigh, working alongside Coen for six of those years as the Brown and White had one of the nation’s most proficient and explosive offenses. During Cecchini’s time in South Bethlehem Lehigh averaged more than 350 yards of offense and over 26 points per game. In his three years directing Lehigh’s offense, the Mountain Hawks went a combined 31-6, captured a pair of Patriot League titles and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs on two occasions.
In 2001 the Mountain Hawk offense led the nation in average yards per pass attempt (9.2) and they led the Patriot League in fewest turnovers, scoring (38.3 ppg), total offense and pass efficiency. The 2000 offense ranked first in the league in scoring, pass efficiency, yards per rush and fewest turnovers. The 2000 and 2001 Lehigh teams posted a combined 21-0 regular season record.
During the 2001 and 2002 seasons Cecchini served as Lehigh’s assistant head coach. He also held the position of Quarterbacks Coach, Wide Receivers Coach, Running Backs Coach and Tight Ends Coach at some point during his time in the Brown and White.
Cecchini remains one of Lehigh’s most accomplished football players in the program’s storied history after garnering First Team All-America recognition from multiple outlets as a wide receiver during his undergrad days. In 1993 Cecchini established school and Patriot League records for receptions (88), receiving yards (1,318), and touchdown catches (15) and he led the nation in receptions and receiving yards per game. Cecchini’s school records for receptions and yards stood until 2011 when Ryan Spadola caught 96 passes for 1,614 yards.
Cecchini received his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Lehigh in 1995 and joined the Mountain Hawks coaching staff that following fall.
Cecchini and his wife Tammy, an assistant coach for Lehigh’s women’s tennis team, have two sons, Evan and Will.