|Title:||Offensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator|
Now in his eighth season, Brett Sawyer is the Lehigh football program’s offensive line coach as well as its recruiting coordinator. Last season, Sawyer molded an offensive line that was comprised primarily of first-time contributors into one of the Patriot League’s top units. Lehigh’s offensive line featured nine different combinations throughout the 2012 season, but the group came together to rank fifth nationally in fewest sacks allowed, while helping Lehigh lead the Patriot League in passing offense and red zone efficiency. Senior Mike Vuono started all 11 games and earned first team All-Patriot League honors and was named an ECAC All-Star, while sophomore Ned Daryoush was solid at left tackle as he was the only Lehigh lineman to start every game at the same position. Daryoush was a second team All-League selection
In 2011, Sawyer oversaw an offensive line that featured two All-Americans in Troy McKenna and Jim Liebler. Four of Lehigh’s offensive linemen earned All-Patriot League honors under Sawyer’s tutelage, with Keith Schauder and Vuono joining McKenna and Liebler. Sawyer’s coaching was especially crucial in the development of McKenna, who earned third team AP All-American honors in his only year as the team’s starting left tackle. The offensive line paved the way for a Lehigh team that ranked fifth nationally in total offense, averaging 129 yards per game on the ground and 340 through the air.
In 2010, Sawyer guided a veteran offensive line that featured six upperclassmen into the league’s top unit. Led by All-American left tackle Will Rackley, who was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round (76th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft, Lehigh’s offensive line helped Lehigh average nearly 350 yards and over 23 points per game while ranking 16th nationally in fewest sacks allowed. Three members of Sawyer’s line earned All-Patriot League honors, including Rackley, who became a three-time first team All-League selection and earned four All-America nods, including first team Associated Press honors – the first for a Lehigh player since 2004; guard Ricky Clerge, and center Jim Liebler. Sawyer has mentored at least one first team All-League lineman in all seven of his seasons at Lehigh.
During the 2009 season Sawyer molded an offensive line that consisted of just one senior into a strong group that yielded two All-Patriot League selections and one All-America. Rackley and Clerge were named to the All-League Teams with Rackley garnering First-Team honors. Rackley was also named an All-America by the Associated Press, giving Lehigh its first AP All-America lineman since the 2000 season.
In 2008, Sawyer mentored a pair of All-Patriot League offensive linemen, including First-Team selection Will Rackley as well as Kevin Bayani ’09. With that pair leading the way, Lehigh’s offense averaged over 25 points and 215 passing yards per game in 2008, and also led the Patriot League in red-zone offense.
Sawyer’s 2007 group of offensive lineman, which featured a pair of freshmen seeing significant playing time, ranked first in the Patriot League and 23rd in the nation in fewest sacks allowed (14), blocking for an offense that yielded over 200 passing yards per game. In addition, Sawyer mentored All-Patriot League selections John Reese and Jimmy Kehs, who both went onto earn All-America distinction.
In 2006, Sawyer oversaw an offensive line that paved the way for the Patriot League’s leading scoring offense, at 27.2 points per game. The 2006 Lehigh offensive line produced three All-Patriot League selections in First-Teamers John Reese and Jim Petrucelli and Second-Team selection Jimmy Kehs.
Sawyer joined the Lehigh staff in January 2006 after having spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons working alongside Lehigh head coach Andy Coen at the University of Pennsylvania. “Brett possesses a great knowledge of the game, and knows how to recruit the type of student athlete needed to be successful,” Coen said.
Serving as the tight end coach at Penn for two seasons, Sawyer coached Chris Mizell to All-Ivy League mention in 2005. Sawyer also has prior experience at Princeton (1999, 2002, 2003) where he helped to develop future Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jon Decker.
During the 2000 and 2001 seasons, Sawyer was a graduate assistant at the University of Virginia, assisting with the offensive line. In 2000, the Cavaliers competed against Georgia in the Oahu Bowl. Sawyer has also served as a linebackers coach at his alma mater, Muhlenberg College, in 1998.
A 1998 graduate of Muhlenberg College with a degree in history, Sawyer earned three varsity letters and started at center, guard, and tackle on the offensive line, earning First-Team All-Conference accolades at center as a senior. In 2003, he added a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia.
Sawyer and his wife, Brook, reside in Center Valley with their son Cade (7), and daughter Haley, (5).