|Title:||Inside Linebackers Coach|
Lehigh head coach Andy Coen has announced the addition of Joe Bottiglieri to the Mountain Hawks’ coaching staff. Bottiglieri will coach Lehigh’s inside linebackers. The appointment marks a return to Lehigh for Bottiglieri, a coaching veteran with 40 years of experience, who served as the Mountain Hawks’ defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 1998 and 1999.
In his previous stint at Lehigh, Bottiglieri worked alongside Coen, who was the Mountain Hawks’ offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at the time.
“I am very happy to welcome coach Bottiglieri back to our staff,” Coen said. “Joe has proven he is a great fit for Lehigh and our student-athletes. Joe is a great teacher of the game and is a wonderful person. He will connect very well with our players and will help them develop on and off the football field. The addition of coach Bottiglieri will make an already strong coaching staff even stronger.”
Bottiglieri spent the last 12 seasons as a high school football coach in the Lehigh Valley, beginning with one season at Allentown Central Catholic before moving to Emmaus High School, where he amassed a 70-51 record and led the Green Hornets to seven postseason appearances in 11 years. Among Bottiglieri’s best seasons at Emmaus were a 9-2 campaign in 2004 and a 10-2 season in 2008 both of which included appearances in the district playoffs.
“I’m honored and excited to be back working with coach Coen and the Lehigh coaching staff,” Bottiglieri said. “They have done a great job. I’m proud to be part of the Lehigh football family again and I’m looking forward to working with these great student-athletes and coaches.”
Bottiglieri was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Lehigh’s Patriot League Championship teams in 1998 and 1999. The Mountain Hawks were 22-3 in those two seasons and made a pair of NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances.
In 1999, Lehigh boasted the Patriot League’s top defense in terms of points allowed, while the Mountain Hawks ranked 16th nationally in both scoring defense and rushing defense. Lehigh’s defense featured four All-Patriot League selections, including linebacker Ian Eason who was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year.
Lehigh finished fifth in the country in scoring defense in 1998, yielding just 12.6 points per game en route to an 11-0 regular season. The Mountain Hawks allowed 17 fewer points and nearly 125 fewer yards per game in 1998 than in 1997. Six defensive players earned All-League honors, including defensive lineman Nick Martucci, who was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and a Division I-AA All-American. Lehigh advanced to the quarterfinals of the I-AA playoffs, winning at Richmond before falling to eventual national champion Massachusetts.
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 linebackers 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. His first college coaching experience came at Lafayette where he served as linebackers coach and freshman offensive line coach from 1973-78.
Lehigh’s coaching staff now features five individuals in their second stint in Bethlehem, with offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dave Cecchini ’95, co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Donnie Roberts and running backs coach/special teams coordinator R.J. Ryan ’99 joining Coen and Bottiglieri.
Bottiglieri received his bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University in 1971 and added a master’s degree from Indiana State in 1974.
A native of Easton, Pa., Bottiglieri resides in Emmaus with his wife Debi. He has two adult children, three step children and five grandchildren.