Saturday, January 14, 2017

Waterford's Crocker named defensive coordinator at UConn

Waterford native Billy Crocker has been named UConn's defensive coordinator.

 Crocker, who agreed to a three-year contract with a base salary of $300,000. has spent the last five seasons as Villanova's defensive coordinator.

When Crocker took over the Villanova defense in 2012, the Wildcats were coming off a season in which they had allowed 30.6 points per game, 90th nationally. In 2012, Crocker cut that number to 20.9 points allowed and by 2016, he was coaching the nation’s top-ranked defensive unit at the FCS level.

One of the most impressive performances of Crocker's final season at Villanova was holding eventual FCS national champion James Madison to a season low 126 rushing yards and the 277 yards of total offense was the second-lowest total of the season. Villanova finished the season ranking fourth in FCS in rushing defense. During the 2015 season, the Wildcats ranked fourth in FCS in red-zone defense.

UConn's defense is slated to return 10 players who had at least 10 tackles a season ago led by linebackers Vontae Diggs and Junior Joseph, who had 84 and 81 tackles. Cornerback Jamar Summers, defensive linemen Foley Fatukasi and Cole Ormsby, linebackers Luke Carrezola, E.J. Levenberry and Cam Stapleton as well as safeties Anthony Watkins and Brice McAllister are among the key defensive players expected to return for UConn.

Crocker is the second Connecticut native to be hired as an assistant coach by Randy Edsall joining linebackers coach Jonathan Wholley.


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