Duquesne names Bernard interim football coach
It was barely daybreak Friday when the resumes began pouring into Brian Colleary's office.
"We're getting them at a rate of like five an hour," said Colleary, Duquesne's athletic director, who is faced with the task of finding a replacement for Greg Gattuso, the school's winningest football coach.
Duquesne elevated defensive coordinator Joe Bernard to interim coach, and Colleary said the former Fairfield head coach is a candidate to replace Gattuso.
Bernard, 41, has spent the past two seasons at Duquesne and, aside from Gattuso, was the only other fulltime coach on the Dukes' staff.
"I'm going after it hard. I've been here, and I've got a pretty good handle on how things are going to go," Bernard said. "I know what Brian has to do, but unless Chuck Noll wants to come out of retirement, I'll go up against anybody.
"Greg really wants me to have the job, and I want the job. I want to keep the stability going. Our staff wants to stay intact, and our players want continuity. However it plays out, it plays out. Right now, we're moving forward with winter workouts."
Gattuso led Duquesne to eight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Football League titles and one NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major championship. He said yesterday that Bernard would be a good choice to continue the Dukes' winning tradition.
"I think the world of Joe. He's a good person and nobody works harder than he does," Gattuso said.
As Colleary sifts through the growing number of applicants, he's sure to find some familiar names.
"I'm very interested," said former Steelers defensive lineman John Banaszak, an assistant at Robert Morris who previously led Washington & Jefferson to four consecutive NCAA Division III playoff appearances as head coach. "But I've been down this road before. I'm not going to get too excited. "I've got a great relationship with (Robert Morris coach) Joe Walton. I've gained so much respect for him, but I still want to be a head coach again."
Since leaving Washington & Jefferson, Banaszak has interviewed for several other head coaching jobs, most notably at his alma mater, Eastern Michigan, and at NCAA Division II Mercyhurst.
One other former coach known to be interested in the Duquesne job is former Dukes offensive coordinator Mauro Monz, who played defensive back under Gattuso in the mid-1990s and coached with him for two seasons in 2001 and 2002.
Monz, whose only head coaching experience is at Division II West Virginia Tech, held the Duquesne record for career interceptions before it was broken by current Cleveland Browns player Leigh Bodden.