Assistant Coach / Cornerbacks
Steve Costello is in his fourth season with UMass football in 2017. He coached the tight ends in 2015, took over as the safeties coach prior to 2015 spring practice and now guides the cornerbacks.
No stranger to Amherst, he was a four-year letterman for the Minutemen and also spent time as a graduate assistant during the 2014 season.
During his time as a graduate assistant and an intern with UMass football, Costello worked with the wide receivers and the defensive backs. UMass’ passing offense improved nationally from 116th in 2013 to 19th in 2014, due in part to his assistance.
A 2004 team captain and preseason all-America candidate, Costello totaled 12 career interceptions, 12th all-time in school history.
Costello earned his undergraduate degree from UMass in sociology in May 2014.
Assistant Coach / Defensive Line
Veteran educator and coach Dave Wissman joined the University of Massachusetts football staff as defensive line coach in March 2017. He enters his first season on the sidelines for the program in 2017 and will coach the defensive line.
Wissman spent the 2009-16 seasons with the Sacred Heart football program, including the last six years as defensive coordinator. The Pioneers won back-to-back Northeast Conference Championships in 2013 and 2014 while advancing to the FCS Championships during both campaigns. He tutored 23 all-conference selections, five All-new England honorees and three all-Americans.
Among the prep ranks, Wissman served at The Berkshire School (2005-07), Northfield Mount Hermon (2000-05), Pioneer Regional School (1999-2000), Mahar Regional High School (1998-99) and The Eaglebrook School (1986-98).
A Western Massachusetts native, Wissman was a four-year letterwinner and team captain at New Hampshire (1981-85). During his time in Durham, Wissman was coached by UMass defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham and was teammates with UMass’ Director of Operations Paul Gorham. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from UMass in 1993.
Married to the former Mary Shippee for more than 30 years, the Wissman's are the parents of three grown sons and reside in Guilford, Vermont.
Assistant Coach / Running Backs
Darrius Smith joined the UMass football program as the squad's running backs coach during the Spring of 2015. He came to Amherst following an eight-year stint in the same position at Villanova and more than 20 years of collegiate coaching experience overall.
Stacked against one of the toughest schedules in the nation, the UMass run game averaged 99.5 yards per game in 2016. Marquis Young, a Phil Steele All-Independent Team selection, carried the load with 197 rushing attempts for 898 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2015, Young burst onto the national scene in his freshman campaign. He ranked 23rd in FBS with his 6.3 yards per rush and second among freshmen running backs. He had the most rushing yards in a single game among all MAC running backs (240 vs. Buffalo) and one of only two 200-yard games in the league.
Smith turned the Wildcats’ running game into one of the best in the Colonial Athletic Association during his tenure. Over five different seasons (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), he spearheaded the program to rushing offenses that led the conference, highlighted by the 2012 campaign in which the team tallied 252.8 yards per game. During this period, Smith also guided several players to All-CAA honors and 1,000-yard seasons.
While at Villanova, Smith and the Wildcats won the 2009 FCS National Championship, reached the NCAA playoffs four times and won the CAA twice. The 2009 championship season saw Villanova post a 14-1 overall record with a 240.3 rushing yards per game.
The 1995 graduate of Frostburg State University also made stops in collegiate coaching capacities at Northeastern (2004-06), James Madison (2002-04), Idaho (2001-02), Indiana (Pa.) (2000-01) and New Mexico Highlands (1995-00).
Smith began his coaching career at Frostburg State as a student assistant after a career as a defensive back, during which he posted 12 interceptions in three years as a starter. Additionally, he received an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the summer of 2005. He holds a bachelor's degree in health and physical education.
Special Teams Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
Charles Walker is in his fifth season with the UMass football staff in 2017 and begins his first as the special teams coordinator in 2018-19.
He was the outside linebackers coach for the 2014 season and moved to inside linebackers prior to the 2015 season. Walker's role increased to include recruiting coordinator duties while he continues to work with the linebacker unit.
Walker molded then-redshirt junior Steve Casali into a Phil Steele First Team All-Independent linebacker in 2016, when Casali emerged as the team-leader with 105 tackles and three fumble recoveries.
Casali's emergence highlighted a trend under in linebacker success under Walker's guidance as previously, in 2015, linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox earned second-team All-MAC honors with 131 total tackles. Santos-Knox also led the FBS in assisted tackles with 87.
In 2012 and 2013, Walker was a member of the Vanderbilt staff as defensive quality control coach. In 2013, the Commodores ranked second in interceptions in the Southeastern Conference (18), led the league in interception return yards (277) and tied for fourth in sacks (28).
Walker was a member of the Nichols College (Mass.) coaching staff for four years in a number of capacities, including linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator.
No stranger to Amherst, Walker was a four-year letterman for the Minutemen. In addition to being named team captain in 2007, he was a Colonial Athletic Association First-Team selection and a New England Football Writers All-Star.
In his career, Walker appeared in 50 games and started 36, totaling 340 total tackles, eight sacks and 15 TFL. He tied the UMass single-game high for tackles (23), a record he shares with John McKeown. Walker also tallied 10 career games in which he earned 10 or more tackles.
In 2006, he earned Atlantic 10 Second-Team honors and was named honorable mention for the Don Hansen All-Northeast Region Team. That season, he also helped lead the Minutemen to the NCAA Division I-AA Championship Game under head coach Don Brown.
A native of North Lauderdale, Fla., Walker earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts. Simultaneously to fulfilling his coaching responsibilities at Nichols College, Walker attained a Masters in Business Administration from the school in 2012. He is the father of Nyla Ann.
Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Spencer Whipple enters his fifth season on the Massachusetts football staff in 2018-19. He coached the tight ends in 2014 and took on the role of receivers coach prior to the 2015 season, an area he continued to work with in 2016 and did so again in 2017. In 2018-19, Whipple adds the responsibility of being the team's quarterbacks coach while he continues his role as passing game coordinator.
A pair of receivers emerged in the UMass offensive set during 2016 thanks in part to Whipple's guidance as Adam Breneman and Andy Isabella combined for more than 50 percent of the team's receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions.
Breneman, a tight end, was a 2016 Campus Insiders Second Team All-America choice, John Mackey Award semifinalist and Phil Steele First Team All-Independent selection at tight end. Isabella, won Phil Steele First Team All-Independent at wide receiver after he posted a breakout season that featured a nearly 800 percent increase on his total receiving yards (7 in 2015; 801 in 2016).
During the 2015 campaign, under Whipple’s direction, senior Tajae Sharpe put together one of the most dominant receiver seasons in program history. He set Massachusetts football records for single-game receptions (15) vs. Florida International on Oct. 3, single-season receptions (111), career receptions (277) and career receiving yards (3,486). A two-time first-team All-MAC honoree, at the conclusion of the 2015 season, Sharpe led the nation in receptions per game (9.3) and total receptions (111). Also among FBS players, he was No. 6 in receiving yards per game with 109.9 and No. 12 in total yards with 1,319.
Whipple helped Sharpe, Massachusetts' first All-American since 2011, earned second-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and fourth-team All-America honors from Phil Steele. Sharpe was the 140th pick in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans and UMass' highest pick since offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse in 2010 (second round, 61st pick).
Previously, Whipple was a member of the Pittsburgh staff as a defensive graduate assistant and video assistant.
Son of head coach Mark Whipple, Spencer is no stranger to Amherst, being raised in the area during his father's first tenure directing the UMass football program (1998-2003). Additionally, he spent one season (2008) with the Minutemen as a quarterback.
Whipple's playing career also included stops at Pittsburgh and Miami (Fla.). In 2007, he walked-on to the Pitt squad, then played in each game at Miami in 2010 and 2011, as the team's holder and backup quarterback. During his senior season in 2011, Whipple received the Mariutto Family Scholar-Athlete Award and, as a holder, helped lead the Hurricanes to a 39-for-39 PAT rate and 11-for-14 field goal rate.
As a student-athlete at Pine-Richland High School (Pa.), Whipple threw for nearly 1,500 yards during his senior season, including 11 touchdowns. The run helped compose the Rams' 11-1 record and subsequent Greater Allegheny Conference Championship. That season, he earned "Fabulous 22" North honors from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Whipple earned his sociology degree from the University of Miami in 2012.
Assistant Coach / Offensive Line
College coaching veteran and New England native Mike Foley joined the Massachusetts football program as offensive line coach in March 2016.
During his first year with the program, Foley quickly developed the offensive line in 2016. The group featured eventual Phil Steele All-Independent Team selections Fabian Hoeller (C) and Michael Boland (RG, RT).
Foley spent the 2006-14 seasons working with the offensive line and tight ends at the University of Connecticut. In his first season coaching the tight ends in 2012, Ryan Griffin earned All-BIG EAST second-team honors and Griffin and John Delahunt combined to be one of the more effective tight ends duos in UConn history. Griffin was selected by the Houston Texans in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Foley and his offensive line were key factors in UConn's outstanding rushing game in 2009-11 as the Huskies featured two 1,000-yard rushers in BIG EAST Player of the Year and All-American Jordan Todman (2009 and '10) and Andre Dixon (2009). Lyle McCombs joined that group in 2011. In addition, center Moe Petrus was named BIG EAST First-Team All-Conference while tackle Mike Ryan was a second-team selection.
Foley and his offensive line were a key factor in Donald Brown achieving the status as the country's leading rusher in 2008. In 2008, Foley coached BIG EAST First-Team All-Conference selection Will Beatty at left tackle as Beatty later went on to play in the Senior Bowl and was selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Prior to UConn, Foley coached at his alma mater, Colgate, where he worked variously as the head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1981-2005.
In 2005, his final year at Colgate, the Raiders posted an 8-4 record and advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs. Foley helped coach all seven of Colgate's NCAA playoff squads, including the 2003 team that advanced to the National Championship game.
Of the 13 seasons in which Colgate was eligible for the playoffs with Foley aboard, the team qualified seven times. Foley also played a role in each of Colgate's five Patriot League Championship teams (1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005).
Colgate broke the league record for rushing yardage three times under Foley’s tutelage, and led the Patriot League five out of his final nine seasons. During his tenure as offensive coordinator (1997-2005), Foley produced 39 All-Patriot League players, including 13 on the offensive line. His offensive schemes and the line's blocking helped pave the way for a pair of Walter Payton Award winners, Kenny Gamble in 1987 and Jamal Branch in 2003.
In 1986, Foley served as Colgate’s interim head coach during the absence of head coach Fred Dunlap, who was recovering from surgery. Following Dunlap's retirement in 1987, Foley was named head coach of the Raiders, a title he held through the 1992 season.
During a brief stint away from Colgate, Foley spent the 1994-96 seasons on the football staff at Harvard as the offensive coordinator.
Foley began his coaching career as offensive line coach at Bates College in 1978, before moving the next fall to Dartmouth as the freshman offensive line coach for one season. After one year as offensive line coach at Holy Cross in 1980, he returned to his alma mater as junior varsity head coach and varsity receivers coach. After two seasons in that position, he took over as offensive line coach in 1983. Foley added the duties of offensive coordinator in 1984.
He was a four-year letterwinner at Colgate and captain of the 1977 team. A three-year starter at center, he was twice honored as an All-East performer by the Associated Press and, in 1977, was also named to the ECAC All-East squad. In 2004, Foley was inducted into Colgate's Athletic Hall of Honor.
Foley was born in Kittery, Maine, and raised in Newburyport, Mass. He graduated from Colgate University in 1978 with a degree in economics. Foley and his wife, Kathleen, have children, Erin and Patrick.
After a tenure as a student assistant working with all aspects of the defense, Matt Schell was named defensive graduate assistant for Massachusetts football in January 2016.
As an undergraduate, Schell worked as a video assistant with the New England Patriots. He was responsible for filming practices, individual workouts and games for the coaching staff. He worked with XOS computer software to digitize, edit and upload film and installed and operated the ICE software to assist coaches and scouts with specialized assignments.
Schell earned a dual undergraduate degree in finance and sport management from Massachusetts in May 2015.
Offensive Graduate Assistant
Brendan Flaherty joined the Massachusetts football program in Jan., 2017. As a graduate assistant, he assists offensive line coach Mike Foley. With the Minutemen, Flaherty will also be responsible for analyzing practice and game film, reporting offensive production, coordinating the scout team and assisting in recruiting activities.
Flaherty owns a wealth of Bay State football knowledge, including four years as a student-athlete at Bridgewater State. He was named team captain in 2014 and served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Previously, Flaherty spent time at Bentley University as an assistant tight ends and running backs coach before serving as assistant operations coordinator at Harvard for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
A native of in Woburn, Mass., Flaherty received his bachelor’s from Bridgewater State in 2015.
Assistant Coach / Tight Ends
Massachusetts native and UMass alum Scott Woodward is in his fourth season with UMass football and his first as the team's tight ends coach in 2018-19. He joined the staff in July 2015 and worked with the quarterbacks and receivers while assisting with all facets of the offense during the 2016 season. His promotion to tight ends coach comes after Woodward spent the 2017 season as an offensive analyst.
Woodward returns to Amherst after coaching stints at Fairleigh Dickinson (2013-15) and Westfield State (2010-13). At FDU, he served as the offensive coordinator, academic coordinator, travel coordinator and assistant strength and conditioning coordinator. He was responsible for in-game play calling while working with the quarterbacks.
Woodward was an offensive graduate assistant at Westfield State, charged with coaching the quarterbacks and the offensive skill positions. He was also the fundraising coordinator and managed home game event operations.
Woodward was a four-year letterman with the Minutemen and, as a senior, completed 50-of-93 for 613 yards with two touchdowns and rushed 22 times for 62 yards. He served as back-up to UMass’ all-time passing leader Liam Coen and was the team's holder for four seasons. He was a member of the 2006 squad that reached the Division I-AA National Championship Game.
Woodward was a three-year starting quarterback for Mahar Regional High School and led the Senators to back-to-back Division III Super Bowl titles. A three-time All-Western Mass selection and a first-team all-state selection as a senior, he threw for more than 4,000 yards in his career and 46 touchdowns passes.
A native of Wendell, Mass., Woodward earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from UMass in 2009.
Assistant Coach / Linebackers
Sean Duggan begins his first season with the program and serves as the team’s linebackers coach. It is a role Duggan is familiar with from experience as a student-athlete and coach.
“UMass has a strong football tradition and a high standard of academic excellence,” Duggan said. “I feel fortunate to be part of the program and to be around this great group of coaches. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is like a second home for me and I could not be more excited to be back.”
He served on the University of Hawai’i staff as the linebackers coach for the 2016 and 2017 seasons following one year as a graduate assistant at Boston College. He was also a four-year letterwinner for the Eagles from 2011-14.
While at Hawai’i, Duggan guided a host of successful Rainbow Warriors, including 2016 All-Mountain West First Team choice Jahlani Tavai and NFL-bound Jerrol Garcia-Williams.
Prior to his arrival at Hawai’i, Duggan spent five years at BC as a player and coach and played in 45 career games before he became a part of the defensive staff that produced the nation’s top total defense and was fourth nationally in points allowed (15.3) in 2015.
Assistant Coach / Wide Receivers
Leonard Hankerson joined Mark Whipple's UMass football staff as an offensive graduate assistant in July, 2017 and earned a promotion into the role of wide receivers coach for the 2018-19 school year. Hankerson, who played for Whipple at the University of Miami (Fla.), will guide the talented and deep wide receiver corps one season after serving as an offensive graduate assistant during his inaugural campaign with the program.
Following his standout career at Miami, Hankerson spent five seasons playing wide receiver in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Washington Redskins. In that span, Hankerson compiled 107 receptions, 1,408 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Hankerson played for Whipple - the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach - as a junior (2009) and senior (2010) at Miami. An All-ACC First Team selection during his final season, Hankerson pulled in 72 receptions for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns during the 2010 campaign before he went to Washington in the third round with the 79th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
One of the all-time great wide receivers in the storied history of the Hurricanes football program, Hankerson's senior year ranks as the most receptions and touchdown catches by one player in a season at Miami. Hankerson also ranks third on Miami's career leaderboard in touchdown catches (22), fifth for receptions (134) and receiving yards (2,160).
Prior to Miami, Hankerson attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he compiled 67 receptions, 1,409 receiving yards, and 28 touchdowns before heading to Miami.
Hankerson is the father of Lenaris, Kienarria, Leonard III and Zara.
Assistant Director of Operations
Joe Kreinsen returned to the University of Massachusetts football program and head coach Mark Whipple's staff in July, 2017 and fills the role of Assistant Director of Operations. In his operations role, Kreinsen facilitates all manner of team administrative function at home and on the road and works closesly with Director of Operations Paul Gorham and Director of Player Personnel Timothy Silvernail.
His current tenure marks Kreinsen's second at the University of Massachusetts, as he previously served as a graduate assistant during the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.
While in his role as a graduate assistant, Kreinsen worked closely with the offensive line, with a wide variety of roles that included data processing from game film and team practices, offensive playbook organization, overseeing the scout team and production and maintenance of the team's recruiting board.
In March, 2016, Kreinsen was promoted into the role of interim tight ends coach and interim offensive line coach. While working with the offensive line and tight ends in these roles, Kreinsen was responsible for the installation of two offensive schemes and coordinated with the team's academic advisors.
In April, 2017, Kreinsen began working with the Sollentua Stars Youth 17 football program in Stockholm, Sweden. In his role, Kreinsen coached the offensive line and served as the team's run game coordinator.
Prior to joining the Minutemen in 2014, Kreinsen was a four-year starter on the Westfield State football team as a member of the offensive line. For his efforts on the field and in the classroom, Kreinsen was awarded New England Football Conference All-Academic Team (2011-13), Westfield State Lineman of the year (2013), New England Football All-Conference (2014), Western Massachusetts College Scholar-Athlete of the Year (2014) and National Football Foundation Honor Society recognition.
Following his final season at Westfield State, Kreinsen was lauded with the DeOrmond Tuss McLaughry Award, presented annually to the outstanding college football scholar-athlete in Western Massachusetts. He was only the second Westfield State football player to receive the honor in the history of the Westfield State football program.
Kreinsen graduated from Westfield State University with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2014. He earned his master's in labor studies at the University of Massachusetts in 2017.
Director of Operations
Bio Coming Soon!
Director of Player Personnel
Timothy Silvernail joined the UMass football program as Director of Player Personnel in September 2016.
Silvernail’s previous experience includes time spent with the Philadelphia Eagles, at Rutgers University and, most recently, as a recruiting graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan University.
Silvernail is a 2014 graduate of the University of Massachusetts where he received his bachelor’s degree in sport management.