Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers - 1st Season
A veteran collegiate defensive coach, Phil Elmassian joins UMass as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Since 1974 Elmassian has coached collegiate football at the highest levels covering 38 years including 10 as a defensive coordinator.
Elmassian (pronounced el-MAY-shun) spent last season with Purdue marking his second coaching stint with the Boilermakers. Prior to that, he spent the two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Illinois State, and has served in the same capacity at West Virginia, LSU, Boston College and Virginia Tech, as well as the linebackers coach Marshall and defensive backs coach at Nebraska, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Minnesota and East Carolina. He has mentored 26 all-conference players, including two All-Americans, and has coached in 18 bowls in his career.
The veteran coach has been a part of championships in four conferences and has served as the defensive coordinator at five NCAA Division I FBS schools: Louisiana-Monroe, LSU, Virginia Tech, Boston College and West Virginia.
His five league titles include Marshall's Mid-American Conference Championship in 2002; Washington's Pac-10 Championship in 1995; and Virginia's Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in 1989. He also helped lead Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl and Big Ten Championships in 1998 and 1999, as the Badger defense led the nation in scoring defense in 1998 and ranked fifth in 1999.
With Elmassian on staff, the 2003 Boilermakers finished third in the Big Ten in scoring, rushing and total defense and fourth in the league in pass defense. Purdue ranked second in the Big Ten, and 19th in the nation, in pass efficiency defense in 2003, and also ranked 13th nationally in total defense.
During Elmassian's stint at Wisconsin, the Badgers led the nation in scoring defense in 1998 (11.9 points per game) and ranked fifth in 1999 (12.8). They were No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring defense, total defense (298.1 - 15th nationally) and passing defense (97.9 - fifth nationally) in 1999. Wisconsin became the first Big Ten school to win back-to-back Rose Bowls in 1998 and 1999, defeating the high-powered offenses of UCLA and Stanford. All four of the Badgers' defensive backs earned first team, second team or honorable mention all-conference honors in 1999. Cornerback Jamar Fletcher led the nation in interceptions in 1998 with seven and went on to be named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, earn consensus All-America honors and win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's outstanding defensive back in 2000.
Elmassian (born April 28, 1951) is a 1974 graduate of William and Mary, where he played defensive back under Lou Holtz. He and his wife, Mary, have three children, Claire, Dylan and Olivia.
Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line - 1st Season
Sollazzo brings 34 years of coaching experience to the UMass, including 25 seasons at the Division I level with a stop at Villanova last season after spending 10 years at Maryland. During his coaching career, Sollazzo has coached in 10 bowl games and two NCAA playoff games.
Sollazzo spent the 2011 season coaching the defensive line at Villanova where the Wildcats led the Colonial Athletic Association in rushing defense.
Prior to that, he spent 10 seasons at the University of Maryland where he also coached the defensive. He served as the Terrapin recruiting coordinator for his final five years in College Park. During his last four years at Maryland, the Terps signed 72 student-athletes ranked among the top 100 nationally at their positions, including 17 All-Americans.
In 2010 at Maryland, Sollazzo guided defensive lineman Joe Vellano to second team All-ACC honors and he helped the Terrapins to the second biggest turn around in the country going from 2-10 in 2009 to 9-4 in 2010. Maryland closed out the 2010 campaign with a victory over East Carolina in the Military Bowl.
Prior to his 10-year stint at Maryland, Sollazzo spent two seasons (1999-00) as the defensive tackles coach at Georgia Tech. Before he arrived at Georgia Tech, Sollazzo was the defensive line coach at his alma mater, The Citadel, from 1989-98. As a player, Sollazzo was a defensive lineman at The Citadel from 1973-76.
Sollazzo and his wife Ellen reside in Phoenixville, Pa., with their nine-year old son Christopher.
Offensive Line Coach - 1st Season
Dave Johnson joins the University of Massachusetts staff as the Offensive Line coach in 2013 bringing more than 27 years of collegiate coaching experience along with 15 bowl game appearances. He has mentored 11 NFL players, four All-Americans and 28 all-conference selections.
Prior to joining UMass, Johnson was the tight ends coach at the University of Cincinnati, and the offensive line coach at West Virginia University from 2008-10. Behind the blocking of the line, the Mountaineer offense accumulated 400 or more yards of total offense in seven games in 2010. WVU finished No. 2 in the BIG EAST in passing, total offense and total first downs. WVU had the top passer in the league in passing yards per game, pass efficiency and second in total yards per game.
Johnson spent 2001-07 as the tight ends coach at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs won 72 games, averaging more than 10 wins a season, three SEC East Division Championships, two SEC Championships, five bowl wins and five Top-10 national finishes during his time in Athens. Four of his tight ends, Randy McMichael, Ben Watson, Martez Milner and Leonard Pope are playing in the NFL. In 2007, the Bulldogs were No. 4 in the SEC in rushing offense (177.0). In 2005, UGA led the SEC in passing efficiency (144.0) and was second in scoring offense (29.5). In 2002, the Bulldogs led the SEC in scoring (32.14) and pass efficiency (138.91).
From 1997-2000, he was the tackles and tight ends coach as well as the recruiting coordinator at Marshall University. The Herd posted a 43-9 record, won four MAC titles and three Motor City Bowl titles, while averaging 11 wins a years during his four-year tenure, including a 13-0 record in 1999. In 1999, Marshall was No. 7 nationally in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense.
Johnson spent nine years at Indiana University (Pa.). From 1987-89, he coached the offensive line, tight ends and assisted with strength and conditioning. He was the Crimson Hawks' offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1990-96. He helped lead IUP to the NCAA Division II national playoffs eight times, including two championship game appearances and three semifinal finishes. IUP finished with a 99-22-1 record during Johnson's tenure.
He spent the 1986 season coaching the offensive line, tight ends and handling the strength and conditioning duties at Shippensburg University.
He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 1984-85.
Johnson was a four-year letterwinner at West Virginia. He was the starting center on the 1981 Peach Bowl and 1982 Gator Bowl teams. He earned a bachelor's degree from WVU in 1985 and a master's degree in 1986.
Johnson and his wife Lynn have four children, Andrew, Lauren, Zachary and Mark.
Cornerbacks/Community Outreach - 1st Season
A 10-year defensive back in the National Football League following a standout career at Notre Dame, Jeff Burris will bring his considerable knowledge of the secondary to UMass as the cornerbacks coach. Burris will also serve as the program's community outreach liaison as the Minutemen continue their approach to helping those in the surrounding areas.
A consensus All-America pick and 1993 senior tri-captain at Notre Dame, Burris played free safety for the Irish. One of the top defensive players throughout his career, Burris and the Irish went 11-1 and finished second in the final national polls in 1993. He was a first round selection (27th pick) in the 1994 NFL Draft taken by the Buffalo Bills where he played for until 1998.
In his first year with the Bills, he earned the NFL All-Rookie team. In 1998, he was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts as a defensive back. In 2001, he was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played until 2003.
Beginning his coaching career in 2007, Burris worked as a secondary coach at Fishers High School, where he helped work on the technique of cornerbacks and safeties as well as installing a defensive schemes.
In Sept. 2008, served a coaching internship with the Buffalo Bills.
Burris joined the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions as the defensive backs coach in 2011 where he worked with long-time NFL head coach Dennis Green.
Burris is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina where he graduated from Northwestern High School.
Safeties Coach - 1st Season
An experienced collegiate and professional football coach, Ted Daisher (pronounced DASHER) brings a wealth of knowledge to the UMass secondary as the safeties coach. Daisher has coached football since 1978 at all levels including six years in the National Football League and one year in the United Football League.
Last season, Daisher coached at Bryant serving as the defensive backs coach following his seven years working in professional football. While in the professional ranks, he worked on the staffs of the Philadelphia Eagles (2004-05 & 2009), the Oakland Raiders (2006), the Cleveland Browns (2007-08) and the Hartford Colonials (2010, UFL). During his first stint with the Eagles, he worked as the special teams quality control coach and assistant defensive line coach for Andy Reid's squad that reached the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
At the collegiate level, the Michigan native has spent time at Illinois, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Cincinnati, Army, Indiana, and East Carolina. He helped Northern Illinois win the MAC Championship in 1983 and the California Bowl. He repeated those wins in 1987 with Eastern Michigan. In 2001, he served with East Carolina as the Pirates played in the GMAC Bowl.
Daisher graduated from Western Michigan where he was a letterwinner from 1975-77 as a wide receiver and defensive back. He and his wife Danielle have three children: Nicole, Ted and Taylor.
Special Teams Coordiantor/Running Backs - 1st Season
Roderick Plummer joins the Minutemen as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach bringing with him 17 years of coaching experience at all levels of college football. For the past three seasons, Plummer served as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach at Yale.
For the past decade, Plummer has coached special teams with three of his players either being drafted or picked up as free agents with the National Football League.
His coaching career includes stops at Florida A&M, Idaho, Cornell, and Michigan State where he coached under Nick Saban and Bobby Williams.
Plummer began his coaching career in 1994 with Kutztown University. He also served National Footbal League Coaching Internships with Philadelphia, Jacksonville, San Francisco and Cleveland.
A native of Oakland, Calif., Plummer is a 1993 graduate of Washington State where he was a four-year letter winner and starting linebacker for the Cougars. In 2002, he was inducted into the St. Mary's College High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Wide Receivers Coach/Pro Liaison - 1st Season
Allen Suber joins UMass as the wide receivers coach and pro liaison after spending two years at Bethune-Cookman in a similar capacity. Along with his college coaching experience at his alma mater, Suber played three seasons in the NFL and NFL Europe before beginning his coaching career.
A Bethune-Cookman, Suber spent two seasons as the wide receivers coach under Brian Jenkins. During the early months of 2011, Suber was promoted by Jenkins to the role of Recruiting Coordinator. In his time coaching the Wildcats, he oversaw a group that helped to make B-CU among one of the top offensive teams in the nation, which hauled in 146(receivers only) passes for 2,191 yards, and were a major contributing factor in returning a MEAC Championship trophy to B-CU for the first time since Suber was in the backfield.
"Suberman" led one of the greatest eras of B-CU from 1999-2003, including the 2002 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship team that finished 11-2, the program's first and second appearances in the NCAA I-AA playoffs, and consecutive victories over Florida A&M, featuring the 2003 victory where Suber rallied the Wildcats from a 28-10 halftime deficit and hit Eric Weems, now with the Atlanta Falcons for a late TD in a thrilling 39-35 victory.
He was the 2003 MEAC offensive player of the year and a finalist for the Walter Payton Award that year. Suber still holds two Wildcat career rushing records for yards (2,897) and touchdowns (39). Additionally, he was a two-time All-American earning the accolades as a junior (2002) and senior (2003).
Suber was on the rosters of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texas before being allocated to the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe.
His first coaching opportunity came in 2006 when he oversaw B-CU quarterbacks in spring drills. He also participated in a 2007 scouting internship with the Jaguars.
As an offensive coordinator for Treasure Coast High School, Suber helped a young program coming off a 3-17 record its first two seasons into a squad into a squad that won its district and first state playoff.
Recruiting Coordinator/Tight Ends - 1st Season
Shane Waldron joins the UMass coaching staff as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator bringing with him experience at the professional level as a coach in the NFL and UFL. He also served three seasons on the coaching staff at Notre Dame.
In 2010, Waldron served as the wide receivers coach for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League.
Prior to his stint in the UFL, Waldron worked with the New England Patriots for a number of years. Beginning in 2002, Waldron served as an operations intern, helping to prep game plans and playbooks, as well as assisting in the day to day running of an NFL team. In 2004, Waldron was promoted to the title of an operations assistant, handling special teams quality control duties and overseeing the completion of weekly game plans.
After leaving the Patriots to coach at Notre Dame, Waldron returned to New England in 2008 where he served as a Quality Control Coach for the offensive. Here, he helped to implement and develop the offensive system. In 2009, he served as the tight ends coach creating and implement a strategic and successful offense. From 2005 until 2007, Waldron worked at Notre Dame as an Offensive Graduate Assistant, evaluating recruits, helping to run special teams, and assisting with the coaching line. With the Irish, he was a part of two of the most explosive offenses in school history as both the 2005 and 2006 units averaged at least 31 points per game and 389 yards. During his time there he helped coach an offense that included Brady Quinn, Darius Walker and Jeff Samardzija.
Most recently, Waldron worked as an offensive coordinator at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols High School in 2011 and also as a Northeast Sports Consultant. In both jobs, Waldron gained experience working with high school talent.
A native of Portland, Ore., Waldron is a 2002 graduate of Tufts University where he was a three-year letterman as a tight end and long snapper.
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Golden came to UMass with 17 years of collegiate strength and conditioning experience, including 11 as a head strength coach. Golden was most recently the strength and conditioning coach for USF under head coach Skip Holtz. Prior to working as a coach at USF, Golden was director of strength and conditioning at East Carolina.
While at East Carolina, Golden provided direct strength training leadership to the Pirates' football program, while coordinating off-season and in-season applications for the remaining 18 ECU teams. He was often credited by Holtz for playing an integral role in the turnaround of a Pirate program that had won just three games in 25 outings prior to 2005 and went on to claim back-to-back Conference USA titles in 2008 and '09.
Golden earned his first collegiate full-time position in 1996 and spent nearly two seasons as head strength and conditioning coach at Central Connecticut State, where he played an integral role in the design and inventory purchases for the Blue Devils' new weight room facility.
A 1992 graduate of Central Connecticut State, Golden earned a bachelor's degree in physical education. Upon graduation, he spent seven months as an intern at Harvard during the 1992-93 academic year, working as head strength coach for the institution's rugby squad. He gained additional experience as an assistant at the National Football League Scouting Combines in 1995, '96 and '97, and as a training camp intern for the Cleveland Browns in 1996.
Golden is a certified member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA), United States Weightlifting Federation (USWA) and National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA).
Golden is married to the former Nicole Kitsos of Cheshire, Conn. The couple has four daughters (Natasha, Tatiana, Sophia, Anastasia) and a son (Magnus).