Joe Rossi joined the Minnesota football staff in January 2017 as a quality control assistant. Rossi brings plenty of experience to the Gophers after spending 2012-15 at Rutgers, which included two years as the defensive coordinator.
Rossi was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2014 after serving in an interim role in 2013 and held the role until after the 2015 season. He was the special teams coordinator at Rutgers from 2012-13.
In 2013, Rutgers scored four special teams touchdowns, including two kickoff returns and a punt return touchdown. True freshman Janarion Grant earned All-AAC Second Team honors as a return specialist.
The Scarlet Knights put together a strong special teams unit in 2012, ranking first in the nation with eight blocked kicks, ninth in kickoff return yardage defense (18.09) and 34th in kickoff return average (23.21).
Rossi also worked with Minnesota defensive coordinator Robb Smith at Maine in the 2007-08 season. Rossi was at Maine from 2007-11 and took over as defensive coordinator after Smith left following the 2008 season. Maine annually had one of the top defensive units in the Football Championship Subdivision under Rossi. In 2011, the Black Bears ranked No. 26 in the nation in sacks, No. 31 in pass defense and No. 25 in pass efficiency defense.
Rossi’s first coaching stop was at Division III Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., where he was from 2001-2006. He was the defensive coordinate at Thiel from 2003-06 and in 2006 Thiel led the President's Athletic Conference in scoring defense, total defense, rush defense and pass defense.
Rossi graduated from Allegheny in 2001 and is married to his wife Lynsey.
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