FAU Football: Owls to appoint Roc Bellantoni as defensive coordinator

Bellantoni has previous experience with FAU, serving as the defensive coordinator from 2014 to 2016.


Nicholas Windfelder

FAU Owls line up against Charlotte on August 27, 2022. The Owls open up their season with a 43-13 sweep of Charlotte

Zachary Watts, Staff Writer

The FAU football team is set to hire defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni, who will join head coach Tom Herman’s staff for the 2023 season, first reported by Pete Thamel of ESPN. 

Bellantoni, who has accumulated 27 years of coaching experience on all sides of the ball, has moved on from his special teams coaching position at the University of Auburn as he will take on a bigger role in the FAU coaching staff. 

Bellantoni had coached the Owls as the defensive coordinator from 2014 to 2016, finding himself back at home and in a favorable position given his past success on the defensive side of the ball. 

At the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level, Bellantoni reached the playoffs seven different times, once with Villanova in 2012, the other six appearances coming with Eastern Illinois. 

He has also mentored 16 players to the professional level, including Trey Hendrickson of the Cincinnati Bengals, while he spent time as a defensive coordinator for the Owls.

Bellantoni has also served a considerable amount of time as a defensive line and linebackers coach at the FBS and FCS level. 

With the plethora of talent remaining at FAU including their front seven, which returns a multitude of starters, Bellantoni will look to improve a lackluster defense that was inconsistent last season.

The Owls’ defense ranked 73rd in opponents points per game last season, as well as 110th in opponents yards per game. 

Bellantoni earned C-USA Recruiter of the Year honors the last time he was on the Owls’ coaching staff, which should help Herman bring in talent on the defensive side of the ball. 

Bellantoni also helped the Owls improve by 40 spots in the rankings from 2014 to 2016. He played a key role in having the defensive metrics reach amongst some of the nation’s greatest. Most notably, a defense that ranked eighth nationally in defensive TDs and 13th in sacks, and a red zone defense that was ranked 13th by the end of the season in 2016.

Zachary Watts is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories email [email protected] or tweet him at @ZachWatts1_