Westminster College named Scott Benzel as its new head football coach on January 10, 2014. Benzel previously was the associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Division I Saint Francis University for the past two seasons.
"I'm really excited for this opportunity," Benzel said. "I'm looking forward to meeting all the players and getting involved with the off-season, with recruiting, and putting a staff together. I'm eager to hitting the ground running and getting the season started."
Prior to improving the Saint Francis defense from 120th in the FCS in total defense to 10th, Benzel spent nine seasons with Division I Robert Morris University. In his first two seasons as co-defensive coordinator with Robert Morris, his unit led the conference in total defense twice. In 2010, Benzel helped guide the Colonials to a share of the regular-season conference championship and the league's inaugural bid to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs. During his time with Robert Morris, Benzel coached safety Robb Butler who went on to play in the National Football League.
Additionally, Benzel has Division III experience as he spent the 2004 season with Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he served as the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator.
"I am pleased that Scott has accepted our offer to be the next head football coach at Westminster," said Westminster Director of Athletics Jim Dafler. "Scott has an understanding and appreciation of the athletic and academic traditions at Westminster and is highly regarded by football people in this region. He has a commitment to developing the men on his team both on and off the field, and he will bring to our football program new enthusiasm and energy, a positive attitude, and a passion for competition."
A 1997 graduate of Mercyhurst College with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Benzel was a two-year starter at free safety for the Lakers. He was named the defensive most valuable player for the squad as a senior in 1996 and led the Lakers in interceptions and pass breakups in 1995 and 1996. He later earned his MBA in management from Robert Morris.
A native of Plum, Pa., Benzel was a two-year starter at Plum High School at both cornerback and wide receiver.
"There is a lot of support for the Titan football program and you can certainly tell they want to see the Titans get back to being the powerhouse they used to be," Benzel added. "I'm very optimistic and excited about the future."
Benzel and his wife, Cyndi have a daughter named Baylee.
Offensive Coordinator/Associate Head Coach
Rich DeMaio enters his first season with the Titans in 2014 as the offensive coordinator/associate head coach. DeMaio was previously at Rhodes College for three seasons as the associate head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach.
In 2013 DeMaio helped lead a Rhodes team that won a conference championship for the first time in over 2 decades. His offense set single season records for rushing yardage and points scored. The Rhodes offense also led the Southern Athletic Association with 36.7 points per game. During his time at Rhodes College, DeMaio’s offense also provided record breaking results with the performance of wide receiver Jack Lartigue setting school records in career receptions and yardage as well as receptions in a game. Prior to his arrival at Rhodes, DeMaio served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Farleigh Dickinson University.
In his three seasons at FDU, Rich led the Devil offense to set single season team records in total offense, passing yardage, pass attempts, pass completions and first downs. Additionally, under DeMaio’s tutelage, FDU QB Bill Winters set career records for passing yardage, pass attempts, pass completions and completion percentage which led him to being named Second Team All-Conference.
Before joining FDU, DeMaio coached the tight ends at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. In his one season in Middlebury, DeMaio was part of the first outright conference championship in school history.
DeMaio began his coaching career at his alma mater Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pa. Working for the legendary former NY Jets Head Coach Joe Walton, DeMaio coached the quarterbacks. Previous to entering coaching, DeMaio was a standout quarterback at the FCS institution still holding records for most completions and most passing yards in a game.
DeMaio lives in Cranberry Township with his wife Nicole and son Santino.
Jake Nulph enters his first year as the defensive coordinator for the Titans in 2014. Nulph was previously the co-defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Division I St. Francis University for one season and held other positions since 2010.
At St. Francis he co-coordinated the defense which finished 10th in the FCS and coordinated a top 25 special teams unit to the best record in SFU’s history in back to back seasons as a FCS institution. During his four years at SFU, Nulph coached 10 All-NEC performers and one NEC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Nulph also mentored kick-returner Kyle Harbridge who earned the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Elite All-Purpose Award. Harbridge is the first Saint Francis player to earn postseason honors from College Football Performance Awards.
In 2011, in his first season as defensive coordinator, Nulph tutored then sophomore linebacker Anthony Bowman to College Madness Second-Team All-America honors who tallied 141 tackles. Nulph’s defense, which featured just one upperclassman, generated 18 total turnovers. In two seasons working with the SFU linebackers, Nulph has helped two finish in the top 10 nationally in tackles. Nulph was instrumental in helping engineer SFU’s 27-13 victory against, 2010 NEC Co-Champion, Central Connecticut State holding the Blue Devils under 85 yards passing and just 13 points.
Under Nulph’s direction in 2010, senior linebackers Scott Lewis and Matthew Parker earned All-NEC honors. With his team leading 138 tackles in 2013, Lewis became the Northeast Conference’s all-time leader in tackles with 524. Both Lewis and Parker tied for the team lead in tackles for loss with 13.5. Parker led the team with seven total sacks, as the Red Flash posted a 13-sack season.
Prior to his time at Saint Francis, Nulph worked with defensive backs and special teams at Allegheny College in 2009 and helped the Gators to an 8-2 record. Nulph also spent four years coaching his alma mater, Robert Morris. He began his career there in 2005, coaching the team’s running backs for two seasons. In 2007 Nulph took over the team’s quarterbacks and in 2008 he moved to the other side of the ball when he took over the Colonials’ safeties. Nulph tutored safety Mike Landers, a First-Team All-Northeast Conference performer who ranked second in the NEC in interceptions (five) and added 74 tackles. Landers also recovered three fumbles and broke up 10 passes that season.
Prior to joining the RMU coaching staff, Nulph spent three seasons with the Colonials, two as a defensive back and one at quarterback, after transferring from Grove City. A two-year letterwinner with the Colonials, Nulph was a special teams captain in 2004.
Nulph graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in communication from Robert Morris in 2005, and received his masters in communication and information systems from Robert Morris in 2007. Nulph is a graduate of Apollo-Ridge High School where he led the Vikings to their only undefeated season in school history.
Nulph resides in Apollo, Pa. with his wife Angela.
Jon Gubish begins his third season as an athletic assistant at Westminster in 2014. Gubish, who was a standout wide receiver for the Titans during the 2007-10 seasons, will continue to coach the wide receivers.
Gubish owns the single season records for receptions in a game and season for the Titans and ranks third on the all-time receptions list.
A native of Pittsburgh, Gubish spent the last two seasons as a coach at his alma mater, Northgate High School and at Washington and Jefferson. Gubish holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is currently working on his master’s at Westminster.
Offensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
Colyn Haugh begins his first season as an assistant coach in 2014. Haugh previously was the defensive line coach, director of football operations and equipment manager at Division I Saint Francis University for the past three seasons.
During his time at St. Francis as the defensive line coach, Haugh was in charge of the overall development and success of the defensive line. He also worked closely with the defensive coordinator in the creation of weekly game plans.
Prior to coaching at St. Francis, Haugh was a defensive line coach/video coordinator at Robert Morris University as a graduate assistant where he also completed his undergraduate degree. In 2006, Haugh was named Second-Team All-Northeast Conference, recorded 48 tackles, 5 sacks, and 8.5 tackles for loss and was named team captain for five games during the season.
Haugh earned his master’s degree from Robert Morris University in 2009.
Running Backs/Special Teams
Garrett Clawson enters his first season as the special teams coordinator in 2014. Clawson was previously at Saint Francis for one season as the kicking coach. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Clawson was a kicker at Robert Morris University.
During his time at SFU, Clawson coached first year kicker Lance Geesey to tie two school records; most field goals in a season (11) and most field goals in a single game (3). Clawson also helped first year punter Zach Drayer set a school record for most punt yards in a single season (2,907).
Clawson transferred to Robert Morris in 2008 after playing at Temple University for head coach Al Golden. He led the team in scoring in his first season with the Colonials and was named First Team All-NEC in 2009. That year, Clawson set the Robert Morris season record for field goals made with 14 while tying the single-game record of three makes on three separate occasions. He again led the team in scoring while also earning NEC Special Teams Player of the Week in three consecutive weeks, becoming the only player in league history to pull off that feat.
Clawson began his senior year in 2010 with Preseason First Team All-NEC and Preseason Second Team All-American honors and finished the year ranked fifth in school history in points (139). The Colonials won the NEC title that year, becoming the first team in school history to make the FCS playoffs and earn a top 25 ranking.
Clawson is a native of Duncansville, Pa.
Kyle Cooper enters his first season on Westminster’s coaching staff in 2014 as the defensive line coach.
Cooper was previously a linebacker at Robert Morris University where he was named Capital One Academic All-District First Team. During his senior season as a Colonial, he produced 81 tackles, 32 of those solo.
Cooper was a sport management major and legal studies minor at Robert Morris University.
Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Paul Yohman is serving as an assistant coach for strength and conditioning for the Westminster football program while he completes his undergraduate degree in exercise science at Youngstown State. Yohman is a native of New Wilmington and a 2008 graduate of Wilmington High School.
The Rev. James R. Mohr II is the College Chaplain and Director of Church Relations at Westminster College and serves as the Chaplain to the Titan football team. Jim is a Presbyterian minister and is presently the Moderator of Shenango Presbytery.
A graduate of Muskingum College and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Jim served churches in St. Petersburg, Florida, Silver Creek, New York, and Butler, Pennsylvania before he came to Westminster. He and his wife Jill have two grown children.