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.
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers / Academic Support Coordinator
Mike Sandy enters his fifth season at Westminster including his third as the defensive coordinator in 2013. Sandy coached linebackers his first two seasons and he continues to serve as the academic support coordinator. In 2010, the team’s linebacking corps produced three of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference’s top six tacklers including the league’s leader in tackles.
Sandy came to Westminster after coaching five years at McDonough High School in Pomfret, Md., including three as varsity assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. During Sandy’s five years at McDonough, he helped guide the team to a state championship game appearance and he coached three players that received scholarships from Division I-A schools, one of which reached the NFL.
Prior to coaching at McDonough, Sandy was a receivers coach at his alma mater, Hiram College, where he played wide receiver for four years from 1999-2002 and led the team in receptions as a junior and senior.
A native of Medina, Ohio, and a Buckeye High School graduate, Sandy earned his master’s degree from Westminster in 2012. Sandy resides in New Wilmington with his wife Kelly, son, Cooper, and daughter, Charlotte.
Jon Gubish begins his second season as an athletic assistant at Westminster in 2013. 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.
Mike Donato is back for his seventh year on the Titan coaching staff in 2013 as an assistant coach.
Donato coached the defensive line his first two years and running backs the last three seasons. During his tenure, Donato coached two-time all-conference defensive end Andrew Robison and first-team all-conference running back and team MVP Nick McKolosky.
Donato coached in the high school ranks for 23 years before coming to Westminster. He was the head coach at Kennedy Catholic High School in Sharon, Pa., from 2003-06 after serving as an assistant at his alma mater of Sharon High for 19 years.
Donato coached 10 teams that won the District 10 Championships, including one as head coach for Kennedy in 2005. The District 10 champion Sharon teams of 1994 and 1995 advanced to the state championship game.
During his playing career, Donato was a four-year starter and a three-year first-team all-conference linebacker at Thiel College before graduating in 1970 with a business degree.
A retired captain for the City of Sharon Fire Department, Donato resides in his hometown of Sharon.
Bob Altenhof enters his third season on the Westminster coaching staff in 2013. Altenhof will coach the secondary with a concentration on safeties.
Altenhof is a former head coach at West Branch High School in Ohio where he coached from 1981-2010 including 17 years as defensive coordinator and the last six years as head coach. He remains the school’s full-time guidance counselor.
Altenhof’s son, Bill, played at Westminster from 2007-10. Altenhof is a 1981 graduate of Geneva College where he was a four-year starter and all-district player.
He resides in Homeworth, Ohio.
Joe Colella enters his first season as an assistant at Westminster in 2013. Colella will assist in coaching the tight ends.
Colella, an intervention specialist in the Poland School District, brings 33 years of coaching experience to the Titans. A resident of Poland, Ohio, Colella earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State University.
Jordon Rooney begins his first season on the Westminster coaching staff in 2013. Rooney will coach the defensive backs.
Rooney, a former Titan, was an assistant coach at Union High School in 2012 and played professional football in Serbia during the Spring.
A native of New Castle, Pa., Rooney earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in sociology from Westminster in 2012.
Jake Nulph enters his first year as an assistant 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.
Prior to his time at St. Francis, Nulph worked with defensive backs and special teams at Allegheny College for a season. Before that, he was a Secondary Assistant and Special Teams Assistant for a season. During that time he coached First-Team Northeast Conference defensive back safety Mike Landers.
While earning his master’s degree from Robert Morris University, Nulph was a Graduate Assistant/Quarterbacks Coach where he worked under Head Coach Joe Walton. He was also a Graduate Assistant/Running Backs Coach for a season and was the Community Service Coordinator.
Nulph received his undergraduate degree from Robert Morris University in 2005 where he was a quarterback and strong safety. He was named special teams captain for the 2004 season and also Player of the Week on two different occasions. Nulph also quarterback at Grove City College in 2001 and was named Scout Team Player of the Week on two different occasions.
Nulph is a native of Apollo, Pa.
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 Graduate Assistant/Defensive Line/Video Coordinator at Robert Morris University 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.
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.