Meet the Staff: ST Coordinator Phil Galiano

Last year's defensive line coach Phil Galiano has the potential to be a jack of all trades for the Rutgers football season. Promoted to special teams coordinator, Galiano and head coach Kyle Flood discussed the importance of the role yesterday on a conference call.

Under Robb Smith's watch last season, the Rutgers special teams unit was a game-changer. Every time Rutgers needed some magic to fight back into the game or hold off a surging opponent, Rutgers came through on special teams.

Under Phil Galiano this season, coach Kyle Flood does not expect that to change.

"To have that continuity on staff with Coach Galiano and having Coach Smith here to kind of help the transition with the special teams, I think, will allow us to continue the tradition of being a punt-block team, a field-goal block team, a highly effective kickoff return team," Flood said. "We have some talented people in those positions and I think we'll be able to continue some of the traditions that we've established here over the last couple of years."

Galiano has held multiple positions with the Scarlet Knights during two tenures and served as Mario Cristobal's defensive coordinator at FIU in between stints.

A former college safety, Galiano has experience coaching all three levels of defense and is expected to keep some sort of positional duty alongside his special teams work.

"As of right now, all three coaches we have on defense all have Division I coordinating experience," Flood said. "I think, as somebody who sits at the head of the table or somebody who sits at the head of the table as a coordinator, it's always good to know that the guy's underneath you have experience putting game-plans together, calling defense, being in charge of the big picture, so that whatever the actual individual positions end up being, you've got some flexibility."

For Galiano, a key part of his scheme will be learning from what Smith last season. Galiano has special teams experience as an assistant and from his time playing college football, but has not called plays at the same level as Smith.

"Philosophy-wise, I think it's going to be very similar to what it was," Galiano said. "We're going to continue to be a punt-block team. We're going to continue to be a field-goal block team. We've had some very good success and some game-changing moments with those things. We're also going to be a team that's going to take advantage with the skilled athletes that we have in the kickoff return game and go from there with it.

"I'm really excited about the challenge. ... I think all of my years that I've been here, I've always been an assistant on special teams on each team in some capacity. I think having Robb here to be able to lean on, and the things that have been put in place are there. Like anything, we're going to continue to produce like Kyle talked about. Robb's going to be a great asset and I'm really excited about that challenge."


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