Around the Region

Bears coming home to coach

Assistant coaches Shane Eachus, left, and Marc Lordi have the Ursinus defense clicking again.
Ursinus athletics photo

When Chris Rusiewicz left Ursinus to become head coach at Guilford in 2011, the Bears had a void to fill. The attacking defense that led Ursinus to a 13-4 mark in Centennial Conference play in 2009 and 2010 failed to have the same impact over the past three seasons. Looking to return to the aggressive nature of the 4-2-5 scheme, Bears coach Pete Gallagher brought two former players on board to restore the defense to its former glory.

Shane Eachus, class of 2012, and Marc Lordi, class of 2010, have the Bears' defense buzzing again. Both played for Rusiewicz when he was the defensive coordinator at Ursinus. Eachus, a safety, spent the past two seasons on Mickey Matthews’ staff at James Madison. Lordi spent the past three years as the Bears' defensive line coach. This year, he took over as defensive coordinator in addition to his defensive line duty. His former teammate is his assistant defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

“There’s always something special about being able to coach with your former players. It’s been a really neat experience for me,” said Gallagher. “These two guys are working hand in hand. They played in it. They believe in it. They know it works.”

It helps that Lordi and Eachus are two of the most intelligent players to come through Ursinus. They are not far removed from seeing how the system works from a player’s perspective.

“We understand what it takes and how fun it can be to buy into this system,” said Eachus, a 2011 first team Academic All-American.

Rusiewicz still keeps tabs on his former players, who have reached out to him throughout their young coaching careers. After spending 10 years in Collegeville, Guilford’s head coach always has a place in his heart for Ursinus. His coaching tree is growing on the Bears' defensive staff.

“They are both great young men, and I had the privilege to coach them,” said Rusiewicz. “I think it’s awesome that they’re back at Ursinus.”

The Bears are allowing just 15.7 points per game, and that includes a 38-10 loss to Juniata. In their six wins, they have given up only 12 points per contest. They have 20 takeaways and 21 sacks. Steve Ambs leads the defense with nine sacks and two fumble recoveries. Max DeNardo has three interceptions, while Timothy Rafter has four picks. The Bears have returned three of their 14 interceptions for touchdowns.

“We have had a lot of success from playing aggressive,” said Lordi. “The faces change, but the character of the defense stays the same. We talk about having fun and having the kids believe in what we’re doing.&rdqu...

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Adam Turer

Adam Turer graduated in 2006 from Washington and Lee University, where he was a two-year starter at free safety. He lives in Cincinnati and covers area high school sports in addition to his full-time job as an attorney. Adam has contributed to since 2007 and is in his third season as Around the Mid-Atlantic columnist.

2007-2011 columnist: Ryan Tipps
2003-2006: Pat Cummings
2000: Keith McMillan
1999: Pat Coleman 


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