Hobart College Head Football Coach Mike Cragg recently announced that Nick Grange will serve as the Statesmen's defensive coordinator for the 2013 season. Grange comes to Hobart following nine seasons at the University of Rochester, including the past seven as the Yellowjackets' defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
"I've known Nick for years and I've been very impressed with the defense he's run at Rochester," Cragg said. "He's recruited some of the Yellowjackets' best players. I'm excited to have him join our staff."
Grange replaces Scott Yoder '01, who left Hobart after 12 seasons to become the head coach at Shenandoah University. The Statesmen will continue to run a 4-4 defense.
At Rochester, Grange developed, organized, and directed all elements of the weekly game preparation for the defense, including daily position meetings and video analysis. In 2012, the Yellowjackets led the Liberty League allowing the fewest opponent first downs (164) and ranked second in red zone defense. A year earlier, Rochester was second in total defense (300.8 yds/g), rushing defense (120.1 yds/g), and red zone defense (72.4%). Hobart led the league in all three of those categories in 2011. In 2009 and 2010, Grange's unit led the conference in rushing defense. He has mentored one AFCA All-American, one Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year, and 23 All-Liberty League honorees.
As recruiting coordinator, Grange also developed the Yellowjackets' annual recruiting plan. He spent his first two seasons at Rochester as the outside linebackers coach.
A 2004 graduate of Saginaw Valley State University, Grange was a four-year varsity letterman at free safety. The Cardinals captured a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) championships. He served as a team captain for the 2003 squad that went 12-1, reached the NCAA quarterfinals, and finish the season at No. 4 in the final AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. A four-time GLIAC All-Academic team selection, Grange earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education.
Hobart is coming off what is arguably the most successful season in program history. The Statesmen completed their first undefeated regular season in 55 years, winning their eighth Liberty League Championship. In the NCAA Division III Championship, Hobart dispatched Washington & Lee 38-20 and No. 13 Wittenberg 35-10 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time. The Statesmen fell to third-ranked and eventual national runner-up St. Thomas.
The 2012 Hobart defense ranked fifth in the nation in total defense (241.0 yds/g), seventh in pass defense (143.23 yds/g), 10th in sacks (3.31/g), 22nd in rushing defense (97.77 yds/g), 23rd in pass efficiency defense (103.51), and 28th in scoring defense (17.31 ppg). The Statesmen are expected to return eight defensive starters, including D3football.com All-Americans Tyre Coleman and Devin Worthington and four additional All-Liberty League selections.