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Albany, N.Y. -- University at Albany head coach Bob Ford announced on Thursday, March 31 the hiring of Art Tolliver and Will Luca as assistant football coaches. Tolliver, a full-time staff member, will work with the defensive line, while Luca will coach the tight ends. In addition, UAlbany has promoted Peter Rossomando to offensive coordinator after four seasons as offensive line coach. Ryan Roeder and David Parks have been added to the staff as graduate assistants.


Ford, who begins his 33rd varsity season in the fall after starting the program at the club level in 1970, will still have Mike Simpson on his staff as defensive coordinator. Jeff Hafley (defensive backs), Don Mion (inside linebackers), Tolliver and Parks (outside linebackers) will work on that side of the ball. UAlbany's offensive staff will include Ryan McCarthy (quarterbacks), Nick LaFontaine (offensive line), Luca and Roeder (running backs).


Tolliver, 45, has been the defensive coordinator since 2001 at Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y., where he also handled special teams and linebackers. The Kats participated in the Red River Bowl during that period. He also was the head coach at Salt Fleet High School in Stoney Creek, Ontario for two years and offensive line coach at Barton High School in Hamilton, Ontario from 1998-2000.


A native of New Orleans, La., Tolliver played nose guard and was captain at Nicholls State University, where he has been enshrined into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. He went on to play for the New Orleans Saints from 1981-83, and had a long career with Edmonton, Hamilton and Montreal in the Canadian Football League. Tolliver has a bachelor's degree in religious education and counseling from California State Christian University. He received an associate's degree in criminal justice from Nicholls State. Tolliver was a member of the U.S. National Judo Team from 1978-95, and earned a spot on the 1984 and 1992 U.S. Olympic Teams.


Luca, 25, was previously the offensive line coach at Moravian College for two years. The Greyhounds finished with a 7-4 record in 2004 and played in the ECAC Southeast Championship. Luca got his start in coaching as a volunteer assistant in the spring of 2003 at his alma mater Kutztown University. He was voted first-team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and second-team All-Northeast Region in 2001. Luca, who hails from Saddle River, N.J., has a B.A. in liberal arts and sciences in history with a minor in psychology.


Roeder and Parks, a pair of former UAlbany football captains, each moved into the college coaching ranks last year. Roeder, an All-Northeast Conference quarterback, led UAlbany to the 2002 NEC and ECAC Division I-AA championships by passing for 1,366 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. He worked on the Holy Cross staff in the fall of 2004. Parks, who coached at St. John Fisher last fall, was a first-team All-NEC defensive tackle as a senior, when the Great Danes shared their second consecutive conference title. He was voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-America national first team

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