When The College at Brockport was searching for a new defensive coordinator for the school's tradition-rich football team, head coach Rocco Salomone was hoping to find a candidate with a strong defensive background, plenty of coaching experience and a solid knowledge of the Western and Central New York areas.
Considering that Rashaan Jordan also possesses a familiarity with both the State University of New York system and the admissions process required for potential student-athletes, Jordan's candidacy stood out among the many candidates who applied for the defensive coordinator position.
The College at Brockport has announced the hiring of Jordan as its newest defensive coordinator.
Before coming to Brockport, Jordan served as the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator/linebackers coach for Division II's Wingate (NC) University, a position he held from 2001-2008. His last coaching position was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Frewsburg High School in Frewsburg, NY.
"Being in the State University of New York system really appealed to me. I know a lot of the positives that you can use to sell the student-athletes and their parents about getting them to commit to a school like Brockport," said Jordan, who has been a defensive coordinator since 2001.
"Secondly, what appealed to me was the history of the program. I know that we have the ability to win here right away. This isn't a starter-level or beginner-type football program. Being able to coach at a historically successful program within the SUNY system was the total package for me. We can really get Brockport football to a level where it is winning and sustaining that winning tradition."
Salomone points to Jordan's previous defensive coordinator coaching experiences, as well as his familiarity with recruiting in the state, as two major reasons why Jordan is perfectly suited to become Brockport's latest defensive coordinator.
"Rashaan came very highly recommended and he's definitely a good fit for what we're trying to do here," said Salomone, Brockport's winningest football coach with a 94-69-1 mark in his 15 season.
"He has established a great defensive scheme. The players will like him. Rashaan is an intense personality, but he's very positive and upbeat. He's coached at all levels, he was a star player at this level and he has valuable experience working in the admissions department at Buffalo State. We're very excited to have him on board."
Among Jordan's many football coaching experiences, he has also served as Cornell University's linebackers coach and was the outside linebackers coach at Division I's University at Buffalo from 1999-2001.
Prior to getting into coaching, Jordan was a standout running back at Alfred University before graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor's degree in Athletic Administration. Salomone was Brockport's defensive coordinator when Jordan was starring for the Saxons.
Last year, for the first time under Salomone's watch, the Golden Eagles ditched their traditional 4-3 defensive scheme for a 3-4 system. Under Jordan's watchful eye, Salomone and the Golden Eagles plan to go back to a four-man front for the 2011 season.
Jordan said he devised his own "unique defensive system" about 10 years ago. Under his system, Jordan's teams have become efficient at stopping the run and neutralizing an offense's ability to pass the ball over the middle of the field. Jordan instead strives to force teams to run outside the tackle boxes, and have opposing offenses be relegated to passing along the sidelines instead of down the middle of the field.
"I'm not looking to be a genius, I'm looking to get the kids to play as hard, fast, physical and quick as they possibly can," said Jordan, who said he will lean heavily on Salomone's experience and coaching success.
"My job isn't to develop a player over three years so he can become a stud during his senior year. My job is to get these kids on the field as quickly as possible and develop that player from day one. … It's not what I as a coach know, but what I can get our kids to know. I come off as a pretty effective teacher who can break down my system easily and teach our players right away."
While Jordan is still getting to know Brockport's returning football players, he said he is trying not to learn too much about any individual player's style. Rather than rely on preconceived notions, Jordan said he wants to openly evaluate all players with a clear, unbiased eye.
"What I do know is we're a young unit, but we have talent, which is good," Jordan said. "I like young talent."
Brockport football spring practices began Monday. The Golden Eagles open the 2011 season on the road at 1 p.m. Sept. 3 against Ithaca College.