ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University football program recently filled its full-time coaching staff after head coach Jim Schroeder announced the hiring of David Benoit and J.T. Zimmerman. Coach Benoit joins the program as Rockford's offensive coordinator along with coaching the quarterbacks and receivers. Coach Zimmerman will serve as the Regents' defensive coordinator and coach the defensive backs.
Benoit worked the previous three years at Western New England University where he served as the director of football operations and coached the team's quarterbacks and wide receivers. Zimmerman also spent last season at Western New England where he served as the defensive backs coach. Prior to that, he was the defensive backs coach at Benedictine University for two years under Coach Schroeder.
"Building a staff starts with hiring great people, and Dave and J.T. definitely fit that bill" Schroeder commented. "They are both detail-oriented coaches who will help build a championship culture here at Rockford."
Benoit was part of an offense that finished the 2014 season ranked twelfth in the country in rushing averaging 267.7 yards per game. The Golden Bears were equally as efficient in the passing game as they threw just five interceptions all season, which ranked them eleventh in the nation.
"It was my goal to hire an offensive coordinator who had experience in a system that produced results. I wanted someone who is committed to establishing the run while taking care of the football" Schroeder remarked. "Dave played a key role in developing the offense at Western New England into one of the most productive units in the Northeast. He is a strong teacher who will demand excellence from our players in everything they do."
Last fall Zimmerman led one of the top secondaries in the country. His unit finished the season ranked nineteenth in Division III in passing yards allowed and ninth in interceptions. Zimmermann also coached the conference leader in interceptions during the 2014 season.
"Coach Zimmerman was a big part of our success both as a player and a coach at Benedictine. "His familiarity with our scheme and what we expect from our kids will be a tremendous resource for our program" Schroeder added. "He is an excellent teacher of the fundamentals of the game, and I am excited to see the results he will produce here at Rockford."
The Regents are set to open the 2015 season on Saturday, September 5 at Lawrence University. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at the Banta Bowl in Appleton, Wis.