Head Coach Monica Announces Addition to Coaching Staff :: exploreClarion.com

CLARION, Pa. –Golden Eagle head football coach Raymond Monica announced on Friday the addition of two members to Clarion’s coaching staff ahead of the 2022 season.

Pete Collinsa seasoned college assistant with more than 15 years of experience, was named the team’s offensive coordinator, while Josh Hager – himself a veteran coach for nearly 20 years – was named the team’s defensive coordinator.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Pete and Josh to the team,” Monica said. “Over the years, they have both shown that they have what it takes to be successful coaches at the collegiate level, and I look forward to them working with our student-athletes.

About Peter Collins

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Collins spent the 2021 season working as an offensive coordinator at Centennial High School, but before that he previously spent 15 years as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I and III levels. Most recently, he worked with Illinois wide receivers and tight ends from 2018-21, as well as a stint as interim running backs coach in 2020. One of the highlights from this year is occurred Nov. 21, when two Illini running backs — Mike Epstein and Chase Brown — rushed for 100 yards against Nebraska.

Prior to his move to Illinois, Collins was associate head coach and offensive coordinator – among other responsibilities – at Division III Becker College, working there from 2016-2018. Along with head coach Frank Forcucci, Collins also organized and installed game plans for special teams. From 2013 to 2016, Collins was on staff at Florida International, coaching the wide receiver squad in 2015 and also helping with quarterback development. He was the program’s main recruiter in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. He was also an offensive assistant at Rutgers (2010-13), Northeastern (2009-10) and Delaware Valley (2007-09). Collins got his start in the coaching business in 2006, working as an operations intern for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

Collins graduated from the University of Mary Washington in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, with a focus on secondary education and political science. He then earned his Masters in Recreation and Sport Management from Florida International in 2015.

Coach Monica on Pete Collins: “I am very impressed with Pete and his journey, including his success at the Division I level. What sets him apart and what he excels at is that he is a very good teacher. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that he was the kind of coach we wanted to add to our program.

About Josh Hager

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Hager comes to Clarion after spending the 2021 season as the defensive coordinator for Division III Alvernia. Under Hager’s guidance, linebacker Tajon Whiten finished second on the team and seventh in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) with 72 total tackles on the season, including five tackles for a 1.5 sack loss, a fumble forced and a fumble recovered.

Prior to his time at Alvernia, Hager was the defensive coordinator for Division II Missouri Southern from 2019-2020. In 2019, the Lions introduced the top two tackles in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) in Richard Jordan, Jr. (10.9 tackles/game) and Colton Winder (8.6 tackles/game). Winder was second overall in NCAA Division II in tackles per game by a freshman that year.

Before coming to Missouri Southern, Hager led the Garden City Community College defense from 2016 to 2018. In 2018, the Broncbuster defense was the top performing defense in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC). The team made an appearance in the NJCAA National Championship Game, where the Broncbusters held East Mississippi Community College’s offense out of the end zone for the first time in 11 years while limiting the EMCC at 1-13 on third down. In 2016, the Broncbuster defense finished first in the NJCAA and propelled the team to the 2016 National Championship. It was the first time in program history that the GCCC finished as the top defense in the nation and the first time that a KJCCC school finished in first place. In 2016 the defense forced 35 takeouts and in 2017 the defense forced 33 takeouts that resulted in five touchdowns on the way to the El Toro Bowl (2016) and the Heart of Texas Bowl (2017).

During his career, Hager has coached one National Defensive Player of the Year, two Conference Defensive Players of the Year, two Conference Defensive Linemen of the Year, 11 All-Americans, 41 First all-conference team and a first draft pick. in Mike Hughes (Minnesota Vikings – 2018).

Prior to his move to the GCCC, Hager was the defensive coordinator for Saint Vincent College from 2014 to 2016. The Bearcats boasted the best pass defense in the Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC) and cut their defense average by more than 10 points per game, and snapped a 22-game losing streak before Hager arrived in Latrobe. Previously, Hager was associate head coach and defensive coordinator at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisc from 2012 to 2013. The Green Knights won the Midwest Conference (MWC) championship and secured a berth in the football playoffs of NCAA Division III. during his two seasons. In 2013, St. Norbert ranked first in the MWC in total defense, giving up 308.0 yards and scoring defense, allowing 16.1 points.

Prior to St. Norbert, Hager spent time at two NCAA Division II schools, University of Minnesota-Crookston and Michigan Tech. He was linebacker coach and recruiting coordinator for four seasons at Michigan Tech before taking over as defensive coordinator at Crookston for one season. He also spent time at Central Connecticut State, University of Mary, St. Louis Park High School, Valley City State University, and Dickinson State University.

Hager earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Education from Valley City State University in 1998. He then earned a Master of Science in Secondary School Administration/Leadership from the University of Mary in 2005.

Coach Monica on Josh Hager: “I have known Josh for a long time and he comes from a rich family football tradition. His father Rocky Hager was the head coach at North Dakota State where he won two national championships. He was brought up with football his whole life and he did a great job everywhere he went. He also won a national championship as a coach. He brings a lot of knowledge and passion to the game.”

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