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XFL Birmingham Bolts Personnel: Head Coach Gerry DiNardo
Personnel: Head Coach Gerry DiNardo
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Gerry DiNardo
Head Coach

Starting from scratch might be considered an obstacle for many football coaches, but Gerry DiNardo is no stranger to building success from the ground up. He has accepted and met the challenge at virtually every stop along his career path.

Granted, Vanderbilt University and Louisiana State University were not in the first year football competition when DiNardo arrived in Nashville and Baton Rouge, respectively. Still the wins had been few and far between in the Music City and the on the Bayou in the previous seasons.

Vanderbilt was 2-20 in the two seasons prior to DiNardos arrival as head coach in 1991. The very next season the Commodores were 5-6 and DiNardo was named SEC Coach of he Year. DiNardo and his staff helped guide VU to 19 wins over four years, the most successful four-year run at Vanderbilt since the early 70s.

The situation was much the same at LSU. The Bengal Tigers had recorded just 11 victories in three seasons prior to DiNardos arrival in time for the 1995 season. The next three seasons saw DiNardo lead LSU to a 26-9 record and three consecutive bowl bids.

With those credentials in his hip pocket, DiNardo welcomes the challenge of building the Thunderbolts from the ground up in a state where many say football is more than just a game or even a way of life, but a game to be honored and revered.

If you cant enjoy coaching where people are so passionate about football, then you cant enjoy coaching, DiNardo said. Some may view coaching where fans are so knowledgeable as a challenge, but I view it as a positive to be in a market where people really care about the game of football.

Even before becoming a head coach, DiNardo had continually been associated with winning football. As an All-American offensive guard at Notre Dame he helped lead the Fighting Irish to a 29-5 record over three seasons, including a national title in 1973.

The national championship he helped win as a player was the first of two DiNardo would be a part of. In 1990, he helped guide the University of Colorado to a national title as offensive coordinator. In fact, the Buffs were an impressive 22-2-1 over DiNardos last two seasons as offensive coordinator in Boulder.

Prior to the head coaching positions at LSU (1995-98) and Vanderbilt (1991-94), DiNardo was an assistant at Colorado for nine seasons (1982-90). Prior to Colorado he made assistant coaching stops at Eastern Michigan (1978-81) and Maine (1975-77).

His nine-year record as a head coach is 46-43-1. His combined record as a head coach, assistant coach and player is 151-147-4.

A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, DiNardo was born Nov. 10, 1952. He was educated at St. Francis Prep in Brooklyn, graduating in 1970 and at Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass., where he finished in 1971. He played quarterback, tight end, as well as on the offensive and defensive lines at St. Francis and Tabor before signing with Notre Dame.

DiNardo earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Notre Dame in 1975 and his Masters in education administration from Maine in 1977.

He is married to the former Terri Brown of Madison, Wis. and is the father of two children. DiNardos daughter Kate is a freshman at Notre Dame and his son Michael is in elementary school in Birmingham.

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