Ray Rychleski is in his seventh year as Maryland's special teams coordinator and tight ends/H-backs coach. He is in his 28th year of coaching overall, including 26th at the collegiate level.
Last season, Rychleski's units met the lofty standard he has set in his tenure at Maryland.
Seniors Adam Podlesh and Dan Ennis were standouts at the punter and place-kicker position, respectively, as both earned All-ACC honors.
For Podlesh, it was his fourth-straight year making the all-conference team, the only player in school history to make All-ACC team four years in a row. He went on to become the first punter taken in the 2007 NFL Draft (fourth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars).
Ennis, meanwhile, continued to improve at place-kicker and was responsible for some of the most crucial moments in the Terrapins' season, notably the game-winning field goal to lift Maryland to a 13-12 victory at Clemson.
In the tight ends unit, Rychleski developed Joey Haynos into an honorable mention All-ACC pass-catching threat as the junior was the second leading receiver on the team.
The 2004 and 2005 seasons were special for Rychleski as he helped harness the talents of Vernon Davis, which resulted in him being the team's leading receiver in 2004 and the ACC's leading pass-catcher in 2005.
Davis was the first tight end in school history named first team All-America by the Associated Press. He went on to become the sixth overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, highest by a Terrapin since Randy White in 1975.
In 2005, Rychleski helped develep Ennis, who had never played football prior to college. Ennis was solid from the get go, hitting 11-straight field goals to start the year. Podlesh was again solid, earning second team All-ACC honors and finishing 13th nationally in punting average (43.6). The previous year, Nick Novak became the ACC's all-time leading scorer with 393 points (tied for fifth in NCAA history) while return man Steve Suter set the all-time ACC record for punt return yards as he finished his career with 1,271.
In 2003, Rychleski's tight ends and special teamers both made headway. Jeff Dugan continued to impress as one of the top blocking tight ends in the country while Novak had his second consecutive 100-point season, earning first team All-ACC honors and being named a Lou Groza semifinalist. Podlesh -- the first Terp freshman ever to be honored as first team all-league -- was a Ray Guy semifinalist with his 42.3-yard average and Suter - though hobbled - returned two punts for touchdowns, repeating as a first team all-conference pick.
In 2002, Rychleski saw Dugan earn honorable mention All-ACC status, while the special teams had three first team All-ACC performers. Novak finished his sophomore season ranked fifth in the NCAA in field goals and 16th in scoring, and Brooks Barnard led the ACC in punting (12th nationally) with a 43.1-yard average. But while the Terrapin return game was nearly an afterthought the year before, Suter blossomed under Rychleski's guidance into one of the top return men in the country. Suter finished 2002 with an ACC-record 771 punt return yards while finishing second in the conference in kick return average and tying an NCAA record with four punt returns for a touchdown.
In 2001, Matt Murphy went from a player in search of a position to a tight end displaying enough skills to be selected by the Detroit Lions in the 2002 NFL Draft. Highlights from Rychleski's special teams units included the fourth-best net punting average in the nation, first team All-ACC recognition for Barnard, and Novak earning honorable mention all-conference status in just his first year.
Prior to coming to College Park, Rychleski served for eight years at Wake Forest University where his tenure could best be described as diverse. For the 1999 and 2000 seasons, Rychleski was the Demon Deacons' tight ends coach while also serving as the team's special teams coach. For the three years prior to becoming tight ends coach and special teams coach (1996-98), he worked with WFU's outside linebackers. During his first three seasons at Wake (1993-95), Rychleski coached the defensive line.
Rychleski began his coaching career on the prep level in Pennsylvania in 1979 before heading to Temple University, where he took a position as a graduate assistant. After a short time as the Owls' graduate assistant, he was promoted into his first full-time collegiate coaching post. He spent eight years at Temple (1981-88) before heading to Northeastern (1989-90) as a defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach. After two years at Northeastern, Rychleski spent a year at Penn State (1991, graduate assistant) and one summer with the Toronto Argonauts (1992, defense) as a volunteer assistant.
In 1992, Rychleski was hired as a special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at East Stroudsburg University where he helped the Warriors to their best record in 13 years. After his brief stint there, he left for Wake Forest in 1993.
A native of Old Forge, Pa., Rychleski earned his degree in social studies from Millersville (Pa.) State College (now known as Millersville University) in 1979.
The Rychleski File
PersonalDate of Birth: September 27, 1957
Hometown: Old Forge, Pa.
Alma Mater: Millersville (Pa.), `79
2001-pr.: Assistant Coach - Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends & H-Backs
1999-2000: Assistant Coach - Tight Ends/ Special Teams
1996-98: Outside Linebackers
1993-95: Defensive Line
1992: Assistant Coach - Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Backs
Summer, 1992: Volunteer Assistant Coach - Defense
1991: Graduate Assistant - Offensive Line
1989-90: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
1981-88: GA/Assistant Coach - Outside Linebackers and Rovers
Neshaminy (Pa.) High School
1980: Head Coach - Freshman Team
Manheim (Pa.) Township High School
1979: Assistant Coach - Quarterbacks/Defensive Backs
Recruiting AreasMaryland (Cecil and Harford counties; western part of state), North Carolina and West Virginia