A veteran of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Dave Sollazzo is in his 10th year as defensive line coach and fifth season as recruiting coordinator at Maryland.
Sollazzo is his 13th season overall at the University. He was a volunteer defensive line coach for the Terps in 1986 and `87 as well as a graduate assistant in 1984. Sollazzo's work orchestrating the Terps' recruiting efforts have led to the signing of some outstanding student-athletes.
Over the last three seasons, the Terps have signed 72 student-athletes ranked among the 100 nationally at their positions, including 17 All-Americans. In addtion, 56 of the 88 signees received all-state recognition during their careers.
The 2009 recruiting class was ranked No. 26 nationally by Rivals.com (highest since 2005) and 27th by Scout.com.
On the field Sollazzo has groomed a number of players for the next level. Jeremy Navarre, a four-year starter, earned honorable mention All-ACC honors in 2008 en route to signing with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars where he earned extensive playing time last season.
Dean Muhtadi, a significant contributor his last two seasons (2007-08), also moved onto the NFL, where he has spent time with Green Bay and Arizona.
In 2007, the defensive line was led by Dre Moore who secured first-team All-ACC honors and went on to be selected in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In 2006, Moore anchored the line along with Conrad Bolston, who played parts of two seasons in the NFL.
During the 2005 season, Maryland's defensive line was one somewhat in transition, but the unit again played well. Bolston had his best season, leading the team with five sacks, while Navarre (25 tackles, 2 1/2 TFLs), a converted fullback, emerged as a true freshman.
In 2004, the Terrapin defense ranked 21st nationally, giving up an average of 315.3 yards per game. Though it had lost standout DT Randy Starks a year early (selected by the Tennessee Titans in the 2004 NFL Draft), the defensive line still performed well, helping the team to top 25 rankings in three categories.
In 2003, the Terps were first in the league in total defense (15th nationally) and pass defense while finishing third in rushing defense. They recorded 35 sacks, just one fewer than league leader Florida State, and Starks became just the second Maryland tackle in 15 years to earn first team all-conference honors.
In 2002, Maryland finished second in the league in total defense while holding its opponents to 57 yards below their season rushing averages coming into their respective games with the Terrapins. In addition, the Terps finished atop the league and seventh nationally in scoring defense, yielding just 16.3 points per game. Individually, Starks earned second-team All-ACC honors in just his second season.
In his first year back at UM, Sollazzo took a group that entered the season as a concern in terms of talent and depth, and turned it into a rock-solid unit that helped anchor one of the top defenses in the ACC as the team led the league in rushing and scoring defense. Under his tutelage, nose tackle Charles Hill became an honorable mention All-ACC pick and, ultimately, a third-round choice of the Houston Texans in the 2002 NFL Draft.
Prior to his current stint at Maryland, Sollazzo spent two seasons (1999-00) at Georgia Tech as a defensive tackles coach helping the Yellow Jackets reach bowl games each year (1999 Gator Bowl / 2000 Peach Bowl).
Before joining the Yellow Jackets, Sollazzo was the defensive line coach at The Citadel from 1989-98. The Citadel was another homecoming for Sollazzo, as he had lettered for the Bulldogs for three years on the defensive line from 1974-76. In that time, he started 33 consecutive games under former Maryland coach Bobby Ross. His position coach was Ralph Friedgen.
As a coach at The Citadel, Sollazzo helped Brad Keeney achieve All-America honors and Southern Conference-leading totals in sacks and tackles for loss in 1995.
In addition, he coached nine other defensive linemen to all-conference honors while with the Bulldogs. The highlight of his coaching career in Charleston, S.C., however, may have been his involvement in helping The Citadel to the 1992 Southern Conference championship and a No. 1 ranking at the end of the regular season. That squad led the nation in points allowed (13 ppg) and finished sixth in pass efficiency defense. In 1997, he was a part of an impressive defensive effort in which the Bulldogs finished their season by not allowing a touchdown over the final 13 quarters.
Along with his ties to Maryland and The Citadel, Sollazzo has an extensive history in prep coaching. With the exception of the Maryland job in 1984 (a season that saw the Terps win the ACC and earn a berth in the Sun Bowl), Sollazzo was a high school defensive coordinator in South Carolina from 1978-85.
Sollazzo was born in the same hometown as Friedgen, Harrison, N.Y., on Christmas Eve, 1955, and earned his degree from The Citadel in 1977. He and his wife, Ellen, have a son, Christopher.
The Sollazzo File
PersonalDate of Birth: December 24, 1955
Hometown: Harrison, N.Y.
Alma Mater: The Citadel, `77
2005-pr.: Assistant Coach - Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
2001-04: Assistant Coach - Defensive Line/NFL Liaison
1999-00: Assistant Coach - Defensive Tackles
1989-98: Assistant Coach - Defensive Line
Guilford (N.C.) College
1988: Assistant Coach - Defensive Line
1986-87: Volunteer Assistant Coach - Defensive Line
Stratford (S.C.) High School
1985: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
1984: Graduate Assistant - Linebackers
North Charleston (S.C.) High School
1983: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
Fort Johnson (S.C.) High School
1978-82: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
Playing ExperienceThe Citadel
1973-76: Defensive line
Recruiting AreasMaryland (Howard and Montgomery Counties), Northern New Jersey and Southern New York