SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Susquehanna University's first-year head football coach Tom Perkovich has completed his coaching staff as the team heads into its spring practice season.
As previously announced, Matt Scott has been hired as the program's defensive coordinator. Scott spent the previous five seasons on the staff at the University at Albany. He was the Great Danes' full-time special teams coordinator as well as the cornerbacks and outside linebackers coach.
Alan Zemaitis, who has been a member of the SU staff since 2012, has been promoted to cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator. He will also serve as an assistant strength & conditioning coach. Zemaitis is a former Penn State player and captain as well as a former member of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Israel "Izzy" Abraham has been hired to coach the running backs. Abraham joins Susquehanna following three seasons at Stonehill College (Easton, Mass.) as a special teams coordinator and running backs coach.
While at Stonehill, Abraham coached two 2014 First-Team All-Northeast 10 Conference players. Abraham graduated from Endicott College in 2012 with a degree in liberal studies with a minor in history.
Tripp Merritt joins Perkovich's staff to work primarily with the safeties. Merritt has 24 years of coaching and administrative experience, most recently serving as the athletic director and head football coach at Christ's Church Academy in Jacksonville, Fla.
Merritt has spent time as either a head or assistant coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University, Davidson College, Bucknell University, Saint Mary's College and Western Carolina University. He was the head coach at Davidson from 2005-12 and the associate head coach at Bucknell from 2002-05.
Merritt graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1990 with a degree in history and a minor in geography.
Current assistant George Pachucy '15 will remain on the staff as the quarterbacks coach after serving as a student assistant coach with the Crusaders since 2012. During his time as a student assistant coach, Pachucy worked as the assistant offensive line and assistant quarterbacks coach while also working with the tight ends. Pachucy has also volunteered at the Lackawanna College Football Camps since 2011.
Pachucy was a quarterback on the SU football squad in 2011 but after suffering injuries his first two years, was invited to join the coaching staff, of which he has remained a member. He will graduate in May with a degree in business administration.
Paul Sakowski will serve as Susquehanna's defensive line coach. Sakowski is a January 2015 graduate of Marist College where he was a middle linebacker and two-year team captain for the Red Foxes. Sakowski was a four-year starter and member of the 2013 Pioneer Football League championship team. He was also a two-time First-Team All-Pioneer League player as well as a member of the Pioneer Football League All-Academic Team.
Sakowski graduated with a degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology.
Finally, Brendan Walsh will join the coaching staff in August as the tight ends coach and assistant offensive line coach. Walsh, who is currently a student at Colgate University, was a member of the Raiders from 2011-2014. Walsh started 18 consecutive games at center and was on the 2012 Patriot League championship team, a season in which he started all 12 games at center. That 2012 team finished the year ranked fourth in total team offense among all Football Championship Subdivision teams.
Since this past fall, Walsh has served as a student assistant with the Colgate coaching staff when injury ended his senior season. He is majoring in history and will graduate in May.