Local roundup: Nevada hires offensive, defensive coordinators
RENO — New Nevada head football coach Jay Norvell hired Matt Mumme and Jeff Casteel to be his offensive and defensive coordinator, respectively.
A disciple of the noted “Air Raid” offensive attack, Mumme comes to the Pack after four seasons as the head coach of LaGrange College in Georgia. He played quarterback at Kentucky under his father, Hal Mumme, one of the noted architects of the pass-happy Air Raid system.
A coordinator for 25 years of his 31-year coaching career, Casteel is an expert in the 3-3 defensive alignment and will bring the odd-man front to Reno. He most recently was the defensive coordinator for four years at Arizona after 11 years at West Virginia.
“In hiring both of these coordinators, I wanted men who have been running these systems for a long time,” Norvell said. “They know exactly what they want to do and how they want to do it, so we can hit the ground running.”
New Reno soccer team
signs 3 more players
RENO – Following Monday’s signing of Dane Kelly, Reno 1868 FC has signed Jordan Murrell, Brenton Griffiths and Matthew LaGrassa, pending USL and federation approval.
Murrell and Griffiths are expected to solidify the back line while LaGrassa will play as a box-to-box midfielder.
“Each of these players has something special to bring to the team,” said Ian Russell, head coach of Reno 1868 FC, in a press release. “I hand-picked these players because of their work ethic and experience.”
Murrell, 23, progressed through the Canadian national team’s U-18, U-20 and U-23 programs, and holds significant experience in the Premier Development League and United Soccer League. While attending Syracuse University, Murrell played for the Ocean City Nor’easters and K-W United FC of the PDL. Murrell later played for the USL’s Real Monarchs and most recently the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Griffiths, 25, played at the international level for Jamaica’s U-17 and U-20 teams. He was then selected by the Colorado Rapids in the second round of the 2013 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft. Griffiths was later recruited for the USL’s Orange County Blues where he played four seasons. After his 2015 campaign with the Blues, he earned All-League second-team honors.
LaGrassa, 23, played four years at Cal-Poly. During his time at Cal Poly, he also played for the Des Moines Menace and Ventura County Fusion of the PDL. LaGrassa later returned home after signing with Sacramento Republic FC and proved himself as an essential player in their midfield. Greater Nevada Field will host up to 18 matches in 2017, with 16 coming as regular-season matches for Reno 1868 FC during their inaugural USL campaign. The USL previously announced the regular season will expand to 32 matches beginning in 2017. The club will play its first preseason match against the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes on February 18.