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Sielawa returns to Bryant Football coaching staff

DSPics.com Photo
DSPics.com Photo

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University head football coach Chris Merritt is pleased to announce the addition of former Bulldog coach John Sielawa for the upcoming season.

Sielawa will serve as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.

"We are excited to bring John back to Bryant," Merritt said. "He represents Bryant University in a first-class manner and it's great to have back in our program that bleeds Black and Gold."

Sielawa spent five seasons (2013-2017) on the Bryant sidelines, serving as the tight ends coach for four seasons before coaching linebackers in his fifth season. Under his watch, John Lavin emerged as one of the top tight ends in the Northeast Conference, earning All-NEC First Team honors in 2015. Following that season, Lavin was invited to the Kansas City Chiefs' mini-camp. In addition, Sielawa coached specific positions on special teams and coordinated the special teams ready area on gameday. In that time period, the Bulldogs featured three All-NEC kick returners and one All-NEC kicker. Sielawa's lone season with the linebackers coincided with Thomas Costigan earning NEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and AP All-American honors. 

"Words cannot express the gratitude I have to be back at Bryant University and back with the Black and Gold," Sielawa said. "I'm excited to be back with the great administration and leadership that we have here at Bryant, as well as being a part of Chris Merritt's staff. His mantra "Expect to Win" will be fulfilled by his staff and his players. I can't wait to start working towards the 2019 season!"

Sielawa returns to Smithfield after spending the 2018 season as the special teams coordinator and safeties/outside linebackers coach at Assumption College. He coached four All-Northeast-10 selections, including the NCAA's all-time leader in return touchdowns (14), Deonte Harris. Under Sielawa's watch, Harris averaged 29.5 yards per kick return and 19.0 yards per punt return. In addition, kicker Jacob Tondel and punter Seamus Wallace both earned all-league honors after Tondel was a perfect 49-for-49 on PATs and Wallace averaged 37.3 yards per punt.

Prior to his time in Smithfield, Sielawa served three seasons as the offensive line coach and the Director of Football Operations at Assumption. Sielawa was involved with film evaluation, the creation of weekly scouting reports and recruiting. Under his tutelage, four players earned postseason recognition. Matt Sidebottom was named the NE-10 Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2010 and also earned first team all-conference honors. Dan Duggan earned second-team honors in 2010 and first team honors in 2011. Matt Boruchowski and Blake Nold were both First Team All-Worcester Area selections in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

In his duties as the director of ops, Sielawa was in charge of scheduling all travel, team meals, official recruiting weekends, academic meetings and the football budget.

Sielawa also enjoyed a standout career at Nichols from 2006-09. He was a four-year letter winner at both tight end and on the offensive line for the Bison.

A native of Dudley, Mass., Sielawa earned his bachelor's degree in sport management from Nichols College in 2010. He also earned his master's from Nichols in organizational leadership.