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AMU Recruits First Six Football Players

mervos1The Ave Maria University school year may be winding down, but the staff of the Athletics Department is just gearing up.

The new football program has recruited its first six players and Athletic Director Brian Scanlan is actively looking for coaches and leaders for almost a dozen other sports and activities that will be added during the next two years including tennis, track, competitive cheerleading and a marching band.

Daniel Mervos, a wide receiver from Cooper City, west of Ft. Lauderdale, became AMU's first signed football recruit last week. (left, Mervos flanked by Head Coach Barry Fagan on the right and assistant coach Brad Rumsey)

"He has great potential," Head Football Coach Barry Fagan said, "and reminds me of a player who set the all-time receiving records at Hillsdale College," where Fagan coached before coming to Ave Maria.  Mervos had 25 receptions for 463 yards and six touchdowns last season for the Cooper City Cowboys.gudeman1

The first out-of-state football player to commit to Ave Maria was John Gudeman (left), a defensive back from Livonia Stevenson High School in Michigan. Other recruits include offensive lineman Shane Williams of Merritt Island, FL, linebacker Dan Noland from Perrysburg, OH, tight end Clay Burroughs from Glen Ridge, NJ, and defensive tackle Evan Aucamp from Riverdale High School on Marco Island.

kolakowski1The coaching staff is also taking shape with the arrival of defensive coordinator Mike Kolakowski (right) -- who has coached for a number of Division One teams including Youngstown State, Central Michigan and the University of Ohio -- and offensive line coach Brad Rumsey, who played and coached for Fagan at Hillsdale.

Coach Fagan said he is hoping to recruit about 30 players to start at AMU this fall, who would then form the nucleus of the team when it takes the field in intercollegiate competition in the fall of 2011.

When that happens, there may well be something new for AMU on the sidelines -- a marching band. Athletic Director Brian Scanlan is advertising to hire a director for a marching band with the hope of having the band ready for the 2011-12 academic year.

He's also recruiting coaches for several sports the university plans to add in the next two years. Beginning this fall, Scanlan said, AMU hopes to add women's golf, men's and women's tennis and a women's club rowing team that would practice with the Rowing Association of Naples on the Gordon River. Also in the works for the 2011-12 academic year are programs for women's lacrosse, women's competitive cheerleading, men's and women's cross-country and men's and women's track and field. All the additions will take the athletics department from the eight sports currently offered to 19.

See previous Ave Herald story - AMU Football Coach: "We Can Win Right Away"



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