The 11 players who take the football field for the Red and Blue's offense tend to get most of the credit when the team scores points. However, for about every two offensive players, there's an assistant coach working magic behind the scenes.
Penn's five assistant coaches not only manage players, implement game plans, and coach technique, but they also are all assigned different geographic regions to recruit the next generation of Quakers to lead the storied programs. Needless to say, they all do their part to keep Penn football functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Kevin Morris — Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach
Morris is a 30-year veteran in the college football coaching ranks. This is his second season in his current position with the Quakers.
Prior to Morris' voyage to University City, he had virtually done it all. He served as head coach at UMass, offensive coordinator at Yale, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Monmouth University, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Northeastern University, head coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and also had a one-year stint at Stony Brook.
During his first season at Penn, the offense ranked 36th in the nation in passing offense with 249.0 yards per game, and the Quakers averaged over 24 points per game. In addition, three offensive players earned All-Ivy honors.
Morris recruits players from parts of California, Central New Jersey, and New York.
Kyle Metzler — Offensive line coach
Metzler is in charge of coaching the Red and Blue's o-line, a unit critical to the team's success. This is his fourth year coaching at Penn, and his second season coaching the offensive line after two years leading the tight end squad.
Metzler has experience on the line as he played for Yale as a guard and won an Ivy League title with the Bulldogs in 1999, earned second-team All-Ivy honors in 2001, and went on to graduate in 2002. Before coaching for the Red and Blue, he spent some time coaching for his alma mater, the Mariners, and Dartmouth.
In his first year coaching, 2017, Metzler’s tight ends' numbers jumped to 26 catches, 386 yards, and three touchdowns from the year before. In 2018, the offensive line ranked No. 12 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in tackles for loss allowed-per-game with 4.2 and No. 20 in sacks allowed-per-game with 1.1. In 2019, the offensive line also ranked No. 31 among all FCS teams in sacks allowed-per-game with 1.6.
Metzler recruits for regions in Western Florida, North Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania (Chester and Delaware Counties), South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Steven Downs — Running backs coach
Downs has been in his current position longer than most of his athletes have been alive, as he is entering his 22nd season as the Red and Blue’s running backs coach. He has eight Ivy League titles to his credit.
A versatile playmaker for his alma mater, Central State University, Downs played at cornerback, free safety, and linebacker, in addition to partaking in the special teams unit. He was also a member of Central State's 1995 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Championship team.
He started coaching with former Penn assistant Ed Foley on the Jacksonville coaching staff in 1998 before starting his first season with the Quakers as an offensive assistant. He then took over at running backs in 2000.
During his time as the running backs coach, he has had at least one Penn running back receive All-Ivy honors in 18 out of 20 seasons. This includes six first-team distinctions and two players who were drafted in the NFL.
Downs recruits in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey.
Rick Ulrich — Wide receivers coach
Ulrich is in the 15th year of his second tenure at Penn. He coached for the Quakers for five years from 1995-99. He currently serves as the wide receivers coach and has coaching experiences that go back more than 20 years. He has had coaching stints at Albany, Princeton, Fordham, Army, Georgetown, Trinity, and Ursinus.
He is credited for six of the team's Ivy League titles, with the first coming all the way back in 1998. One of Ulrich’s biggest proteges is wide receiver Justin Watson, who he coached to arguably the best season in program history in 2015. Watson then went on to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Ulrich recruits in Arizona, parts of California, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Central Pennsylvania (Mifflin, Union, Northumberland, Schuylkill Counties), Washington, and Wyoming.
Ryan Becker — Tight ends coach
Becker is in his second season as the tight ends coach at Penn. During his first season at Penn in 2019, the team ranked 36th in the nation in passing offense (249.0 yards per game), and the Red and Blue scored over 24 points per game.
Becker graduated from Wharton in 2013 after spending four seasons as quarterback for the Quakers. During his time playing, he was a two-time Ivy League champion in 2010 and 2012. He then coached for Florida State from 2014-16 as a quality control coach and as a graduate assistant coach.
In 2017, Becker was Assistant Director of Operations with the Red and Blue. Before returning to Penn, he served as tight ends coach at East Tennessee State University in 2018.
Becker recruits for Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Northeastern Pennsylvania (Berks, Columbia, Montour, Clinton, Potter Counties, and Northeast).
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