Jan. 23, 2009
Huntington, W.Va. -
Marshall University Head Football Coach Mark Snyder announced the hiring of Mike Cassity as the Thundering Herd's defensive secondary coach, Friday.
"I am excited to have a coach with Mike's wealth of experience join our staff," Snyder said. "Sometimes change creates opportunity and we are fortunate to be able to bring in a coach, not only with great experience, but a proven record of success."
Cassity, a native of Fort Campbell, Ky., has 33 years of coaching experience and seven as a coordinator at the NCAA Division I level. He has coached a total of 34 players who have gone on to the National Football League. He most recently served as defensive coordinator at the University of Louisville from 2004 to 2007. During his tenure in Louisville, the Cardinals' defense ranked among the Top 40 in the nation in total defense each season.
"Having been a coach for 30 years and knowing the tradition of college football, it is an honor to be a part of Coach Snyder's staff here at Marshall University," Cassity said.
During the Cardinals' 2006 Orange Bowl winning season, the Cardinals finished second in the nation in sacks with 17 different players recording sacks and ranked 17th in the country in scoring defense. Louisville's defense had two first-team All-BIG EAST selections that year in defensive tackle Amobi Okoye and cornerback William Gay. Louisville held six opponents to 13 or fewer points including a shutout at Temple.
In 2005, the Cardinals finished 21st in the country in rushing defense and 23rd in scoring defense. U of L held four opponents to less than 20 points in a game. Behind Elvis Dumervil's school and BIG EAST record 20 sacks, the Cardinals tied for second in the nation with Rutgers with 44 sacks.
Off the field in 2005, Cassity was recognized by Rivals.com as one of the nation's top 25 recruiters. He inherited a defense which ranked 93rd in the nation in total defense and 72nd in scoring defense in 2003, the Cardinals improved to 15th in total defense and 24th in scoring defense in 2004. In 2004, Cassity's unit recorded 17 interceptions -- the most at Louisville since the 2001 season.
He came to Louisville after serving three seasons as defensive coordinator with the Fighting Illini, the 2001 Big Ten Champions who played in the 2002 Sugar Bowl. With an experienced defensive mind, Cassity's aggressive style really took shape at Oklahoma State in 1999 co-coordinating with Coach Rob Ryan, son of the legendary Buddy Ryan. Prior to his two-year stint at OSU, Cassity served 1997-98 as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Baylor.
Cassity coached the secondary at Wisconsin in 1995-96. He has been a defensive coordinator at Cincinnati (1994), Georgia Tech (1992-93), East Carolina (1990-91), Northeast Louisiana (1989) and Western Kentucky (1983-88). Again with the secondary, he coached at Morehead State (1982), Kentucky (1979-81), Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., (1976-78) and as a student coach at Kentucky (1975).
As a two-sport athlete at Kentucky, Cassity lettered three times. In football, he played safety, winning the prestigious Kiwanis 110% Award. As member of the Wildcat wrestling team, he was the SEC second runner-up at 190 pounds. He graduated in 1976 with a degree in physical education.
Cassity has four children: Brooke, Hunter, Skyler and Braden.