Mark D’Onofrio enters his fifth season as Miami’s defensive coordinator after guiding the Hurricanes to a national ranking of 14th in total defense during the 2014 campaign.
Under D’Onofrio’s leadership, the Hurricanes held opponents to just 329.6 yards per game this past season, which was nearly 100 yards fewer than the 2013 campaign. Miami also saw significant improvement in its rushing defense as ranked 30th nationally in 2014, improving 47 spots from the previous year, while holding its opponents to 137.1 rushing yards per game.
Senior linebacker Denzel Perryman posted another impressive season under D’Onofrio’s watchful eye as he was selected as a Dick Butkus Award semifinalist for the second-consecutive season. He also earned All-ACC honors first team honors for the second-consecutive season after he finished the 2014 campaign with a team-best 110 total tackles (79 solo). Perryman then became the first Hurricane player since 2007 to be awarded with Associated Press All-America honors.
Perryman would go on to be selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.
In 2011, D’Onofrio’s defense finished the season ranked ninth in the nation in red zone defense and 21st in scoring defense, holding opponents to an average of 20.08 points per game. The Canes’ defense also held foes to seven points below their scoring average as Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Florida State and South Florida to a combined 22 points below scoring average. The defense, under D’Onofrio’s guidance, finished strong and proved stingy, giving up an average of only 13.5 points in the last five games of the season.
Prior to the 2011 season, D’Onofrio saw two of his Temple standouts drafted, now are active on NFL rosters. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was taken in the first round by the New York Jets and free safety Jaiqwaun Jarrett went in the second round to the Philadelphia Eagles. In all, three Owls were drafted during D’Onofrio’s tenure and five former players went on to play in the NFL.
A native of North Bergen, N.J., D’Onofrio arrived in Coral Gables after serving as a member of Head Coach Al Golden’s staff at Temple University where he served for two years as defensive coordinator before being promoted to Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator for the Owls in 2008.
Under D’Onofrio’s tutelage, he transformed a Temple defense ranked last in the NCAA upon his arrival to 17th in 2010. In addition, Temple won a single-season-record nine-consecutive games en route to a 9-4 overall record, a first-place tie in the MAC East and an appearance in the EagleBank Bowl in 2009. The 2010 Owls won eight games, finishing 8-4, and became bowl-eligible for the second-consecutive season and for the first time in school history. A school-record eight defensive players were named All-MAC, including five on the first team in 2009. Four student-athletes earned All-MAC honors in 2010. Sophomore Adrian Robinson earned 2009 MAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades and senior Andre Neblett became Temple’s first three-time All-MAC honoree.
In 2008, D’Onofrio’s defense helped Temple to the team’s most wins since 1990 and a second-place finish in the MAC East. The Owls faced five opponents that went on to postseason play and were led by All-MAC honorees senior DT Terrance Knighton, Temple’s first first-team selection, and Neblett. During its inaugural season of MAC play, D’Onofrio guided the Temple defense to lead the MAC in five defensive statistical categories, including red zone defense which also ranked first nationally.
D’Onofrio broke into the college ranks in 1999 at Saint Peter’s College in New Jersey where he coached the linebackers. He then spent the 2000 season as an assistant coach at Georgia, where he worked with the Bulldogs’ defense. He arrived at the University of Virginia in 2004, joining former college teammate Al Golden and the rest of the UVa. coaching staff after three years with Rutgers University where he coached linebackers and served as a recruiting coordinator. He coached the Cavaliers’ tight ends and special teams for one season before switching to inside linebackers coach for the 2005 season. In 2006, he followed Golden to Temple University where he was named the Owls’ defensive coordinator.
From 1988-91 D’Onofrio played at Penn State with Golden and served the Nittany Lions playing both inside and outside linebacker. He was elected team captain his senior year and was drafted in the second round (34th overall pick) of the 1992 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. He earned a starting role as the Packers’ inside linebacker where he played for two seasons before injury prematurely ended his professional career in 1994.
D’Onofrio earned his bachelor’s degree in labor and industrial relations from Penn State in 1992. He is married to the former Lucia Mariucci of Marlboro, N.J. The couple has two sons, Jack (10) and Thomas (9).
| D'ONOFRIO FILE
|Hometown||North Bergen, N.J.|
|Education||Penn State, 1992 (B.A., Labor and Industrial Relations)|
|Family||wife Lucia; sons Jack and Thomas|
| COACHING EXPERIENCE
|1999||Linebackers, Saint Peter's College (N.J.)|
|2000||Defensive Assistant, Georgia|
|2002-03||Linebackers/Recruiting Coordinator, Rutgers|
|2004||Tight Ends/Special Teams, Virginia|
|2005||Inside Linebackers/Special Teams, Virginia|
|2006-07||Defensive Coordinator, Temple|
|2008-09||Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, Temple|
|2010||Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/LBs, Temple|
|2011-Present||Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, Miami|
|BOWL EXPERIENCE, COACH (2)|
|2009||EagleBank Bowl (Temple)|
|2013||Russell Athletic Bowl (Miami)|
|2014||Duck Commander Independence Bowl (Miami)|
|Coached Temple to single-season record nine consecutive wins in 2009|
|Coached Temple to first-place tie in the MAC East in 2009|
|Coached Temple school record eight defensive players to All-MAC honors in 2009|
|1992-94||Green Bay Packers|
|BOWL EXPERIENCE, PLAYER (3)|
|1989||Holiday Bowl (Penn State)|
|1990||Blockbuster Bowl (Penn State)|
|1992||Fiesta Bowl (Penn State)|
| PLAYING HONORS
|Led team in sacks (11) as a sophomore and tackles (71) as a junior|
|Elected team captain as a senior|
|Set Penn State school record for causing the most fumbles (five) in one season|
| Selected in the second round (34th overall pick) of the 1992 NFL draft
by the Green Bay Packers
|PROMINENT PLAYERS COACHED|
|Muhammad Wilkerson (2010 NFL Draft first-round pick by New York Jets)|
|Adrian Robinson (2009 MAC Defensive Player of the Year)|
|Andre Neblett (Temple's first three-time All-MAC honoree)|
|Heath Miller (All-American and Mackey Award recipient)|