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Offseason over, UNH football team back in action

The shortest offseason in University of New Hampshire football history is now over. The Wildcats played into late December last year as they reached the FCS semifinals for the first time, and now they’re back on the field preparing for their 2014 schedule.

UNH opened its spring ball schedule on Tuesday with the first of 14 practices. The spring season will conclude on May 3 with the annual Blue-White scrimmage at Cowell Stadium at noon.

The ’Cats were not in full pads for their first two practices, but that will change tomorrow when they go into full-contact drills. The pads will stay on for the next 11 practices before a helmets-only session on May 1 as they ready for the scrimmage.

Tuesday’s practice also marked the debut of three new UNH coaches – defensive line coach Peter McCarty, linebackers coach Garrett Gillick and defensive line coach Kyle McAllister.

McCarty has more than 30 years of coaching experience, with stops at Fordham, Cornell, Western Michigan, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Illinois, Syracuse, Central Florida and Holy Cross. He spent the last two years as the defensive line coach at Fordham, which ranked second in the Patriot League in scoring defense and second in the FCS in fumbles recovered.

Gillick, a University of Maine graduate, has three years of college coaching experience. He was a defensive line coach at Bentley in 2011 and 2012 and coached the Bentley secondary last year.

McAllister, who is from Exeter, was a graduate assistant for the Wildcats last year. Before coming to UNH he was an assistant defensive coach at Georgetown and St. Lawrence.

Those three new coaches fill the vacancies left by defensive ends coach John Shelton, linebackers coach Art Link and defensive tackles coach Chris Van Horn. Shelton, who spent eight years at UNH, is now the defensive coordinator at Southern Connecticut University. Link left for Lafayette College, where he is the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach, and Van Horn is now the defensive tackles coach at Stephen F. Austin University.

Last week the Wildcats announced the addition of three incoming student-athletes who will walk on to the team in 2014, including Northwood’s Nick Derocher. Derocher (6-foot-1, 225 pounds) was a three-year All-Evergreen League selection at the Tilton School, where he was a tight end/running back on the offensive side and a defensive end/linebacker on defense. Derocher was also a two-time captain for Tilton and last season he was selected to the All-New England Prep School First Team as well as being named the team MVP.

The two other “preferred” walk-ons are defensive end/tight end Kyle Reisert from Plymouth and wide receiver/defensive back Jake Klose from Dix Hills, N.Y.

“We are excited to bring these three student-athletes into the Wildcat football family,” UNH Coach Sean McDonnell said in a statement. “(They) add versatility, athleticism and provide us with position flexibility on both sides of the ball.”

Resiert’s Plymouth teammate, linebacker Jared Kuehl, was one of UNH’s 13 incoming scholarship recruits announced in February. Resiert (6-2, 205) was a three-time First Team All-State defensive end and was also honored for his academic achievement with the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award.

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