After floundering on defense the past three years, UMass’ change at the top on that side of the ball is official.
The football program, via a press release, announced Saturday that Mark Whipple has signed off on Ed Pinkham as his new defensive coordinator. Pinkham replaces Tom Masella, who was ousted last month after three years on the job.
Whipple and Pinkham have a previous working relationship, serving on the same staff at New Hampshire in the late eighties.
“I’ve known Ed since we worked together at UNH,” Whipple said in a statement. “I have tremendous respect for his approach and how his defenses have always played. He brings a wealth of knowledge at the FBS level. He’s an outstanding recruiter and great leader of young men. I couldn’t be more excited about the future of our program as we head into winter conditioning and spring practice.”
Pinkham had spent the past three seasons as the coordinator at Western Michigan. Last season, the Broncos finished 16th nationally in scoring defense at 19.5 points per game.
The Minutemen in 2016 were 108th in the same category at 35.5 points per game. The previous two seasons, they were 93rd (31.4) and 105th (33.0).
“I’m extremely excited to be back in New England and renewing relationships with coaches I’ve worked with in the past at previous stops,” Pinkham said. “I coached against UMass so I’m aware of the strong football tradition that exists here. I’m excited to play a role in achieving the goals that we set as a staff and as a program.”
Pinkham has also served as the coordinator at Rutgers (2009-10) and as secondary coach at Minnesota (1989-91) during a coaching career that began in 1975.