Alma, Mich. - The Alma College football program has completed assembling its football staff, Head Coach Jason Couch '97 announced recently.
Couch retained five assistant coaches and brought in three familiar faces to round out the group that will guide the Scots in their 125th season of intercollegiate football in August.
"Coming back home has been everything I dreamt it would be and more," said Couch, who was named the program's head coach in January. "I am thrilled to have the staff around me that I do. The coaches have shown they are committed to developing solid relationships with our student-athletes, which is a foundation I strongly believe in."
On offense, Danny Wernick, a member of the staff since 2015, has been elevated to offensive coordinator and will continue to coach the quarterbacks. He will be joined by Mike Allison, a 2002 graduate of Alma College who returns to the program after one season as the running backs coach at Northwood University. Allison, a member of the Scots' staff from 2015-16, will be responsible for the tight ends and offensive line while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Nick Lombardi, a part-time coach for the Scots since 2016, will continue to work with the wide receivers, while Brian Zimmermann returns to Alma for his fifth stint on the coaching staff and will help with the offensive line. Zimmermann was one of the architects of the "Scotgun" offense for Alma College in the early 1990s.
On the defensive side of the ball, Ryan Ettinger will serve as the co-defensive coordinator and remain responsible for the defensive line. Ettinger came to Alma last season after two years as the defensive backs coach at Albion College. Serving alongside Ettinger as co-defensive coordinator will be Scotty Cole, a 2012 graduate of Alma College. Cole, who spent the 2017 season with Manchester University (IN), will also serve as the program's special teams coordinator and will work with the defensive backs.
Mark Merlo, who has been on the football staff since 2010, will serve as the director of football operations and continue to coach the linebackers, while Dr. Eric Calhoun will continue to help with the defensive line in a part-time capacity. Calhoun, a professor in Alma College's biology department, has been a part of the staff since the 2014 season.
Alma opens the 2018 campaign on Thursday, August 30, when it travels to Cleveland, Ohio to take on Baldwin Wallace University. The Scots begin their annual spring practices in late March.