Football adds two new assistant coaches
JU head coach Kerwin Bell has added two new assistant coaches to his staff for the upcoming season.

Former Florida linebacker Jerry Odom, a veteran assistant coach in the college and high school ranks, will be the new defensive coordinator at JU while Danny Verpaele comes on board to coach defensive backs.

“We’re excited to have Jerry and Danny join the coaching staff,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “Jerry brings a lot of experience, from his days as a player and as a coach at several schools. Danny is a young man with a tremendous amount of passion who is an instant asset to our program.”

Odom joins the JU staff after serving as head coach at Live Oak High School in 2009, guiding the team to a three-game improvement from the previous year with a 5-6 record.

His collegiate coaching career is highlighted by two years at East Carolina as a defensive coordinator, as well as three years on the staff at Florida – working his way up from graduate assistant to linebackers coach and special teams coordinator.

As a high school coach, Odom has compiled a 30-17 record in four seasons as head coach, going 25-11 in three seasons at Coffeee High School in Douglas, Ga.

Odom also has experience coaching in the professional ranks, serving as assistant head coach, fullbacks/linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for the Philadelphia Soul in 2008, which won the Arena Football League title.

He is also a familiar name in the state of Florida, having played four years at Florida (1987-90), leading the Gators in tackles in 1990 as well as being named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 1987.

Verpaele comes to JU after spending the 2009 season at VMI as a defensive assistant. The former University of South Florida player and undergraduate assistant assisted the defensive coordinator with the secondary.

Verpaele started his coaching career at USF, where he was both a player and undergraduate assistant coach. He lettered three years with the Bulls and participated in four consecutive bowl games. As a defensive back, Verpaele was tabbed a third team freshman All-America strong safety by The Sporting News.

As a student assistant at USF, Verpaele assisted with the defensive game plan and film breakdown during the 2008 season. He has worked numerous football camps, including as an assistant speed coach at the Pat Campbell speed camps since 2003, running speed acquisition drills and organizing stretching and fundamental periods. He also served as secondary assistant coach for Lauren's 1st and Goal Football camp in 2008 and was a camp coach for five years for the Merritt Island (Fla.) High School football camp.

DOLPHINS START SPRING PRACTICE: The JU football team starts its 2010 season on Monday with the first practice of spring.

The Dolphins are expecting the return of 10 starters on offense, highlighted by record setting quarterback Josh McGregor, running back Rudell Small and wide receiver Josh Philpart. The defense loses five starters from last year’s squad – most notably safety Jason Wood along with linemen Aaron Frye and Haywood Range.

“I’m ready to get back on the field and start working for the 2010 season,” Bell said. “This spring is important because it gives us a head start to the season as we face two very tough teams on the road.”