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UConn football to hire Nick Charlton as offensive coordinator, officially announces other staff additions

New head coach Jim Mora has started to fill out his staff

New UConn football coach Jim Mora, Jr. speaks to the crowd at the UConn women’s basketball game at the XL Center on Sunday, November 14, 2021.
New UConn football coach Jim Mora, Jr. speaks to the crowd at the UConn women’s basketball game at the XL Center on Sunday, November 14, 2021.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn football head coach Jim Mora has tabbed Nick Charlton as his offensive coordinator, The Athletic reported on Sunday. Charlton is the current head coach of Maine football, which competes in the FCS subdivision and has been head coach of the Black Bears since 2018. He is the youngest head football coach in Division I.

UConn also officially announced the hiring of four new coaches, as well as two others reported by Brett McMurphy. John Allen will be joining the staff as a wide receivers coach, E.J. Barthel as a running backs coach, Siriki Diabate coaching linebackers and John Marinelli coaching tight ends, as well as Preston Pehrson coaching defensive line and Dalton Hilliard coaching defensive backs.

The University announced that none of the school's 2021 staff would be retained. Here's the rundown of UConn's reported new coaching staff.

Charlton is 14-13 as head coach in his two fall seasons and one shortened spring season in FCS at Maine, taking over from Joe Harasymiak, who left for the Minnesota defensive coordinator job in 2018. Charlton was the offensive coordinator under Harasymiak for Maine’s tournament semifinal run in 2018, and coached wide receivers and quarterbacks in Orono before that. He attended Boston College and became a graduate assistant there after graduating.

Maine ranked 86th in yards per game in FCS during his one season as offensive coordinator in 2018, then 25th, 54th and 84th in his three seasons leading the program. The Black Bears had a top-15 passing attack in the nation in 2019, where quarterbacks Chris Ferguson and Joe Fagnano combined to throw for nearly 3,500 yards in the air.

Allen coached wide receivers at Louisiana Tech for 2020 and 2021 under Skip Holtz, until the head coach was let go this year.

“John is an excellent recruiter who knows the commitment it takes to be successful at this level,” Mora said in a release. “John’s knowledge of the game and coaching acumen will make an immediate impact on the young men in our program and I know he is going to hit the ground running.”

Allen had solid receiving units in Ruston, and his wide receiving unit at Old Dominion in 2018 included two 1,000-yard receivers for the first time in school history.

Barthel joins the staff from the Carolina Panthers, where he was an offensive assistant. Barthel played the position at UMass and Rutgers, and will likely serve as a key recruiter in Mora's staff, where he has connections to the New Jersey area.

Barthel has served as running backs coach at William & Mary, Albany and Howard, where he helped the Bison to a MEAC-leading 192 rushing yards per game. He was the director of player personnel at Temple, and recruiting coordinator at Penn State in 2015, when the Nittany Lions had the fifth-ranked class in the nation.

Marinelli adds to the staff's recruiting muscle in the northeast, a former coach at Greenwich High School. Marinelli spent last year as a senior analyst with Bret Bielema at Illinois, after leading Greenwich to a Class LL championship in 2018 and earning two further championships as an assistant under his father Lou.

Diabate was linebackers coach at Middle Tennessee State when they came to Rentschler Field this autumn, coaching in Murfreesboro for the better part of the last five years. Siriki coached top-50 defenses there in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

Hilliard served as the defensive backs coach at Arkansas State. He was a four-year starter at UCLA under Mora, and later joined the staff as a graduate assistant.

Pehrson was the director of player personnel at Texas Tech under Matt Wells before he was let go along with the rest of Wells’ staff at the end of this year. Pehrson was previously director of recruiting at Navy and Houston, two teams that UConn figures to potentially compete with for recruits.

Ryan Osborn is the final reported addition to Mora's staff today as defensive line coach. He joins the Huskies from Michigan, where he served as an analyst and defensive assistant, coaching the defensive line and outside linebackers. Osborn also has ties to the northeast, having attended Bridgewater State and Endicott.

After releasing the entire previous staff, Mora still has spots to fill, most notably at defensive coordinator.