|Alma Mater:||Saginaw Valley State '12, '13|
|Recruiting Area:||Massachusetts, Georgia, and International|
ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR (1): 2017 (ECFC)
Grant Caserta enters his fourth season as the defensive coordinator of the Husson football team in 2018. Caserta also serves as the team’s defensive backs coach and Husson's Equipment Room Manager.
This past fall, the defense helped the Eagles capture back-to-back ECFC championships for the first time in program history, becoming the first team in ECFC history to repeat as the league champion. The Eagles went a perfect 7-0 in ECFC play for the third time in the last four seasons, a feat that no league member has ever accomplished before and finished the regular season with a 9-1 overall mark for the second straight season with a 42-14 victory over Mount Ida College in the final matchup between the two schools on November 11. As Mount Ida annouced in the Spring of 2018, they would be closing their doors for good. The Mustangs were the only team the Eagles played in every year since the program was restablished after a 58 year hiatus in 2002 and first completed in 2003.
After the senior day victory over the Mustangs, the Eagles then went on to make program history with its 23-21 victory over #19/#20 Springfield College Pride in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on November 18, marking the program’s first win in three appearances and the it’s first ever win over a ranked opponent. The Eagles however bowed out of the NCAA Tournament with a 37-15 loss to #5/#7 Delaware Valley (DelVal) University Aggies in the second round on November 25. With the loss to DelVal, the Eagles finished their 15th year anniversary season with double-digited wins for the first time in program history with a 10-2 overall mark.
The Caserta led defense helped Husson break into the national rankings for the first team in program history. The Eagles, who entered the AFCA Poll at No. 31 in the final regular season edition on November 13, climbed ten spots to No. 21 and was unranked in the final D3Football.com regular season edition, jumped up to a tie for No. 25 with Franklin. The final AFCA and d3football.com rankings represents the highest in program history and marked the first time that a team from the ECFC is ranked in the top 25 in both polls.
Husson held its opponents to an average of 14.2 points per game during the 2017 season, the lowest in program history, which ranked first in the ECFC and 18th in the nation. The Eagles also ranked first in the ECFC in 3rd down conversion pct. defense (0.293), interceptions (19), rushing yards allowed (101.8), team passing efficiency defense (96.90), total offense (423.5), total defense (245.0), defensive touchdowns (3), and turnovers gained (31).
The Eagle defensive was awarded with five All-ECFC selections, senior rover Jean Gabriel, junior cornerback Quan Soyini, senior defensive tackle Luke Washburn, junior inside linebacker Elvin Suazo, Jr. were named to the first team Defense, while freshman defensive end Frank Curran and junior defensive tackle Tarik Smith landed on the second team. Gabriel and Soyini also earned All-ECAC second team, d3football.com All-East second team and third team - respectively - while Soyini became the first defensive back since ince Bryan Biggers in 2006 to be selected to the NEFW All-New England squad and Caserta was chosen as the 2017 ECFC Assistant Coach of the Year.
Additionally, Curran, Gabriel, and Soyiniall earned All-American status with their selections to D3football.com (Gabriel (3rd Team)), Associated Press Little (Soyini (2nd Team)), American College Football Network (Curran (Freshman 1st Team) teams.
2016: Husson’s defense remained one of the preeminent units in the ECFC and the country in 2016 as the Husson defense led all of Division III by allowing 181.7 yards per game - an average of 3.30 yards per play. The Eagles were the only team in all of college football in 2016 to hold opponents under 200 yards per game.
Husson also led Division III in rushing defense by permitting only 476 yards and eight touchdowns on 394 carries - just 1.60 per carry. The Eagles also put opposing passers on their backs 34 times this fall (3.40 per game), 14th most in Division III and most in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC).
Husson was also stout against the pass, allowing 88 completions on 244 attempts for only 1,341 yards (5.5 per attempt) with 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, good enough to lead all of college football with an 84.81 opposing passer rating and ranked third in Division III in passing yards allowed (134.1).
The Eagles also led Division III in third down defense (19.9 percent conversion rate), first down defense (86) and ranked 12th with 8.9 tackles for loss per game.
Individually, junior defensive lineman Luke Washburn was named a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, presented to the nation’s top small college defensive player of the year after being named Husson’s fourth-straight ECFC’s Defensive Player of the Year and a NEFW All-New England selection. Washburn and senior inside linebacker Ellis Throckmorton were named to the All-ECFC first team defense, while sophomore defensive end Elvin Suazo, Jr., junior cornerback Jean Gabriel and senior rover Logan Steward earned All-ECFC second team defense honors and sophomore cornerback Quan Soyini earned All-ECFC honorable mention recognition. Caserta was named a finalist for Division III Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com.
2015: In 2015, the Eagles led the conference in total defense (226.1 ypg), rushing defense (60.4 ypg), scoring defense (17.6 ppg), turnovers gained (29), first downs defense (122), 3rd down conversion pct. defense (0.223), team passing efficiency defense (93.84), 4th down conversion pct. defense (0.231) and fumbles recovered (16). Husson ranked second nationally in total defense, rushing defense, first downs defense and 3rd down conversion pct. defense, while producing top ten finishes in team passing efficiency defense (10th), 4th down conversion pct. defense (4th) and fumbles recovered (6th).
Caseta’s defense set single-season school records for assisted tackles (326), tackles for loss (85.0), yards from tackles for loss (333), fewest rushing yards allowed (604), lowest average yards per rush (1.73), fewest rushing yards per game, total defense, and total defense per play (3.64).
Caseta guided seven players to All-ECFC selections in 2015, Matt Pellerin, Luke Washburn, Ellis Throckmorton, Marquis Jimenez, Alonzo Connor, Ian Palmer, and including senior linebacker Bryant Wade, who was the third straight Eagle Player to named ECFC Defensive Player of the Year. Wade was also named a Finalist for the Cliff Harris Award for the top small college Defensive Player of the Year.
Caserta joined the Eagles staff after spending the 2014 season as a linebackers coach at Maine Maritime Academy.
Caserta spent the 2013 season at his alma mater, Saginaw Valley State University, as a graduate assistant linebackers coach and video coordinator.
Caserta was a four-year letterwinner and three-year captain as a linebacker for the Cardinals from 2008-12. He was voted All-GLIAC in three seasons from 2010-12. Off the field, he was named to the Dean’s List every semester and All-GLIAC Academic Team all four years. Caserta was a Capital One first team Academic All-American as a senior.
Caserta earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Saginaw Valley State in 2012 and a Master of Business Administration in 2013.
A native of Holland, Mich., Caserta attended West Ottawa High School. He and his wife, Caitlin reside in Bangor, Maine with their son, Jameson.