PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Soon after the Super Bowl, Frank Reich left the Eagles, where he had been serving as offensive coordinator, to become the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
Since then, Reich has put together his coaching staff in Indy and he has hired a former Villanova University stand out to be a part of it. Raymond Ventrone will serve as the new special teams coordinator for the Colts.
“This is a very good opportunity for me and my family,” Ventrone tells KYW Newsradio. “Definitely excited about it. I’ve worked really hard throughout my career, both playing and coaching, and I feel like this is my opportunity.”
Ventrone spent a decade in the NFL as a player, excelling on special teams during stints with the Jets, Patriots, Browns and 49ers. He was a Pro Bowl special teams alternate in 2011 with Cleveland. He talks about making the transition from the field to the sidelines.
“I knew I wanted to be involved in football in some capacity once I was finished playing,” Ventrone says. “I had an injury my last season , so I was kind of up in the air whether I was going to play another year or not. Then I got a phone call from [New England head coach Bill Belichick] and he asked me if I’d be interested in interviewing for the assistant special teams job.”
Ventrone got the job and he spent the last three seasons as the assistant special teams coach for the Patriots, which opened the door for this opportunity in Indianapolis.
Ventrone was an outstanding defensive back during his college career at Villanova, graduating in 2005. He says his time there truly helped him get where he is today.
“I learned a lot at Villanova,” he says. “The one thing I definitely learned was the importance of the kicking game. I played in all four phases my entire four years at Villanova in the kicking game. It benefited me both playing, obviously, I was a special teams guy my whole career, and obviously now being in this position I’m in right now. I think it all started back then whenever I really took notice to how important it was to put an emphasis on field position and covering kicks.”