After a record-breaking year in 2016, junior kicker Evan Pantels is focused keeping his consistency.
Two-time MW Special Teams Player of the Week has dropped his linebacker duties.
Next in our series introducing fans to the team's new assistants.
Andy LaRussa is one of two former UNLV staffers to return to coach in the secondary for Tony Sanchez and is serving as safeties coach/defensive pass game coordinator/special teams coordinator. LaRussa spent the previous two seasons at Colorado, overseeing the cornerbacks in 2014 and the defensive ends in 2013. He moved to Boulder after two seasons at San Jose State, coaching the cornerbacks and serving as assistant special teams coordinator for the Spartans. His first assistant job came at Northern Arizona in 2009-10 after spending four seasons as a defensive graduate assistant for the Rebels from 2005-08 under head coach Mike Sanford. During his first stop in Las Vegas, LaRussa worked with the linemen, linebackers and secondary while also serving as assistant special teams coordinator, assistant video coordinator and assistant strength and conditioning coach. LaRussa played for two seasons at Glendale (Calif.) College before transferring to Southern Utah, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 2002. He played professionally for a brief time with the Ostia Marines of NFL Italy and also was a member of the Italian National Team. He holds dual citizenship in the United States and Italy. Born in Reno, LaRussa graduated from St. Francis High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He is married to former Rebel softball player Briana Bernardi and the couple welcomed daughter, Giana Rose, in 2016.
Coaching Experience: 2015-SA UNLV -- special teams coordinator/safeties 2013-14 Colorado -- defensive ends 2011-12 San Jose State -- cornerbacks/asst. s.t. coord. 2009-10 Northern Arizona -- cornerbacks/special teams 2005-08 UNLV -- defensive, special teams graduate asst.