Todd Orlando, who has 17 years of coaching experience including eight as a coordinator, has been named Utah State’s defensive coordinator and safeties coach, it was announced Sunday by Aggie head coach Matt Wells.
In all, Orlando has coached in eight bowl games during his professional career and has been a part of two conference championships.
“We are excited to have Todd and his wife Amy join our Aggie football family,” Wells said. “Todd’s experience as a defensive coordinator the last eight years will be beneficial to our staff and that knowledge and experience from both Connecticut and Florida International will blend well with our current defensive coaches on staff. Todd will help to continue to mold our defense to fit our team’s current talents and abilities. He has had several of his defenses rank in the top 10 in the country and we are fortune to have a guy with his experience, knowledge and passion for football join our coaching staff.”
Orlando has spent the past two years as the defensive coordinator at Florida International (2011-12), helping the Panthers to the 2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. During his two years at FIU, Orlando mentored five players who earned various all-Sun Belt Conference honors a total of seven times.
During his first year at Florida International in 2011, the Panthers’ defense ranked among the top 30 nationally in five statistical categories including 13th in pass efficiency defense (111.98), 14th in scoring defense (19.46 ppg), tied for 15th in sacks (2.69 pg), 22nd in rushing defense (118.08 ypg) and 30th in total defense (344.69 ypg). In 2012, FIU ranked 36th nationally in rushing defense (140.83 ypg).
“Obviously, I’m extremely excited to be part of a team that is used to winning and also associated with a defense that returns seven starters from a group that had an outstanding season last year,” Orlando said. “The thing you look for more than anything else in a program is one with the same characteristics and same core values that you believe in and I’ve found that at Utah State.
“Coach Wells and his staff, along with myself, believe in the same things in how you coach the kids to make them better people, better students and better athletes, and if you do that you’ll be successful. The staff is really what impressed me more than anything else. They are hard working and a very close unit. They’ve had success and the second I met the staff I knew our association could work.”
Orlando came to Florida International after a 12-year stint at the University of Connecticut, including six seasons (2005-10) as the defensive coordinator. Orlando had coached Connecticut's inside linebackers since the 1999 season, and in 2005, he also assumed the role of defensive coordinator. In 2010, Orlando's defense helped the Huskies capture the Big East Championship and play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
In his first year as defensive coordinator at Connecticut in 2006, the Huskies led the Big East Conference in total defense, ranking seventh in the nation. The team's 297.1 yards allowed per game was its best since 1979. In 2007, Connecticut won the Big East Championship behind the nation's 10th-ranked passing efficiency defense and the 14th best scoring defense allowing 19.0 points per game.
In 2008, the Connecticut defense was ranked sixth in the country and among the national leaders in most major categories, including ninth in passing defense, 15th in interceptions and 22nd in scoring defense.
Prior to Connecticut, Orlando spent three seasons in Philadelphia as the inside linebackers coach at the University of Pennsylvania. Orlando began his coaching career by spending the 1994 and 1995 seasons as an assistant coach at the high school level in his home state of Pennsylvania, holding the position of defensive coordinator at Central Catholic High School (1994) and Fox Chapel Area High School (1995) during that span.
Orlando was a three-year letterwinner at inside linebacker at Wisconsin and a member of the 1994 Big Ten Championship team that defeated UCLA in the Badgers' first Rose Bowl appearance since 1963. At Wisconsin, Orlando played under head coach Barry Alvarez, while his UW defensive coordinator, Dan McCarney, has since had a successful run as head coach at Iowa State.
Orlando, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Wisconsin in 1994. Orlando is married to the former Amy Gilmore and the couple has one daughter, Taylor (16).
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.