Tommy Restivo | University of Massachusetts

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Team: University of Massachusetts
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Co-Defensive Coordinator/LBs Coach
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio


University of Massachusetts football head coach Walt Bell announced the hiring of Tom Restivo to the program’s coaching staff as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach on Thursday. Restivo brings more than a decade of coaching experience at the FCS and FBS levels to Amherst, including tenures at Florida, Louisville and USF.
“I am excited to be a part of this outstanding university and its football tradition,” Restivo said. “I am ready to get to work with Coach Bell and the excellent coaching staff he has assembled at UMass. I am ready to get to work and win games here in Amherst.”
More recently, Restivo spent the 2018 season on the University of South Florida staff as the safeties coach. Restivo’s position group helped USF field a disruptive defense throughout the season as the Bulls posted 22 takeaways (11 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries) and 42 pass breakups.
“Tom has a great track record of success as a coordinator at the FCS level,” Bell said. “He is someone who I’ve known personally for a long time and I am confident he will do a great job with his position group on and off the field.”
Restivo served as the South Carolina State defensive coordinator during the 2014, ’15 and ’17 seasons spanning two tenures with the program.
During 2017, Restivo’s guidance of the defense helped SCSU hold opponents to just 18.8 points and 279.9 total offensive yards per game, while the team allowed the second-fewest opponent first downs (151) in the nation.
With future second round NFL draft pick Darious Leonard guiding the defense from his spot at linebacker, SCSU ranked in the top 25 nationally for a host of defensive categories, including first down defense, team passer efficiency defense (7th), rushing defense (8th), total defense (8th), red zone defense (19th), scoring defense (19th) and third down conversion percentage (22nd).
Leonard was the standout of the 2017 SCSU group and ranked fourth in the nation for tackles per game (11.3) as the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year.
During the 2015 campaign, Restivo steered the Bulldogs defensive unit to performances that led the nation in sacks, tackles for loss, pass efficiency defense and third-down defense. The Bulldogs also finished the year ranked third nationally in passing defense, fourth in scoring defense, sixth in total defense and 25th in rushing defense.
Restivo coordinated the SCSU defense that was led by Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 third round draft pick Javon Hargrave, who ranked third across FCS with 13.5 sacks and fifth with 22 tackles for loss in his senior season. The defensive tackle was a two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned several postseason all-America honors, before he made his NFL debut and started in 13 games for the Steelers in 2017.
Before heading to S.C. State, Restivo spent four seasons (2010-13) at the University of Louisville under head coach Charlie Strong. In his first two years with the program, Restivo was a quality control coach on the Cardinals defensive staff, working with the linebackers and defensive line. In 2012, he was promoted to Louisville’s secondary coach.
At Florida, Restivo served as the defensive quality control assistant in 2008 and 2009 and coached on the team that won the BCS National Championship in 2009. When Strong was hired as Louisville head coach a year later, he took Restivo along to serve in the same capacity on the defensive staff.
Restivo’s postseason coaching experience includes five bowl games in addition to the 2009 national title game. Restivo was on the sidelines for the 2010 and 2013 Sugar Bowls, 2010 Beef ‘O Brady’s Bowl, the 2011 Belk Bowl and the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl.
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Restivo was a defensive graduate assistant at Marshall in 2007-08 and graduated from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky. in 2006 with a degree in kinesiology, where he also lettered as a linebacker.
Restivo • Season-By-Season Coaching Career
2007 • Marshall • Graduate Assistant (Defense)
2008-09 • Florida • Quality Control (Defense)
2010-11 • Louisville • Quality Control (Defense)
2012-13 • Louisville • Secondary Coach
2014-15 • South Carolina State • Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
2016 • McNeese State • Defensive Coordinator
2017 • South Carolina State • Defensive Coordinator
2018 • USF • Safeties Coach
Restivo • Bowl Game History
2008 • Florida • National Championship Game
2009 • Florida • Sugar Bowl
2010 • Louisville • Beef O’Brady’s Bowl
2011 • Louisville • Belk Bowl
2012 • Louisville • Sugar Bowl
2013 • Louisville • Russell Athletic Bowl
2018 • USF • Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

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