|Position:||Director of High School Relations|
Richard Rachel, who has been working in college football since 1969, including a stay with the final team at the University of Tampa in 1974, joined the USF program just prior to the start of the 2000 season.
He first coached the secondary in 2000 before assuming oversight of the defensive ends in 2001, where he remained for four seasons before returning to the secondary, where his focus was on the cornerbacks from 2005-07.
In January 2007, Rachel shifted his responsibilities to the role of director of high school relations, where his unique background within the state of Florida pays dividends in recruiting.
Regardless of the coaching role, Rachel was successful in helping gel his unit into USF’s successful defense.
As the cornerbacks coach, Rachel was instrumental in developing NFL draftees Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams. Jenkins became the Bulls’ first-ever first round NFL Draft pick after receiving first team All-America honors in 2007. Williams was an All-BIG EAST performer, who intercepted as many passes - 13 - in 2006 and 20007 as any other college player. He went in the fifth round of the NFL Draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The combo helped the Bulls rank fourth nationally, after leading much of the season, in interceptions with 23 total.
In his four seasons with the ends, Rachel helped develop outstanding talent that led to 141 sacks over a 44-game stretch. In those 44 games, 66.5 of the 141 sacks came from the defensive ends.
Among his pupils at defensive end, Terrence Royal went on to set USF’s career sack record and tie the single season mark after he had three sacks in the 2005 Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Working well with defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, Rachel stressed a complete defensive game from his players, demanding a strong skill set for defending the run and pass.
Before taking over the ends in 2001, Rachel held together a USF secondary that saw a position switch for Anthony Henry (Dallas Cowboys/Cleveland Browns) from free safety to cornerback and a career-ending injury to Jay Mize, Henry’s replacement at safety, which in turn forced starting strong safety Roy Manns to move to free safety. Henry would prove a smashing success at corner, leading to his fourth round selection in the NFL Draft, and Joe Morgan stepped up at strong safety, while Manns held down the free spot.
Rachel, who has been an assistant head coach at Kansas State (1986-88) and a defensive coordinator at Rutgers (1990-95), North Dakota (1989) North Carolina State (1983-85) and Morehead State (1978), served as the offensive line coach at Fort Scott Community College prior to joining USF.
The USF job is a homecoming of sorts for Rachel, who began his coaching career as the head coach at Tampa’s Chamberlain High School from 1969-73. He then moved on to the University of Tampa as the secondary coach for the 1974 season, before that program disbanded and he worked as an assistant at Tampa King High School in 1975.
Following one season at King, he moved permanently into the college ranks as the defensive coordinator at Morehead State, where he earned a Master’s degree in 1977. Rachel earned his bachelor’s degree from Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa in 1969.