Moon Township, PA -- After 13 seasons as an assistant coach with the Robert Morris University football team and 48 years overall in the coaching profession, Colonial assistant head coach Dan Radakovich will retire at the end of June, it was announced today by RMU head coach Joe Walton at a press conference.
Radakovich, a native of Duquesne, Pa., was Walton's first hire after the creation of the program in 1993. He spent 13 seasons with the Colonials as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach and left an undeniable mark on the fledgling program. Of RMU's top 10 career leaders in tackles, seven of them are linebackers, a position Radakovich helped revolutionize.
In 2006, Radakovich led a defensive unit at RMU that led the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in total defense, allowing just 228.36 yards per game. That total also ranked second in all of Division I, behind only Virginia Tech (219.46 yards per game).
The 2006 Colonials also led the FCS in pass defense (128.55 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (88.70) while ranking sixth in rushing defense (99.8 ypg), seventh in sacks (3.09 per game) and tied for eighth in tackles for loss (7.55 per game). Three times under Radakovich's watch Robert Morris led the nation in pass defense after turning the trick in 2006, following his 2002 (91.0 ypg) and 1999 (132 ypg) squads.
Radakovich's 2004 defense ranked fifth in the FCS in total defense by allowing just over 289 yards per game, one season after his 2003 unit ranked 11th in the nation in total defense by allowing just 290 yards per game. In 1999, Robert Morris also ranked sixth in the country by yielding just 15.6 points per contest. His RMU defense shut out opponents three straight times to open the 1996 campaign, and his 1994 defense forced 34 turnovers, enabling Robert Morris to lead all of Division I with a plus-17 turnover ratio.
A 1957 graduate of Penn State, Radakovich started his coaching career with the Nittany Lions from 1957 to 1969. Known as the true patriarch of "Linebacker U" at Penn State, Radakovich served as an assistant collegiate coach for 30 years, including stops at Cincinnati (1970), Colorado (1972-73) and North Carolina State (1982).
In the professional ranks, Radakovich spent 18 years in the National Football League (NFL). He spent the 1971 season as the defensive line coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers before heading to Colorado, then returned to the Steelers to coach the offensive line from 1974-77, where he won a pair of Super Bowl championships.
Radakovich also served as an assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers (1978), the Los Angeles Rams (1979-81), the Denver Broncos (1983), the Minnesota Vikings (1984), the Cleveland Browns (1985-88) and the St. Louis Rams (1994). From 1985 to 1988, Radakovich was an assistant coach under Walton with the New York Jets.
He and his wife, Nancy, have four children and reside in Moon Township.
As well as announcing the retirement of Radakovich, Walton announced the promotion of assistant coach John Banaszak to assistant head coach. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Banaszak has spent the past five season as the defensive line and special teams coach with the Colonials, areas he will continue to oversee as assistant head coach.
At Robert Morris Banaszak was a key component to a 2006 defense that led the FCS in total defense. Under Banaszak's guidance, former defensive lineman Ray Gensler (2003-06) tied the RMU single-season record for sacks with 11 while also establishing a new career school record in the category with 19.
Prior to RMU, Banaszak served four seasons as the head coach at Division III Washington & Jefferson from 1999 to 2002. He guided the Presidents to a record of 38-9 during his tenure and each year was named the Presidents' Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
A graduate of Eastern Michigan, Banaszak signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent prior to the 1975 season and was one of only three rookies to make the defending Super Bowl champion team out of training camp.
Primarily a special teams player during Pittsburgh's Super Bowl X Championship squad, between 1978 and 1980 Banaszak started 45 regular season games at defensive end in helping Pittsburgh win Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV. During Super Bowl XIII, Banaszak recorded six tackles, including a pair of sacks, and a fumble recovery in a 35-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, which garnered him Defensive Player of the Game honors. In the following Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams, Banaszak finished with five tackles and a sack in a 31-19 Steelers victory.
After his stint with the Steelers, Banaszak spent the 1983 and 1984 seasons with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL. He then moved on to serve as a player/coach with the Memphis Showboats, also of the USFL, in 1985. While with the Showboats he mentored former NFL standout Reggie White.
Banaszak and his wife, Mary, have three grown children. They reside in McMurray, Pa.
Robert Morris, winners of five Northeast Conference titles, a pair of ECAC Bowls and two mid-major national championships according to Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette, s will open its 15th season of intercollegiate football Saturday, Sept. 6, when it welcomes Morehead State to Joe Walton Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.