Joe Harasymiak


Defensive Coordinator

Conference: Big Ten

Coach Stats

Why should this nominee be considered for the Broyles Award?
In his first season as Rutgers’ defensive coordinator, Joe Harasymiak has helped the Scarlet Knights to a top-20 defense (18th, 310.6), showing improvement across the board. “Joe has done an excellent job,” head coach Greg Schiano said. “He’s a really fine communicator and connector with the players.” “I think it’s the relationships he builds with each and every one of his players,” DL Mayan Ahanotu said. “He develops a clear-cut culture for our defense that we can go out and execute as hard as we can.” “Coach Harasymiak just wants us to go out there and play physical, play violent and communicate to each other,” LB Tyreem Powell said. “That’s all he really wants. We do that as a defense and try to play well and hard for him as we do for our teammates.” “I love his energy,” DL Ifeanyi Maijeh said. “Even in practice you can see him running – he’s running with us, full speed. Guy gets an interception, he runs to the end zone with us. It’s nice having a coach who does that.”
Coach's Past Performance
Harasymiak joined Rutgers after spending the last three full seasons at Minnesota, being elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2020. In 2021, Minnesota ranked third in the nation in total defense (278.8), fourth in first downs defense (202), sixth in scoring defense (17.3), eighth in rushing defense (97.5) and ninth in passing yards allowed (181.2). The Golden Gophers held eight-straight opponents, and 10 of the last 11, below their total offensive average entering the game. The unit saw five players recognized in the All-Big Ten voting. Previously, Harasymiak served as head coach at Maine from 2016-18. He guided the Black Bears to an overall record of 20-15 and a 15-9 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. In 2018, he led the Black Bears to a 10-4 overall record, a 7-1 conference mark and a CAA championship. Maine advanced to its first Football Championship Subdivision national semifinal in school history under his guidance. Harasymiak earned FCS Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.

Team Record and Standings
Team/Unit Stats
Rutgers has shown defensive statistical improvement compared to last season. 

Stat                  2022                     2021                       +/-           

Total               310.6                    396.5                    -85.9

Rushing           127.4                    161.5                    -34.1

Passing           183.1                    234.9                    -51.8

Rutgers has improved 63 spots nationally in the total defense rankings, 54 spots in passing defense and 37 spots in rushing defense. Rutgers ranks 40th nationally in third down defense, holding opponents to 35.2 percent. That includes holding five opponents to four or less conversions. The rushing defense has limited five opponents to 75 or less yards. Rutgers had 10 interceptions in 13 games in 2021, already collecting nine through nine games this season. Two of the interceptions have been returned for touchdowns in key plays in the wins over Temple and Indiana.

Individual Player Stats
DL: First-year starters Wesley Bailey and Aaron Lewis have combined for 12.5 tackles-for-loss. LB: Deion Jennings leads the team with 78 tackles, ranking sixth in the Big Ten with 8.7 stops per game. Tyreem Powell has posted three sacks. DB: Christian Braswell (3), Max Melton (2) and Robert Longerbeam (2) have all posted multiple interceptions. Christian Izien second on team with 63 tackles, 13th in the Big Ten (7.0).