University of Maine football players take a break at Alfond Stadium in Orono in 2016. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

The University of Maine’s football coaching staff has been finalized with the hiring of assistant Diamond Weaver, who will be the team’s cornerbacks coach.

Weaver has five years of coaching experience, spending the 2017 season as the defensive backs coach for the Green Bay Blizzard of the Indoor Football League. The Blizzard wound up as the league’s top-ranked pass defense.

Before his stint with the Blizzard, he had spent one season as the wide receivers coach at Pace University in New York after three years as an assistant at the University of Rhode Island, where he coached the cornerbacks for one season and the running backs for two years.

URI is one of UMaine’s Colonial Athletic Association rivals.

He will be the third new member of the coaching staff joining wide receivers coach Andrew Dresner and tight ends coach Dean Petzing. But several returning members of the staff have had their roles changed.

The departure of offensive coordinator Liam Coen to Holy Cross and his successor, Brian Picucci, to the NFL’s Detroit Lions resulted in special teams coordinator/wide receivers coach Nick Charlton being promoted to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

Inside linebackers coach Michael Ryan has added recruiting coordinator to his resume; Jared Keyte is still coaching the outside linebackers but he is also the special teams coordinator and Pat Denecke has moved from tight ends coach to offensive line coach.

Corey Hetherman, who is the defensive coordinator-defensive line coach, defensive backs coach Matt Birkett and running backs coach Justin Flores have remained in their 2017 capacities.

Josh Heinrich is still the director of player personnel and the video coordinator, Jon Lynch is the sports performance coach and Caren Ford is the director of football operations.

Harasymiak and his entire staff, including Weaver, are currently involved in spring football.

“Everything is pretty much set. Hopefully, no one else will leave between now and the start of the season,” said Harasymiak, who spent five years as an assistant at UMaine before replacing Jack Cosgrove as the head coach two years ago. “It’s a good group. Ever since I’ve been here, the coaching staffs have all been different.

“We’re still forming our identity as a coaching staff. The kids are adjusting. We’re off to a real good start so far and hopefully we can keep building those relationships. That’s what matters in the fall,” added Harasymiak.

The UMaine head coach said the schemes will be similar but the coaching styles are different which will require an adjustment period.

Harasymiak said he has had to learn how to manage a coaching staff.

“I have to make sure I hire guys who will work well together. It takes time to jell together. There will be bumps along the way but we’ll certainly work through that. As long as we’re all committed to one goal, we’ll be alright,” he said.

He is happy to have Weaver on board, saying “he brings a lot of CAA experience and I think he’ll work real well with coach Birkett.”

Weaver coached the cornerbacks at URI in 2016 after two years as the running backs coach. In 2015, URI running back Harold Cooper earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors as a running back and kick returner, ranking 10th in the Football Championship Subdivision with 157.9 all-purpose yards per game.

He also served as an intern with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the summer of 2016 through the NFL’s Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship. He was there from July 28-August 12 and he worked closely with five-time Pro Bowler Carnell Lake, the Steelers’ defensive backs coach.

Weaver also coached defensive backs and kick returners at Rochester Community and Technical College in Minnesota. Rochester went 10-2 and won the Minnesota College Athletic Conference state championship thanks to five interceptions in the championship game.

As a player, he was an all-conference defensive back at Santa Rosa Junior College. He was also chosen the school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

He went to play two seasons at the University of Akron (Ohio) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2011.

He played professional football in the NFL, the Canadian Football League, the Arena Football League as well as the IFL.

UMaine went 4-6 this past season, 3-5 in the CAA.

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