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  1. #1
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    Rams waste little time, hire special teams coach

    Rams waste little time, hire special teams coach
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    01/21/2005

    The latest to fill the position worked with head coach Mike Martz when the two were assistants at Arizona State. In quizzing fellow coaches around the NFL about up-and- coming special teams coaches, Mike Martz repeatedly was pointed toward northeast Florida.

    "They said, 'There's this guy down in Jacksonville ...' " Martz said.

    Turns out it was someone with whom Martz once worked - Bob Ligashesky.

    From 1986 to 1988, Martz and Ligashesky worked as assistant coaches at Arizona State. At that time, the Sun Devils' staff also included current Rams defensive coordinator Larry Marmie, and current Rams tight ends coach Frank Falks (in 1987-88).

    But until his round of phone calls, Martz had lost track of Ligashesky. The last Martz knew, he was still coaching at the University of Pittsburgh.

    "So it was kind of a neat deal to have his name come up so often out there as the up-and-coming bright star," Martz said. "I didn't tell anybody what I was looking for. But ultimately that's what I was looking for. ... And his name came up on a consistent basis."

    So Ligashesky (pronounced lig-a-SHESH-kee) it is.

    On Friday, he became the latest in the ever-growing line of Rams special teams coaches to work for Martz. He replaces the fired Mike Stock, who lasted just one year after replacing Bobby April, who had replaced the fired Larry Pasquale. Martz declined to comment Friday when asked about Stock's dismissal.

    As for Ligashesky... "Larry (Marmie) and I are both very familiar with him," Martz said. "I've always been extremely impressed with his work ethic and his commitment. He's a bulldog. He's just a mad dog. First one in, last one out. He takes great pride in outworking people. He runs marathons. He's a triathlete. He's a high-energy guy, which is what we want."

    Ligashesky, 42, has 20 years of coaching experience, but only one season at the NFL level. He was an assistant to Jacksonville special teams coach Pete Rodriguez in 2004. The Jaguars finished sixth in the NFL in kickoff coverage and 10th in punt returns, but they struggled on kickoff returns (32nd) and punt coverage (27th).

    A native of Pittsburgh, Ligashesky had college coaching stints at Wake Forest, Arizona State, Kent State, Bowling Green and Pittsburgh. The most recent college stint was at Pitt, where he was special teams coordinator and tight ends coach from 2000 to 2003.

    Just a couple of years removed from playing small-college linebacker at Indiana U. of Pennsylvania, Ligashesky was a graduate assistant, and then a volunteer assistant at Arizona State from 1986 to 1988.

    "I know that we had a lot of success while I was there - that's the biggest thing I remember," Ligashesky said Friday in a phone interview. "Mike (Martz) was a great guy, first, and he was a great coach."

    In Ligashesky's first season at Arizona State, the Sun Devils defeated Michigan in the Rose Bowl. As the years passed, he kept up with Martz and the other Sun Devils coaches, but it's not as if they were best friends.

    "You know how this profession is," Ligashesky said. "We're all busy during the season. So we both crossed paths a lot, and there were times we would revisit and touch base with each other. But you keep aware of each other through the profession itself."

    Hiring a younger, less experienced special teams coach is a departure for Martz. Pasquale, April and Stock were older coaches with lengthy NFL resumes.

    When reminded Friday that St. Louis has been a graveyard for special teams coaches lately, Ligashesky replied: "I don't have any control over that. I'm just concerned about my opportunity in St. Louis, and looking forward to helping contribute to winning."

    Ligashesky described himself as a "high-energy, positive, detail-oriented person."

    He plans to officially start working for the Rams in a week or so. His wife, Shelley, is a television anchor and reporter in Jacksonville who will soon be looking for a job in the St. Louis market.

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  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams waste little time, hire special teams coach

    In quizzing fellow coaches around the NFL about up-and- coming special teams coaches, Mike Martz repeatedly was pointed toward northeast Florida.

    "They said, 'There's this guy down in Jacksonville ...' " Martz said.

    Turns out it was someone with whom Martz once worked - Bob Ligashesky.
    This is somewhat optimistic. If the story holds true, then Martz didn't have his eye on Ligashesky from the get-go but was pointed in that direction.


    As for Ligashesky... "Larry (Marmie) and I are both very familiar with him," Martz said.
    This, not so optimistic. If Larry Marmie were being fired as defensive coordinator, it wouldn't matter if he was familiar with Ligashesky. The fact that Martz mentions that they're both familiar with him seems to imply that Marmie will be around in 2005.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Rams waste little time, hire special teams coach

    His wife, Shelley, is a television anchor and reporter in Jacksonville who will soon be looking for a job in the St. Louis market.
    Wow...a woman who's comfortable with a microphone in her face....recent history tells me that that will not play too well in St. Louis!
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