(PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARAMELODY VIA FLICKR)
By ANDREW DONCHAK
Last month Fordham football and head coach Andrew Breiner were proud to announce the addition of three new faces to the program. The hires filled several vacancies on the coaching staff and all are expected to immediately make the team stronger. The most eye-catching addition of the bunch is John Bowes, a former secondary specialist at Bucknell University who will take on the role of Fordham’s defensive coordinator and primary safeties coach. In addition, Andrew Jackson, who will be charged with commandeering the defensive line, and new linebackers coach Jordan Orlovsky.
Bowes comes to Fordham with a good deal of experience and will seek to strike a balance between the stingy Fordham pass defense that allowed less than 200 yards a game and only eight touchdowns through the air last fall, and a rushing defense that has had trouble containing the ground game late in contests.
For three of his four years at Bucknell, Bowes served as the special teams coordinator in addition to his work with the cornerbacks and safeties. Bowes himself played both positions in a starting role with The Catholic University of America during his time there from 2003–2006.
Last season at Bucknell, he saw two of his starters, Bret Burg and Bryan Marine, get named to the All-Patriot League first team, an honor he’s seen bestowed upon five of his players in his time with the Bisons. Thankfully, he’ll be inheriting a safety corps at Fordham with real expectations of receiving such honors themselves in Caleb Ham, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’18, and Antonio Jackson, FCRH ’19, who ranked second and third on the Rams defense in total tackles this past fall, respectively.
Before helping Bucknell to its best record in nearly 20 years in 2013 while working with their linebacker corps, Bowes served as an assistant coach at the College of William and Mary for five seasons as a defensive assistant, special teams coordinator and safeties coach. Notably, he worked on the 2009 William and Mary tribe squad that advanced to the NCAA Football College Subdivision (FCS) Championship semifinals, losing to eventual national champion Villanova.
Bowes graduated from Catholic in 2006 with a degree in finance, where he then coached for one year prior to another one year stint as a graduate assistant at Clarion University.
Jackson, the youngest of the newly added coaches, graduated from LIU Post in 2011. He has risen in the football world, having earned his new position this past fall by helping Penn State to a 2016 Big Ten title and a berth in the Rose Bowl in his second year as a graduate assistant to the program. Jackson also spent time helping the Nittany Lions with scouting reports, in the video room and working on-field with the defensive tackles.
Prior to his work at Penn State, Jackson spent two years as a graduate assistant and defensive line coach at Stony Brook University, immediately following the one season he spent fulfilling the same role at his alma mater, LIU Post, in 2012.
Jackson’s relatively short yet impressive experience may serve as an advantage in his arrival to Fordham, as he’ll be placed in charge of one of the younger units on next year’s Fordham squad. Fordham football has welcomed five defensive lineman in this year’s recruiting class, which is the most of any position on the team. That group will join the two returning starters from last year’s squad, defensive end Ty Green, FCRH ’18, and defensive tackle Nick Angeli, FCRH ’18.
The final new addition to the staff is linebacker coach Jordan Orlovsky. Orlovsky has spent the past three years working with the linebackers and special teams at Old Dominion University, where he helped the Monarchs to a 10–3 record and a win in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl over Eastern Michigan University.
Before that, Orlovsky spent two years as an assistant coach at the University of Connecticut following two years with the coaching staff at his alma mater, the University of Miami. As a student, Orlovsky graduated from the U of M in 2009 with a degree in business management.
Orlovsky will be in charge of one of the youngest units on Fordham’s defensive end, led by the extremely talented rising sophomore Max Roberts, FCRH ’19, who tied for leading the team in sacks this fall as a freshman. This was even more impressive considering he had mostly played safety as a high school athlete.
Orlovsky has also turned heads as being one of the coaching staff’s more academically-inclined members. He earned a masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut in 2014, and is currently working on a second masters in Sports Management at Old Dominion.
The Rams open next season on Friday, Sept. 1, as they travel to take on Army West Point.