Darnell Stapleton to Join UL Football Coaching Staff
A former NFL player with a Super Bowl ring to his credit will reportedly be joining the Louisiana Ragin' Cajun coaching staff for the 2021 college football season.
Darnell Stapleton, who was a starter at right guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they won Super Bowl XLIII following the 2008 NFL season, will reportedly be joining Louisiana's staff as an assistant offensive line coach.
The 35-year old Stapleton served as the offensive line coach at Sam Houston over the past three seasons.
A native of New Jersey, Stapleton attended Hudson Valley Community College before playing NCAA Division football at Rutgers, where he started all 13 games during his senior year and was named a finalist for the Remington Award, given annually to the nation's best center.
An undrafted free agent following the 2007 NFL Draft, Stapleton was signed by the Steelers.
Stapleton was inactive for every game during the 2007 season but started 12 regular-season games and three postseason games, including Super Bowl XLIII, in place of the injured Kendall Simmons in 2008.
The 6-foot-1, 305-pound Stapleton suffered a knee injury prior to the 2009 NFL season and never played in another game.
Stapleton’s coaching career started in 2011 with the New York Sharks, a women’s professional football team, prior to a stint coaching both the offensive and defensive lines at Montclair Kimberly Academy in 2012.
Prior to joining Sam Houston, Stapleton also spent time as an assistant coach on the staff of Rutgers and Bucknell.
Louisiana, who was ranked number 15 in the final Associated Press poll, finished the 2020 season with an overall record of 10-1, including a 31-24 win over UTSA in the First Responder Bowl, a triumph that extended their win streak to seven games to end the season.
The 2020 season followed a 2019 campaign in which the Cajuns won 11 games, a school record.