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Craig Candeto, a former standout collegiate quarterback, Navy fighter pilot and assistant coach, was selected to be the next head football coach at Capital University, director of athletics and recreation Steve Bruning announced on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012.Candeto, who is the 11th coach in the Crusaders’ storied history, most recently served as assistant coach for quarterbacks and fullbacks and academic coordinator at The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina and a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). He helped lead the Bulldogs to a 7-4 record in 2012, the program’s second winning season in 15 years.“My wife and I are extremely excited to be part of the Capital University family and it is an honor to be named the head football coach at such a great institution,” Candeto said. “I know that Capital is a special place with big things on the horizon, and I look forward to the years to come.”“Craig’s success and leadership as a student-athlete and an assistant coach, as well as his vision for our football program, stood out during the interview process,” Bruning said. “He has a true understanding of the balance of academics and athletics and will teach our student-athletes the principles of hard work, leadership and dedication.“When evaluating Craig, one of our football student-athletes wrote, ‘Coach Candeto will develop current and future players as men, instilling the values we take with us and use as husbands and fathers.’ I think that articulates the reason why we felt Craig was the best fit for this position over a number of other talented candidates.”As a student-athlete at the United States Naval Academy, Candeto played both football and baseball for four years. As a senior captain of the Midshipmen in 2003, he helped guide the team to an 8-5 record and bowl appearance after posting just three wins the previous three seasons combined. Candeto rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards each and earned the Memorial Silver Helmet Award as the most outstanding player at Navy for two straight seasons. Candeto graduated from the Naval Academy with a bachelor’s in economics in 2004. Prior to beginning his career as a coach, Candeto served as a fighter pilot with the Strike Fighter Squadron 106 in Virginia Beach, Va. A Navy lieutenant, Candeto flew the $57 million F/A-18-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft for four years before retiring in 2009. He is married to Maribeth (Robinson) Candeto. In 2012, Capital posted its first losing season in over a decade at 2-8 overall, including a 2-7 mark in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Candeto inherits a team with 16 starters slated to return in 2013, including eight on offense, six on defense and both specialists.“I believe we have the pieces in place to compete annually in the OAC and bring the program back to national prominence,” Candeto said. “Achieving our goals will not be easy, but we will stay the course and expect excellence in all areas of our program. We want to be champions in all that we do, on and off the field, and will take the necessary steps to make sure this is accomplished.”
John Perin begins his first season as defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Capital University.Perin came to Capital following a successful three-year stint (2010-12) as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Centre (Ky.) College. He mentored seven All-Southern Athletic Association performers during his time and in 2010 helped lead the conference’s top-ranked defense in scoring and total defense. In 2011, the Colonels won nine games and reached the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs.Perin’s responsibilities at Centre included assisting the defensive coordinator with design and installation of defensive strategy, assisting the defensive coordinator on the weekly game plan, coordinating the punt return and block units on special teams and executing all defensive video operations.While at Centre, Perin recruited Atlanta and Northern Kentucky and a number of areas in Ohio, including Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. He also brings experience working with Hudl, an interactive video editing system used by all schools in the Ohio Athletic Conference.Prior to Centre, Perin worked as a graduate assistant at OAC rival Muskingum (July 2009-December 2009). He coached the cornerbacks and was responsible for film breakdown, out-of-state recruiting, coordination of campus visits, practice and game planning and video editing.Perin was a four-year starter (2004-07) at defensive back at Centre, where he was named second team All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2007. He transferred from Miami (Ohio), where he redshirted in 2003. The RedHawks won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the GMAC Bowl that season.Perin graduated from Centre in 2008 with a bachelor’s in financial economics. He is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Matthew Kelleher enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Capital University football team. Kelleher will serve as an offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.Prior to Capital, Kelleher served as an assistant coach (2007-10) and assistant head coach (2011-12) at Brevard (N.C.) College, an NCAA Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). Kelleher served in a number of different roles at Brevard, including tight ends coach and defensive quality control manager (2007-08), running backs coach (2008) and offensive line coach (2009-12). He held a number of responsibilities in his roles, including coordination and development of the video and film department, travel operations, recruiting/operational budgets, playbook, dining services and academic and tutoring services.During his time at Brevard, Kelleher mentored five different All-SAC offensive linemen as the Tornados’ offense ranked in the top 15 in the nation in rushing in each season from 2010-12. In 2008, the team made the largest turnaround in win-loss record in all of NCAA Division II.Kelleher graduated from Elon (N.C.) University in 2007 with a bachelor’s in sociology. He was a four-year member (2003-06) of the football program, which competes in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and the Southern Conference (SoCon). He played tight end and defensive lineman for the Phoenix.Kelleher was born and raised in Hilliard, Ohio, until his family moved to Simpsonville, S.C., where he attended high school at Mauldin.
Jonathan Spring joined the Capital coaching staff in 2008 after a playing career as a four-year letter winner for the Crusaders on the defensive line.A 2008 graduate of Capital, Spring was an All-American during his senior season in 2007 and was part of Capital’s run of three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2005-2007. Spring was also an All-OAC First Team selection in 2007, tallying a team-best 18 tackles for loss and notching 9.5 of the Crusaders' single-season record 50 sacks. Among Spring's goals is to continue CU's tradition of stellar defensive units and to annually compete for national championships. Prior to receiving his degree in Financial Economics, Spring was invited and participated in the Cleveland Browns' free agent rookie camp before returning to Capital to serve as an intern assistant coach for the Crusaders in 2008.Spring's aspirations to play professional football were realized in 2009, when he signed a one-year contract to play for the Schwabish Hall Unicorns of the German Football League. Spring made the most of his opportunity, pacing the GFL in sacks while being an essential piece of the Unicorns' run to the semi-final game. After one year of professional football, Spring returned Capital in the fall of 2009 as an assistant coach while focusing primarily on the defensive line and the strength and conditioning program. Spring's strength and conditioning background has been greatly influenced by Nick Kyros, who has worked with several Division I programs as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and also assisted with the Crusaders during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. During the off-season, Spring serves as the game-day manager for Capital’s indoor track & field meets.
Thadd Sharrett enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Capital University football team. He will work with the offensive backfield, specifically the slot backs.A Circleville native, Sharrett has six years of experience coaching at both the college and high school levels. He has worked with running backs, defensive linemen and linebackers during his time as an assistant coach. Sharrett also brings Ohio Athletic Conference experiences as a student-athlete, having played for four years at Marietta College.Most recently, Sharrett served as defensive line coach at Pickerington Central High School. He also has stints working at South Dakota State University (August 2009-January 2012) and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (August 2006-May 2009).While at SDSU, Sharrett worked primarily with the running backs and ran several special teams units during his three seasons as an assistant. He recruited several areas across the Midwest, including Ohio, and served as assistant academic coordinator and summer camp co-coordinator in 2011.Sharrett worked with inside linebackers for one season and with running backs for two years at Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In addition to coaching, video, scouting and special teams responsibilities, Sharrett helped coordinate community service events and worked as an on-site administrator for hockey, swimming and wrestling events.During his four-year career at Marietta (2001-04), Sharrett played cornerback, safety and outside linebacker, starting all four years for the Pioneers. He was named second team All-OAC and co-defensive MVP in 2004.Sharrett earned his bachelor’s in history from Marietta in 2005. He earned a master of education in professional development from Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2009, and is currently pursuing a master of science in sports pedagogy from South Dakota State.Sharrett currently resides in Reynoldsburg.
Capital University is a private four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school located in the Columbus, Ohio, neighborhood of Bexley. Copyright © 2013 Capital University