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Inside The Coaching Staff: Lou Anarumo

Posted Mar 1, 2012

Lou Anarumo was all set to attend the Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with some friends from New York when those plans changed abruptly following a phone call from the Dolphins.

The call was to inform him he had been hired as defensive backs coach, which meant he would be on his way to South Florida the next day. Anarumo decided he was going to spend his final night in Indiana with his wife and three children instead of going to watch the big game. It was an easy choice for Anarumo, whose three children have stayed in Indiana to finish their school year before they join their father in South Florida.

“I don’t want to say reluctantly, but I gave it up and sat home with the family,” Anarumo said. “We had a great time. I flew out at 6 in the morning the next day or something like that. I didn’t want to be gone the whole day the day before I left, so I did give it up. I did the right thing.”

In our continuing series looking deeper into the new members of Head Coach Joe Philbin’s staff, we introduce you to Anarumo and give you a better look at his background and his style.

NFL Coaching Experience: This will be Anarumo’s first foray into professional coaching after 23 years working on the collegiate level.

College Coaching Experience: Anarumo has made six stops in a career that began in 1989 as part-time running backs coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. For the past eight years, Anarumo served as the defensive backs coach at Purdue. He had served in the same capacity at Marshall from 2001-03, adding the role of special teams coordinator in his final season there. Before that, Anarumo was assistant head coach at Harvard for six seasons (1995-2000). He had two stints with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1989 and 1992-94), along with stops at Wagner (spring of 1990) and Syracuse (1990-91).

Did You Know?: While the defensive backs coach at Marshall from 2001-03, Anarumo coached safety Chris Crocker, who became a third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2003 and played briefly for the Dolphins during the 2008 season.

By The Numbers: Under Anarumo’s guidance, Purdue led the Big Ten in fewest passing yards allowed (152.5) in conference games in 2008. Marshall finished 10th in the nation in pass defense in 2003, allowing 177.4 yards per game, and sixth in 2002 at 161.5 yards. After being coached by Anarumo, safety Bernard Pollard became the 54th overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, the highest-drafted Purdue defensive player since 1988.

Dolphins Connections: Anarumo worked with Head Coach Joe Philbin on two previous occasions and with defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle once. Philbin’s last of two seasons as offensive line coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy came in 1989 when Anarumo was in the first of two seasons as part-time running backs coach. The two were together again at Harvard in 1997 and 1998 when Philbin was offensive coordinator/offensive line coach and Anarumo was assistant head coach. Anarumo and Coyle, both natives of Staten Island, worked together at Syracuse in 1991 when Anarumo was in his second year as a graduate assistant and Coyle was in his first of three seasons as defensive coordinator.

Off The Field: Anarumo likes to golf, but whatever free time he has these days is spent with his wife and three children. “Because of the profession and the way it is and coming off of college, you go from the season to recruiting and you’re just not home,” Anarumo said. “So it’s going to basketball games with the kids, watching my kids play, doing something with the family. Those are the things that occupy your time. I used to play a lot of golf until I had three kids. I used to think 18 holes was not enough; now I can’t get nine in. I like to play golf, I like to fish a little bit, but generally speaking we’re always usually doing something with the family.”

Anarumo On His Coaching Philosophy: “Like a lot of other coaches, you want to be detailed and passionate about what you do. I consider myself a teacher. I grew up in that kind of environment. My dad was a teacher and a principal of an elementary school for 30-somewhat years, so I kind of grew up that way. He was a basketball coach at the local high school, but I learned from an early age being passionate and detailed when you think of yourself as a teacher, making sure they’re right on their fundamentals and things like that. That’s kind of what we’re thinking about.”

Anarumo On Joining The Dolphins: “Couldn’t be more excited. It’s a great opportunity to work with people that you know and respect in the coaching profession. This is my (24th) year in coaching, and I’ve known a couple of these guys for that length of time. Anytime in this business where you get to work with people that you have that long of a relationship with and especially at a place like this with great tradition and great history just makes it that much more exciting.”