Billy Crocker begins his first season at UConn as the defensive coordinator.
Crocker completed his 12th year at Villanova in 2016 and his fifth as the team’s Defensive Coordinator. After coaching the defensive line for five seasons, Crocker was elevated to linebackers coach and Special Teams Coordinator for the 2011 season, before earning the Defensive Coordinator title in 2012. Crocker is currently in his second stint at Villanova. From 2001-02, he was the team’s defensive assistant.
Last Season Crocker's unit ranked No. 1 in the nation giving up 15 points per game. Villanova also led the FCS in total defense (259.9 yards per game). The Wildcats also ranked third in red zone defense and fourth in rushing defense.
In 2015, Crocker’s defense gave up 18.4 points per game which ranked second in the CAA and 11th nationally. The Wildcats also ranked second in the CAA in total defense at 309.1 yards per game which was good enough for 16th in the national statistics. In addition, Villanova led the CAA and ranked fourth in the country a season ago in red zone defense allowing 18 scores in 31 attempts.
Crocker guided five players to All-CAA distinction last year highlighted by senior linebacker Don Cherry and junior defensive end Tanoh Kpassganon who were named to the first team. The other three defensive honorees included senior safety Cameron McCurry, junior corner Jason Ceneus and junior linebacker Austin Calitro who were all third team members.
In 2014, Crocker’s defense gave up 22.1 points per game and led the CAA and ranked eighth nationally in rushing defense at 106.7 yards per contest. The Wildcat defense also ranked in the Top 25 in three other categories in the national statistics, including turnovers forced (17th), tackles for loss (23rd) and opponent third down percentage (25th). Under Crocker’s direction in 2014, Cherry tallied 134 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks en route to being a first team All-American and a first team All-CAA honoree. In addition, Cherry finished second in the Buck Buchanan voting for the national defensive player of the year. Three other Wildcat defenders earned All-Conference accolades last season, including senior nose guard Pat Williams and senior safety Joe Sarnese who were second team honorees and Ceneus who was a third team selection.
Crocker was honored in 2014 as the Person of the Year by The Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Crocker is a native of Waterford, Conn., and a graduate of Waterford High School.
During the 2013 season, Crocker’s defense produced five All-CAA players highlighted by senior defensive end Rakim Cox who was a first team selection and Cherry who was named second team All-Conference.
In his first year as the team’s Defensive Coordinator in 2012, the Wildcats ranked second in the CAA in scoring defense at 20.9 points per game. Crocker’s defense also produced six All-CAA performers in 2012, including three first team honorees.
As the team’s linebacker coach in 2011, Crocker guided freshman linebacker Dillon Lucas to an outstanding rookie campaign. Lucas tallied a team-high 92 tackles and earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors from both the CAA and ECAC. Lucas also earned third team All-CAA distinction.
In 2010 as the Wildcat defensive line coach, Crocker helped senior nose guard Thomas Weaver and true freshman defensive end Antoine Lewis to third team All-CAA honors.
Under Crocker’s direction in 2009, senior defensive end Tim Kukucka was a first team All-CAA honoree and a third team All-American and senior nose guard Phil Matusz garnered second team All-CAA accolades. Crocker guided Kukucka to three seasons of All-Conference honors as he finished his Villanova career with 162 tackles, 25.5 sacks and 49 tackles for loss.
In 2008, Crocker coached senior defensive end Greg Miller to first team All-American honors from the Sports Network, Walter Camp Foundation and American Football Coaches Association, first team All-CAA honors and All-East distinction. Miller finished his outstanding season with 49 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 5.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Miller wasn’t the only Crocker product to earn All-Conference accolades last season. Kukucka garnered second team All-CAA honors and senior defensive lineman Dave Dalessandro was a third team choice. Kukucka was also a second team All-Conference choice in 2007.
Crocker came to Villanova from the University at Albany where he coached the running backs from 2003-04. During his stint at Albany, Crocker helped Albany to the 2003 NEC championship and coached running back Gary Jones to third team Associated Press All-American distinction. In addition, Jones graduated as Albany’s all-time career rushing leader.
Crocker attended the United States Coast Guard Academy from 1997-2001 where he was a three-year letterwinner as a defensive back in football and a one-year letterwinner during his freshman year in baseball. He is a 2002 graduate of Villanova University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Crocker also owns a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Development & Instructional Technology from the University at Albany.
Crocker and his wife Kristina reside in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., with their four-year old son Ryan and two-year old twins, Will and Bryn.