Merced College president Benjamin Duran announced Monday the selection of Bob Casey as head coach of the Blue Devil football team. Casey’s appointment will immediately be considered by the College’s Board of Trustees for formal approval.Casey will take the helm following the recent resignation of Mark Kaanapu, who accepted an assistant coaching position with the Portland State Vikings.“We’re ready to play,” Casey said. “Generally, we’re in much better shape than last year. Once we hit the field, everything will be fine.”
Casey is no stranger to Blue Devil football. A former offensive lineman from the 1994-1995 season, Casey has worked as the Blue Devil’s assistant coach for the past seven seasons.Blue Devil athletic director Steve Cassady said that Casey understands the “big picture and the little picture,” which means he’ll have his eye on the football program while attending to the needs of individual players.“I’ve got to get my players situated first,” Casey said. “Once we’re on the field, it’s keeping the status quo. I’ve been here long enough to know that we don’t have major issues.”While acknowledging the brief transition period he’ll be facing as the new head coach, Casey said any adjustments will be few as his coaching staff is returning.“This has definitely been a whirlwind,” he said, “but we can’t make too many changes in this short amount of time.”Merced College President Benjamin T. Duran said he has full confidence in Casey’s ability to take immediate charge of his situation.“We are very fortunate and grateful that he has agreed to assume this role on short notice,” Duran said. “He will make it a smooth transition and more importantly, he’ll give the players and coaching staff a leader they know and respect.”Casey, a New Jersey native, is married to Blue Devil volleyball coach Jessica Casey. The couple has one child, a nine-week old son.