Garrett Adds Two on Leopard Offensive Staff
EASTON, Pa. -- John Van Dam and Kevin Callahan Jr. will join the Lafayette football offensive coaching staff, as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and running backs coach, respectively, under head coach John Garrett.
Van Dam was the offensive coordinator at Southern Illinois for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2016, Southern Illinois set a program record for passing yards in a season with 3,660. The Salukis averaged 332 yards per game passing, which led the Missouri Valley Football Conference and ranked second in MVFC history. Southern Illinois also led the MVFC in total offense, averaging more than 470 yards per game, and ranked second in scoring offense at 30.9 points per game.
Prior to arriving at Southern Illinois, Van Dam worked as an offensive quality control assistant and assistant quarterbacks coach at the University of Florida under Jim McElwain for the 2015 season. The season prior he served in a similar role at Michigan under Brady Hoke.
That followed two seasons at Alabama as an offensive graduate assistant under Nick Saban, primarily coaching the wide receivers while running the offensive and special teams scout teams. During his time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama won the 2012 SEC title and the 2013 BCS National Championship. Van Dam earned his master's degree in Human Environmental Sciences at Alabama in 2014.
Van Dam spent the 2008-11 seasons at Augustana College first as a graduate assistant and tight ends coach for 2008 and 2009 and then as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator in 2010 and 2011. He completed his master's degree in Education at the school in in Sioux Falls, S.D.
A native of East Lansing, Mich., Van Dam played quarterback at Michigan State alongside Kirk Cousins, Drew Stanton and Brian Hoyer before starting his coaching career. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education while majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Earth Science. He garnered Academic All-Big 10 honors in 2006-08.
Van Dam and his wife, Heather, have a daughter, Vada, and a son, Joseph.
"I'm excited to add John Van Dam to our staff. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience having played QB at Michigan State and coached at premier FBS programs like Michigan, Alabama and Florida," said Garrett, the Fred M. Kirby II '42 Head Football Coach. "John has coordinator experience at the FCS level and will be a great teacher and mentor to our QB's. We are thrilled to welcome John and his family to our Lafayette College community and our football family."
Callahan is coming off his third season at Columbia as the program's offensive quality control coach under Al Bagnoli. Callahan was responsible for all offensive film responsibilities, which included creating a self-scout of Columbia's offensive tendencies, and also assisted with developing the weekly game plan.
Prior to his arrival in New York City, Callahan coached at his alma mater, Amherst College in Massachusetts, for the 2014 season. He was awarded the Edward Hitchcock Fellowship, an honor given annually to a graduating senior who is interested in pursuing a coaching career. As part of the program, he spent the 2014-15 academic year as Amherst's running backs coach, assisted with the women's basketball program and served as the school's director of intramurals.
In 2013, Callahan also spent time at the National Football League, where he worked as a player engagement intern. His father, Kevin, is the head coach at Monmouth, the Leopards' week three opponent in 2018.
A native of Spring Lake, N.J., Callahan graduated from Amherst in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He was a four-year letterwinner on the football team and earned NESCAC All-Academic Team honors in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
"We are fortunate to add Kevin Callahan Jr. to our staff as our running backs coach. Kevin is a natural football coach and teacher who comes from a football family," Garrett said. "Kevin comes to Lafayette from Columbia where he assisted on the offensive side of the ball working with running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks over the years. He fits well on our staff having coached FCS football at a high-academic institution like Columbia. Kevin is smart and he loves football, which are traits we look for when adding coaches to our staff."
Lafayette football will begin its spring practice on March 20 at 4:30 p.m. with the annual Maroon-White Spring Game set for April 21 at 4 p.m.