Football Hires Miller and Van Horn to Round Out Coaching Staff

DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell announced the hiring of Alex Miller and Chris Van Horn as assistant coaches Monday, rounding out his staff for the 2011 season. Assistant coach Brian Barbato, the tight ends coach since 2008, adds offensive tackles to his coaching responsibilities this year.

Alex Miller

Miller comes aboard as the centers/guards coach for the Wildcats after a three-year tenure at the University of Oregon, where he began as an intern in 2008 before working as a graduate assistant coach for offense the next two seasons. Miller worked closely with the Ducks' running game and tutored the offensive line. As a student-athlete, Miller starred as a center at the University of Massachusetts, where he started all 50 games of his collegiate career from 2003-06. The Fairfax, Va., native was feted as an All-America in his senior campaign and was a two-time member of the All-Atlantic 10 First Team. Miller received his undergraduate degree from UMass in 2007.

Chris Van Horn

Van Horn joins the UNH coaching staff in 2011 as defensive tackles coach following three seasons at the University of North Carolina. In 2010, he was the on-field defensive graduate assistant for the Tar Heels and worked with the defensive line. During his first two seasons in Chapel Hill, Van Horn served in a quality control position, working with linebackers and the secondary. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native was a three-year letterwinner at St. Francis University in his hometown and began his coaching career at his alma mater, where he worked for three seasons. After two years as a graduate assistant, Van Horn was elevated to the role of defensive line coach for the 2007 season. During his playing career, Van Horn was an NAIA First Team All-America at defensive end and still holds the school's all-time record for most sacks in a season and career. He was a college teammate of UNH linebackers coach James Bettcher. Van Horn earned bachelor's degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education in 2004.

"We're excited to bring in two young, quality coaches who come from outstanding programs," McDonnell said. "Alex and Chris bring great energy and will provide a nice lift to our staff."

Barbato enters his fourth year during his second stint on the UNH coaching staff. The Exeter, N.H., native has mentored tight ends since 2008, and he coached the offensive line during his previous New Hampshire coaching term in 2004. Barbato, who graduated from UNH in '04, started 37 games during his playing career while seeing time at all five offensive line positions. He was named All-Atlantic 10 Second Team in 2003 and All-Atlantic 10 Third Team in 2002. Barbato also coached outside linebackers and safeties at St. Lawrence University for two seasons (2006-07) and worked as an assistant coach at Exeter High School in 2005.

Here is a look at the 2011 UNH Wildcats football coaching staff:

Head Coach: Sean McDonnell (13th season)
Offensive Coordinator/QBs: Tim Cramsey (9th season)
Defensive Coordinator/DBs: John Lyons (1st season)
Defensive Ends: Jon Shelton (6th season)
Wide Receivers: Ryan Carty (5th season)
Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends: Brian Barbato (4th season)
Running Backs: Michael Ferzoco (4th season)
Strong safeties/OLBs: Terrence Klein (2nd season)
Linebackers: James Bettcher (1st season)
Defensive Tackles: Chris Van Horn (1st season)
Centers/Guards: Alex Miller (1st season)
Director of Football Operations: Scott Lukas (2nd season)

The UNH football team is in the midst of spring camp, which will conclude with the annual Blue-White Game on Saturday, May 7, at 12:30 p.m. at Cowell Stadium. For more information, visit

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