(Recruiting Area: Connecticut)
Trinity College Associate Head Football Coach Lew Acquarulo, a Connecticut native, begins his 26th season in college football, his 15th season as an assistant coach with the Bantams and his 14th as defensive coordinator in 2019. Acquarulo coaches the inside linebackers and also coordinates the kicking game. In 2011, Acquarulo was named as the New England Division II/III Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, after the Bantams boasted the top defense in all of NCAA Division III football.
Trinity led the nation statistically in three different defensive categories in 2011, having allowed just 63.5 rushing yards per game, 195.5 total yards per game, and 8.13 points per game. Trinity also claimed third place nationally in tackles for loss with 9.0 per contest, while posting shutouts in four of its eight games. Six seasons ago, Trinity yielded an NCAA Division III-low 195.5 yards per contest, and surrendered an NCAA Division III-low 8.1 points per game, allowed an NCAA Division III-low 53.6 yards per game on the ground, and posted an 84.68 defensive pass efficiency rating (4th in nation). In 2013, the Bantams allowed just 13.9 ppg (9th in nation), yielded 138 yards through the air per game (5th in nation), and held opponents to 254.8 yards per game (8th in nation) and an 80.8 pass efficiency rating (3rd in nation). In 2014, Trinity finished sixth nationally in pass efficiency defense with a 90.3 rating for opposing quarterbacks. Three years ago, the Bantams ranked No. 1 in the nation in red-zone defense (.458), third in scoring defense (10.1 ppg allowed) and pass efficiency defense (87.05), ninth in total defense (253.3 ypg), and 10 nationally in rushing defense (90.3 ypg). In 2016, Trinity concluded the year ranked fourth nationally in first downs allowed, ninth in scoring defense, fifth in pass efficiency defense, sixth in sacks and 12th in total defense. Two years ago, the Bantams led the league in scoring defense (10.6 ppg, 7th in nation), pass efficiency defense (95.43, 11th in nation), and passing yards allowed (164.9 per game). Last fall, the team led the league in both scoring defense (10 ppg, 5th in nation), pass efficiency defense (91.36, 9th in nation) and passing yards allowed (149.4 per game, 13th in nation). The Bantam defense also led all of NCAA football with an average of just 3.2 yards allowed per play.
In his first year as defensive coordinator, the Bantams led the nation in scoring defense (6.8 points allowed per game) and total defense (160.0 yards allowed per game), and finished second nationally in pass efficiency defense (73.2 opponent efficiency rating). In 2007, the Trinity defense finished atop the league rankings in total defense, rushing defense, and sacks. Acquarulo’s rushing defense ranked 15th nationally in 2008 (86.88 yards/game) and Trinity allowed just 140 points to tie for first in the NESCAC. Trinity finished sixth in the nation in rushing defense (68 ypg), fifth nationally in tackles for loss (9.38 per game), and second in the country in sacks (3.88 per game) that year. The Trinity defense boasts 56 All-NESCAC defensive players in the last 10 years, including 2008 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Tyler Berry, 2009 and 2010 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Walter Fallas, 2012 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Rae Haynes, and 2016 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Spencer Donahue.
Acquarulo arrived at Trinity in 2005 after serving as the defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coordinator at the University of Rochester from 2001 to 2004. Prior to Rochester, Acquarulo coached the outside linebackers and special teams at the University of Pennsylvania for three years, linebackers and special teams at Southern Connecticut State University for two years, and the defensive line and linebackers at Union College. He was also the strength coach at both Southern Connecticut and Union. Acquarulo coordinates the Trinity football academic program, and is an associate professor in the College’s athletic department. Acquarulo earned a bachelor’s degree from Union College, where he helped the football team win an ECAC Championship, earn two NCAA championship bids, and post undefeated seasons in 1991 and 1993 as a starting defensive lineman. Acquarulo was recognized by Union for outstanding team leadership with the Ronald F. Plumb Award at the conclusion of his playing career. He also holds a master’s degree from Trinity in American Studies.