Additions to Football Staff

Analysts, graduate assistants and quality control personnel added to staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt head football coach Clark Lea rounded out his coaching group Monday with graduate assistants, quality control personnel and analysts.

Joining as analysts are Clay Bignell and Jonathan DiBiaso.

Bignell, who will work with the defense, comes from East Carolina, where he served during the 2020 season. Bignell overlapped with Lea at Notre Dame where Bignell worked from 2016-19. DiBiaso, who will be on the Commodore offense, spent the last three seasons at Boston College working with quarterbacks.

Among the graduate assistants, Austin Gatewood (defense) and Caden Thomson (offense) will remain with the Commodores. Defensive graduate assistant Jimmy Thompson arrives on West End after a year as a quality control assistant with the safeties at LSU. Thompson was a linebacker for Lea at Notre Dame from 2015-18. Aston Walter will work with the offense in the fall. A former running back for Rice, Walter led the Owls in rushing (771 yards), scoring (60 points) total touchdowns (10) and rushing touchdowns (8) in 2019.

The quality control group will have Brendan Flaherty (offense), Kirk Garner (offense), Greer Martini (defense), Asauni Rufus (defense) and Jeff LePak (special teams).

Flaherty spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant at Boston College working with the offense line. Garner worked with Virginia’s defensive backs as a graduate assistant the last three years after wrapping up his playing career as a Cavalier.

Martini was with the XFL’s Dallas Renegades during the 2020 season and was a four-year letter winner (2014-15-16-17) as a linebacker for Lea’s Fighting Irish crew. Rufus spent the 2020 season as a special teams analyst with Notre Dame. He was a four-year letter man (2015-16-17-18) for as a defensive back at Nevada.

LePak was an offensive analyst at Syracuse during the 2020 season alongside Commodore assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Justin Lustig. LePak had two stints at Syracuse with his first when he was hired as the operations and recruiting assistant in February 2016. Later that year, LePak became the program’s special teams quality control coach, a position he held through the end of the 2018 season.

Clay Bignell (Defense)
Jonathan DiBiaso (Offense)

Graduate Assistants
Austin Gatewood (Defense)
Jimmy Thompson (Defense)
Caden Thomson (Offense)
Aston Walter (Offense)

Quality Control
Brendan Flaherty (Offense)
Kirk Garner (Offense)
Jeff LePak (Special Teams)
Greer Martini (Defense)
Asauni Rufus (Defense)