UCF Football Announces the Hirings of Buscemi, Costantini

GO KNIGHTS Lorenzo Costantini was at Southern Miss last year, and this will be his fifth season at UCF.
Lorenzo Costantini was at Southern Miss last year, and this will be his fifth season at UCF.

Jan. 8, 2013

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF football head coach George O'Leary announced Tuesday he has hired Lorenzo Costantini as the defensive line coach, as well as Mike Buscemi as the Knights' special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. Costantini served in the same position for the Knights from 2000-03, and Buscemi spent 2004-07 as UCF's long snapper.

"I'm very happy to announce the hirings of Mike Buscemi and Lorenzo Costantini," Coach O'Leary said. "Mike was a four-year snapper here at UCF, and since he left, he's gained a vast amount of experience in the special-teams game both at North Carolina and Pittsburgh. It's a great hire for UCF, and we are looking forward to great things with Mike on staff.

"Lorenzo has a lot of experience in defensive line play, and has great success in the recruiting areas he focuses on as well. There's no question in my mind that it will be a great help in the constant improvement you're always looking for on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball."

More on Lorenzo Costantini
A defensive line coach at five current Conference USA schools including UCF, Costantini spent 2012 with Southern Miss after serving on the UAB staff from 2007-11. During that tenure with the Blazers, he worked alongside Tyson Summers, who will be entering his second year as the Knights' linebackers coach.

This past season at Southern Miss, Costantini helped Jamie Collins earn a spot on the All-C-USA First Team as he led the team with 92 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He also forced four fumbles and broke up five passes. Costantini also guided Elliott Henigan to all-conference status at UAB following a three-year stint at Tulane.

UCF's defensive lines produced solid seasons under Costantini. The 2002 squad ranked third in the Mid-American Conference with 31 sacks, while both the 2000 and 2001 defenses placed in the top 30 in the country.

In 2002, Costantini played a vital role in coaching Elton Patterson to a spot on the All-MAC First Team. Patterson, who finished his career in the top five in school history in sacks, was a seventh-round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003. Costantini also coached Josh McKibben, who was named the team's defensive MVP and signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity and I'm excited about it," Costantini said. "Coach O'Leary has done a great job, and he's developed this program into a champion. And now going into the BIG EAST, (we want to) continue that trend. (The UCF defensive line) is a good, young, talented group. The biggest thing is to build them into being a little more physical. I like those guys to be physical, attacking, striking and getting off of blocks."

Prior to UCF, Costantini was the defensive line coach at UTEP from 1996-00 while serving as the strength and conditioning coach from 1995-00. In the 2000 NFL Draft, WAC Defensive Player of the Year Brian Young (St. Louis Rams) and Leif Larsen (Buffalo Bills) were drafted while Costantini was at UTEP.

Graduating from UTEP with a degree in education in 1990, Costantini was a four-year letterwinner and a member of the 1998 team that won 10 games and made an appearance in the Independence Bowl. He began his playing career for the Miners as an offensive lineman, but moved to defensive end and finally nose guard for his senior season. As a senior, he recorded 33 tackles, two tackles for loss, caused one fumble and recovered a fumble.

After his senior campaign, Costantini was a graduate assistant for UTEP in 1991, and coached at Jefferson High School in El Paso from 1992-94 where he was the defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach.

A native of Houston and born in Rome, Italy, Costantini and his wife Merritt have two children, Rocco and Sofia.

Costantini at a Glance
Hometown - Houston, Texas
Wife - Merritt
Children - Rocco and Sofia
College - UTEP (B.S. 1990)
Playing Experience - UTEP, OL-DL 1995-98
Coaching Experience:
2012 - Southern Miss - Defensive Line Coach
2007-11 - UAB - Defensive Line Coach
2004-06 - Tulane - Defensive Line Coach
2000-03 - UCF - Defensive Line Coach
1996-00 - UTEP - Defensive Line Coach
1995-00 - UTEP - Strength and Conditioning Coach
1992-94 - Jefferson High School (Texas) - Defensive Coordinator/Strength and Conditioning Coach
1991 - UTEP - Graduate Assistant, Defensive Line

More on Mike Buscemi
Buscemi travels back to Orlando following one season as a defensive graduate assistant at Pittsburgh. He first joined the UCF football program as a walk-on in 2004, and quickly evolved into one of the most reliable long snappers in school history. He snapped on punts in 2005 before being responsible for all snapping duties in 2006 and 2007. During that 2006 campaign, he was voted on to the All-Conference USA Second Team before climbing even higher to the first team in 2007.

After his collegiate career, the native of Plantation, Fla., stayed on with the Knights as an offensive graduate assistant from 2008-09. Buscemi then transitioned to North Carolina where he was a quality control assistant from 2010-11.

While at Pittsburgh in 2012, Buscemi helped the Panthers rank 17th in the nation in total defense, 23rd in scoring defense, 20th in passing defense and 31st in rushing defense.

Combining his playing career with his coaching experience, Buscemi has helped guide his teams to six bowl games in the last eight seasons, including three with UCF (2005 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl, 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl). He also assisted UNC in reaching the 2010 Music City Bowl and the 2011 Independence Bowl, while Pittsburgh is currently preparing for the BBVA Compass Bowl.

"I'm very grateful to Coach O'Leary for giving me the opportunity to come back to the University of Central Florida," Buscemi said. "I'm honored and privileged for the chance he has given me to return to my alma mater. I have so many great memories from UCF, and I can't wait to experience more as an assistant coach."

A graduate of Western High School in Davie, Fla., Buscemi was coached by his father Ray Buscemi en route to all-state third-team honors. He boasts two degrees from UCF as he earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice in Dec. 2006 and his master's degree in sports and fitness in May 2008.

UCF now has three alumni on its coaching staff. Buscemi joins wide receivers coach Sean Beckton (1993) and defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan (2008), with Buscemi and Callahan serving as teammates with the Knights from 2005-06.

Buscemi at a Glance
Hometown - Plantation, Fla.
College - UCF (B.S. 2006)
Playing Experience - UCF, LS 2004-07
Coaching Experience:
2012 - Pittsburgh - Defensive Graduate Assistant
2010-11 - North Carolina - Quality Control Assistant
2008-09 - UCF - Offensive Graduate Assistant



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