Sunday, October 1, 2023

Mario Acitelli Joins W&M Football’s Coaching Staff

Mario Acitelli joins W&M Football’s coaching staff (Courtesy of William & Mary Tribe Athletics)

WILLIAMSBURG — William & Mary (W&M) Football Head Coach Mike London announced the hiring of Mario Acitelli as the Tribe’s offensive line coach.  

An assistant on W&M’s staff from 2014-18, Acitelli returns to Williamsburg with tremendous coaching credentials that include stints at LSU, North Carolina and Texas.   

In addition to his success as a coach, Acitelli’s exceptional playing career at Appalachian State was highlighted by a pair of FCS National Championships, All-America honors and earning the prestigious Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is awarded to the Southern Conference’s top offensive lineman.  

“After a comprehensive and competitive national search, we are thrilled to add Mario to our staff,” London said. “Mario was a former All-American and a Jacobs Blocking Trophy award winner as a player, and he brings coaching experience from both the FCS and FBS levels. He is well respected within the coaching community and has served as a coordinator at multiple Division I programs. Further, he has the demonstrated ability to both identify and develop the type of student-athletes who can thrive within the William & Mary community. I am personally excited to welcome Mario, his wife Sara and their two children to our football family.” 

Acitelli rejoins the Tribe after coaching at LSU, Elon and North Carolina during the past three seasons. Most recently, he served as the lead offensive analyst at LSU, working primarily with the running backs. Ty Davis-Price benefited from Acitelli’s tutelage and rushed for more than 1,000 yards this fall, highlighted by a single-game school-record 287-yard effort against Florida. 

The prior season, Acitelli worked as the special teams coordinator and tight ends/tackles coach at Elon, helping special teams unit establish itself as the top-ranked group in the Colonial Athletic Association. In addition to producing the league’s top-ranked punter, his unit also included the nation’s 12th-ranked kick returner.  

In 2019, Acitelli served as a special teams analyst at North Carolina where he helped the Tar Heels rank 14th nationally in blocked kicks and improve their win total by five games from the previous year.  

Acitelli made a tremendous impact on W&M success during his five seasons in Williamsburg (2014-18) coaching the fullbacks and tight ends, as well as serving as the special teams coordinator for his final two years.  

During his five seasons in Williamsburg, Acitelli’s position group consistently ranked among the best in the CAA, as five Tribe standouts combined to earn eight all-conference accolades during his tenure. Highlighting those honorees was three-time All-CAA tight end Andrew Caskin, who earned a rookie camp invite with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. Additionally, all-conference tight end Nick Muse set single-season school records for receptions per game, yards per game and yards per catch by a tight end. 

Mario Acitelli joins W&M Football’s coaching staff (Courtesy of William & Mary Tribe Athletics)

In addition to those honors, a trio of fullbacks – Andrew Weidinger, Darnell Laws and Tyler Crist – earned all-league accolades under Acitelli’s direction.
Caskin and Weidinger also distinguished themselves by being selected as semifinalists for the prestigious Campbell Trophy, which is announced by the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame and is awarded annually to the nation’s best football scholar-athlete. 

Acitelli joined the Tribe’s staff in 2014 after serving as a graduate assistant at Texas for the prior three seasons where he assisted on both sides of the ball. In addition to coaching the Longhorns defensive scout team, he assisted with on-field instruction for the offensive line and tight ends.

Prior to working at UT, Acitelli served as a student assistant coach at his alma mater, Appalachian State, in 2010. In that role, he coached the defensive scout team and assisted with multiple aspects of the program, including on-field instruction for the offensive line.

A four-year starter and team captain for the Mountaineers, Acitelli was a member of the 2006 and 2007 National Championship teams. Additionally, he won the 2009 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is awarded to the Southern Conference’s top offensive lineman, and played all 72 snaps in the team’s upset win at No. 5 Michigan in 2007.

Acitelli earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Appalachian State in 2010 and a master’s degree in advertising from Texas in 2013. 

Acitelli is married to the former Sara Cline. The couple have two children, Leona and Graydon.

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