Manny Rojas enters his second season as linebackers coach at Richmond in 2013 after serving for two years as a defensive and special teams assistant under head coach Danny Rocco at Liberty.
In 2012, Rojas helped a pair of Spider linebackers earn All-CAA recognition - the first time that had happened since the 2009 season. Darius McMillan and Eric Wright earned the accolades, but the whole unit was fantastic, helping Richmond lead the country in turnover margin at +22.
During Rojas' first full season on the coaching staff in 2010, Liberty continued to excel on the defensive side of the ball. The Flames ranked No. 24 nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 20.18 points per game, which also led the Big South by more than five points per game. This marked the fourth year in a row Liberty has ranked nationally in the FCS Top 25 in scoring defense.
The Flames also finished the 2010 season ranked No. 17 in the country in total defense, having allowed 309.18 yards per game. The Flames run defense, which ranked No. 20 in the country, set a program standard by allowing just 1,273 total rushing yards. In 2011, the Flames led the Big South in scoring defense (22 ppg) and were second in total defense (343.3 ypg).
After concluding a stellar four-year career for the Flames, Rojas remained close to the program, working within the Athletics Department as a member of the strength and conditioning staff.
Rojas was a dominating force for the Flames on the field, finishing his career with 348 stops. As a senior, he led the squad with 102 tackles, making him one of only three Flames' defenders during the last eleven seasons to crack the 100-tackle mark in a year.
A two-time Big South all-conference performer, Rojas still currently ranks No. 3 in the conference record books for career tackles, No. 3 in assisted stops (208), No. 3 in forced fumbles (7) and No. 8 in solo tackles (140).
Rojas' senior season marked a dramatic change in the culture that surrounded Liberty football, as the 2006 campaign was the Flames first under current head coach Danny Rocco.
After finishing the prior season with a 1-10 record, Rojas played a key role, both statistically and as an emotional team captain, helping the 2006 squad post a 6-5 record. The five-win improvement over the previous season marked the best turnaround in all of NCAA FCS football for the 2006 season.
A large part of Liberty's five-win improvement was due to the Flames defensive efforts. In 2006, Liberty set a new program standard by allowing just 172 total points and the Flames finished the year ranked No. 12 in scoring defense (15.6 points per game).
Along with the new program record for points allowed, Liberty set seven other defensive records in 2006, including a new standard for shutouts, as Liberty blanked three opponents. The Flames also knocked off No. 24 Charleston Southern, 34-20, in their season finale, marking the first Top 25 program Liberty had defeated in a decade.
Rojas came to Liberty following a standout career at West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pa. He was a three-year starter for the Indians, where he earned first-team all-conference and all-state honors.
As a senior, he helped lead West Allegheny High School to the AAA state championship and was a member of the Pennsylvania Big 33 squad which defeated Ohio in July 2002. He was also named to the "Fabulous 22" Pittsburgh Post Gazette squad and the Metro Index Scouting Service Top 50 of Western Pennsylvania.
The native of Oakdale, Pa., graduated from Liberty in 2007 with a bachelor of science degree in communication studies with an advertising and public relations concentration.
Rojas' Coaching Experience:
2011-Present (Second year): Richmond (LB)
2010-2011 (2 years): Liberty (LB, Special Teams)