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Toledo Rockets Announce Perry Eliano as New CB Coach

Perry Eliano
© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK

On Monday, Toledo Rockets coach Jason Candle announced the hiring of Perry Eliano as the new cornerback coach. Eliano spent 2022 and 2023 with Ohio State coaching the safeties for the Buckeyes.


As a member of the Buckeyes’ secondary staff, Eliano oversaw a group that led the FBS in passing defense in 2023. In 2024, Eliano will be in charge of a group that was tied for 16th in the FBS in passing defense, while attempting to three-peat as Mid-American Conference West division champs.


“We are excited about the addition of Perry Eliano to our staff,” Candle said. “He is a proven winner who has a great track record of developing his players.”

Jason Candle
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Eliano's Credentials

Evidence of Eliano’s ability to develop players can be seen during his time at the University of Cincinnati in 2020 and 2021. In 2021 Eliano’s starting corners were the deadliest duo in the country, Coby Bryant and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Bryant would win the Thorpe Award as the nation’s most outstanding defensive back in 2021.


In 2020, the Bearcats ranked in the top 15 nationally in several defensive categories, including interceptions and passing efficiency defense. Gardner was a first-team All-American in both 2020 and 2021.


Eliano was the special team coordinator and cornerbacks coach at New Mexico in 2018 and 2019. Jalin Burrell and D’Angelo Ross both ended up in the NFL after working with Eliano in Albuquerque.


This is Eliano’s second stint in the MAC as he was an associate coach/defensive coordinator at Bowling Green in 2016 and 2017.


“My family and I are truly excited to be joining coach Candle and Rocket Nation,” Eliano said. “The opportunity to be part of a program with such rich tradition and an outstanding academic institution brings great joy to me. I’m looking forward to working with this extraordinary staff and our superb student-athletes. Go Rockets!”


Prior to his time at Bowling Green, Eliano spent five years coaching the secondary and special teams at UTSA. Eight Roadrunners were named all-conference while under Eliano.


Earlier in his coaching career, Eliano had two stints on the staff at Central Arkansas. During his first stint, Eliano was the running back and wide receiver coach. During that time Eliano coached the all-time leading receiver in Central Arkansas history, current Florida State coach Mike Norvell.


Hailing from Killeen, Texas, Eliano helped lead Ellison High School to the Class 5A quarterfinals in 1995. Eliano’s play as a defensive back earned him a spot at Stephen F. Austin from 1996-1999.


Eliano and his wife, Regenia, have two sons, Amari and Evan.



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