Joe D'Alessandris, who possesses a wide range of experience at the collegiate and professional levels, enters his sixth season as Georgia Tech's offensive line coach.
D'Alessandris' offensive line has been a key factor in the Yellow Jackets' prolific rushing attack the last two seasons. Last fall, the Tech front line has paved the way for the ACC's leading rusher, Tashard Choice, and helped Tech rank second in the league. Sophomore left tackle Andrew Gardner earned honorable mention all-conference recognition. Senior right tackle Mansfield Wrotto earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl despite playing just one year on offense after converting from defensive tackle. Wrotto became a fourth round selection by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2007 NFL Draft.
D'Alessandris' 2005 unit, which started just one senior along with three sophomores and a freshman, helped Tech lead the ACC in fewest sacks allowed with 10. The Jackets ranked third in the league in rushing. Senior tackle Brad Honeycutt was an honorable mention all-ACC selection, while Gardner was named a freshman all-America.
Five Tech linemen who played for D'Alessandris' have earned NFL opportunities. Three of the Yellow Jackets' senior offensive linemen from 2004 signed free agent contracts with NFL teams: Andy Tidwell-Neal and Kyle Wallace with the New York Giants and Leon Robinson with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following the 2003 season, tackle Nat Dorsey was a fourth-round selection of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2004 NFL Draft and is now with the Cleveland Browns, while center Hugh Reilly signed a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans.
In 2003, D'Alessandris' offensive line paved the way for 1,000-yard rusher P.J. Daniels. Reilly was a first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and a finalist for the Dave Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center. Reilly became the second Tech offensive lineman to earn all-conference honors under D'Alessandris, following Dorsey in 2002.
D'Alessandris came to Tech in 2002 after coaching the offensive line at Duke the previous five years (1997-01). Five linemen that he coached during that time went on to the NFL in center Patrick Mannelly (5th round, Chicago, 1998), guard Lennie Friedman (2nd round, Denver, 1997), center Troy Andrew (free agent, Miami, 2001), Shawn Lynch (free agent, Kansas City, 2002) and John Miller (free agent, Houston, 2002). In addition, D'Alessandris coached on the Gray squad at the 1999 Blue-Gray Classic.
He went to Duke after serving as offensive line coach at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, and with the Memphis Mad Dogs of the Canadian Football League in 1995. Prior to his Memphis position, he was the offensive line coach at Texas A&M in 1994, helping the Aggies to a 10-0-1 record. He has also held posts with the World League Birmingham team (1991-92) and the CFL Ottawa team (1990).
A native of Aliquippa, Pa., D'Alessandris was a four-year letterman and a three-year starting offensive guard at Western Carolina, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1977 and added a master's degree in 1979. As a senior, he received the Catamounts' Big Cat Award as the football team's most valuable player and served as team captain. He began his coaching career at Western Carolina as a graduate assistant before moving on to Livingston (1979-83), Memphis (1984-85) and Chattanooga (1986-89).
He and his wife Toni have three daughters, Anna, Kelly, and Emily.