TAHLEQUAH — His fiery red hair makes him hard not to notice. He measures in at roughly 6 feet, 4 inches tall with a defensive lineman-like frame, making him stand out in a crowd.
But if it were all up to Casey Carlo, he’d rather stay inconspicuous.
“I kind of keep a low profile as a D-line coach,” Carlo said. “It’s like being an O-line coach; you don’t want anyone to know you’re name because that means you’re doing your job.”
That’s been Carlo’s mantra ever since he got into coaching in the late 1990s. And he’s been quite successful at being instrumental on every coaching staff he’s joined, meaning his defensive players have done all of his talking for him.
“It’s all the players,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to coach some good players that want to work hard. Every place I’ve been, and I’ve inherited good players, we’ve improved in our national ranking. I’m not so much proud of that, as we’ve always improved against the run.”
That and rushing the passer were two areas Northeastern State was lagging in 2012. The RiverHawks ranked last out of 15 teams in the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association in sacks, and NSU was 10th in rushing defense, allowing 178.4 yards a game.
That prompted NSU head coach Kenny Evans to bring in Carlo after former coach Mike Knoll retired and Greg Richmond left to explore a new career opportunity.
“His background is what really attracted me,” Evans said of Carlo, NSU’s defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator as of late January. “...I knew what type of coach he was, and I knew he was a big technician, especially with defensive linemen. The whole package made it an easy hire for me.”