Rhule Announces Two Additions to Coaching Staff
Nebraska Head Football Coach Matt Rhule has added a pair of assistant coaches to his Nebraska staff. Tony White will serve as the Huskers' defensive coordinator, while Donovan Raiola will be Nebraska's offensive line coach.
White's hire is pending the completion of a University of Nebraska background check, while Raiola will enter his second season as a Nebraska assistant in 2023.
"We are pleased to add Tony White and Donovan Raiola to our coaching staff," Rhule said. "They each bring a high level of energy and competitiveness to our staff. Both Tony and Donovan were outstanding players at the highest level of college football, and also have professional playing experience. Their success has carried into their respective coaching careers. I look forward to them developing the players in our program and helping bring the nation's top talent to Nebraska."
White joins the Huskers after spending the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Syracuse. In his time with the Orange, White helped transform the Syracuse defense into one of the top units in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
White led Syracuse to back-to-back top-30 total defensive efforts in 2021 and 2022, marking the school's best defensive efforts in a decade. The Orange allowed 330.2 yards per game in 2021 to rank 19th nationally and second in the ACC. This season, the Syracuse defense ranked 29th nationally allowing 338.1 yards per game, helping Syracuse to a trip to the Pinstripe Bowl.
In addition to a top-30 total defense ranking this season, White's defense also ranked in the top 35 nationally in passing yards allowed (19th), yards per play (21st), scoring defense (35th) and sacks (35th). The Orange defensive unit also accounted for three defensive touchdowns and helped Syracuse rank 23rd nationally in turnover margin.
White spent the previous two seasons at Arizona State, primarily working with the secondary. He helped the Sun Devils climb by 50 spots in the NCAA pass defense rankings. He also coordinated the ASU defense in a victory in the 2019 Sun Bowl. White spent nine seasons at San Diego State from 2009 to 2017, and during his time at the school the Aztecs went to eight bowl games and won three Mountain West Conference titles (2012, 2015, 2016).
White also has experience at New Mexico and UCLA. He played collegiately at UCLA from 1997 to 2000 and had a four-year career in the Canadian Football League.
Raiola will continue on the Nebraska staff after serving as the offensive line coach in 2022. Raiola helped Nebraska produce five individual 100-yard rushing efforts, a record-setting receiving season by Trey Palmer and two games in which the Huskers produced a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver.
Raiola is a key part of a Nebraska staff that boasts extensive NFL experience. He owns 12 overall years of coaching experience, including four years as an offensive line coach in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears. Raiola has also coached offensive linemen at Aurora (Ill.) University, in addition to collegiate coaching stops at Notre Dame and Hawaii.
Raiola was a tenacious competitor as an offensive lineman. He has a three-time All-Big Ten selection at Wisconsin and went on to spend six seasons in the NFL.