When the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons take the field for Super Bowl LI on Sunday night in Houston, Texas, a pair of former Case Western Reserve University assistant coaches, who have moved on to careers in the National Football League, will be representing each of the two participants in the big game.
Jerry Schuplinksi, who spent six seasons as the Spartans' special teams coordinator and linebackers coach from 2007-12, is currently the Assistant Quarterbacks Coach for the Patriots. He is in his fourth year with the organization, after serving as a coaching assistant for the previous three seasons.
During Schuplinski's time with the Spartans, he helped to coach 22 All-University Athletic Association selections, as his tenure on the coaching staff coincided with one of the most successful periods in the program's history. Case Western Reserve went 54-10 during Schuplinski's six seasons with the program, winning four UAA Championships and qualifying for the NCAA playoffs on three occasions.
Rodrik David is a Scouting Assistant for the Falcons, joining the team prior to the start of this season. David came to Atlanta after spending the previous two seasons on the CWRU staff, coaching the team's linebackers in 2014 and the defensive backs in 2015.
Eight of David's players claimed All-UAA honors during his two seasons, with an additional six being named to the All-PAC team. The Spartans were 10-10 during his two seasons, including a 7-3 record overall and a 6-2 PAC mark during the 2015 campaign.
"Both Jerry and Rodrik contributed greatly to the success of our program," said Case Western Reserve Head Coach Greg Debeljak, who recently completed his 13th season at the program's helm. "They are, first and foremost, outstanding people who cared about and had the respect of their players. It is always nice to see good things happen to good people.
"Everyone who has worked with Jerry and Rodrik are excited for them and very proud of their accomplishments in the NFL. It will be a tough game for me to watch. I'm hoping for an unprecedented tie."
The Case Western Reserve football team finished its 2016 season with a 9-1 record, winning a share of the University Athletic Association Championship with a 2-1 league mark, while finishing 7-1 in the PAC to place second in the conference. The Spartans will open their 2017 season on Saturday, September 2nd at the University of Chicago.