Jeff Genyk spent three seasons as the special teams coordinator/tight ends coach at Cal from 2010-12 and has 21 campaigns of experience as a collegiate coach. The special teams units improved significantly at Cal under Genyk with strong performances from punter Bryan Anger and placekickers Giorgio Tavecchio and Vincenzo D'Amato.
D'Amato was the latest Geynk pupil to stand out in 2012 when he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after leading conference in field goals made (1.33 fgmpg) and ranking fifth in field goal percentage (16-23, 69.6%). He was also tied for 31st nationally in field goals made. Genyk's punt return team also had a strong 2012 campaign, ranking third in the conference and 22nd nationally with an average of 11.37 yards per return. In his first season as Cal's primary punt returner, Keenan Allen led the Pac-12 and ranked fifth nationally with a 14.13 return average to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors from Phil Steele.
Anger, a time-time Ray Guy Award semifinalist, became the highest punter selected in the NFL Draft in 17 years and only the second Cal punter to ever be drafted when he was taken in the third round (No. 70 overall) by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012 and is NFL second-rated punter through the first 13 games of his 2012 rookie campaign. He was only the second Cal player at any position to earn first-team all-conference honors for three consecutive seasons, with the final two of those campaigns coming under the guidance of Genyk. Anger also earned the College Football Performance Awards' Elite Punter Trophy for his combined performance during the 2010 and 2011 campaigns. In his first season under Genyk in 2010, he broke a 23-year-old single-season school record with an average of 45.6 yards per punt that ranked second in the conference and sixth nationally. He followed it in 2011 with a 44.2 average that was tied for the fifth-best in school history, third in the league and 13th in the country. Anger finished with the second-best career punting average in Cal history (43.5).
Tavecchio bloomed while working with Genyk and had arguably the best season ever by a Cal placekicker in 2011 that led to his signing an undrafted free agent contract with the 49ers in May of 2012. Tavecchio became the first Cal player to pace the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (20-23, 87.0%) and the first since Doug Brien in 1991 to lead the conference in field goals made per game (1.54 fgmpg), ranking 16th nationally in the latter. His field goal percentage was a single-season school record, while his 20 field goals ranked third on Cal's all-time single-season list. After joining the program as a true freshman walk-on three days before the team's first game in 2008, Tavecchio ended up third all-time at Cal in field goals (48), as well as fourth in scoring among kickers and fifth overall with 256 points. Much of his development came while working with Genyk over the last two seasons as he moved into the role as a full-time starter on field goals, extra points and kickoffs, after sharing some of those duties in his first two campaigns.
In addition to the individual accomplishments of Anger and Tavecchio, the Bears also posted two of the highest net punting averages in the nation during Genyk's first two campaigns, improving 11 spots to No. 19 in his first season in 2010 (38.54 ypg) and then another nine places to No. 10 in 2011 (39.74 ypg).
Genyk also served as the tight ends coach at Cal for developing a group led by Anthony Miller, who was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 choice during a strong 2011 senior season in which he contributed 24 receptions for 263 yards and a career-high three touchdown grabs. He was also noted as one of the Pac-12's top blocking tight ends and helped open holes for Isi Sofele to give Cal its ninth 1,000-yard rusher in the past 10 seasons with 1,322 yards on the ground in 2011. Miller signed an undrafted free agent contract with Denver in April of 2012. Richard Rodgers also began to blossom under Geynk as a 2012 sophomore with career highs of 20 receptions for 288 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers' 14.4 yards per catch was the team's second-highest average overall and highest among the regulars.
Before coming to Cal, Genyk served as the head coach at Eastern Michigan from 2004-08. He coached the Eagles to their best conference finish in seven years in 2004 with a third-place showing in the West Division of the Mid-American Athletic Conference. His 2006 squad ranked third nationally in punt return yardage defense (3.08 ypr) and 15th in the nation (5.67 ypr) the following season. Eastern Michigan also set three NCAA passing records as well as multiple MAC and school records during his tenure.
While at Eastern Michigan he coached three players (LB Daniel Holtzclaw, DE Jason Jones, PK Andrew Wellock) who earned All-American recognition. Jones was a second-round selection of Tennessee in the 2008 NFL Draft who played 49 NFL games with 31 starts over four seasons with the Green Bay (2008-11) before signing with his current team Seattle and playing in 11 of their first 13 games in 2012. Wellock was a finalist for the 2004 Lou Groza Award given annually to the nation's top placekicker. He also coached OT T.J. Lang, who was selected by Green Bay in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft and over the last three-plus campaigns has played in 56 regular-season games and six post-season contests for the Packers, including Super Bowl XLV won by Green Bay. In 2011, Lang was the Packers' recipient of the NFL's Ed Block Courage Award given to one player on each of the league's 32 teams to a player who exemplifies commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The award is unique in that the recipients are selected solely by a vote of their teammates.
Genyk previously spent 12 seasons at Northwestern (1994-2003), with responsibility for the special teams unit during each of his final five campaigns with the Wildcats. He was also the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for five seasons (1999-2003) after having worked with the safeties in 1998 and the outside linebackers in 1997. During his first five campaigns, he was the school's Director of Football Operations (1994-96) and a defensive graduate assistant (1992-93).
Genyk was on the Northwestern football staff for three Big Ten championship teams and four bowl appearances. The 1995, 1996 and 2000 teams all won Big Ten titles. The 1995 squad played in the Rose Bowl, the 1996 team was in the CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl and the 2000 club played in the Alamo Bowl. The 2003 squad participated in the Motor City Bowl.
In 2000, Genyk tutored Damien Anderson to a Northwestern school-record 2,063 rushing yards as the Wildcats' tailback earned All-American honors and finished fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy. Another one of his Northwestern pupils, Jason Wright, reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark in both 2002 and 2003.
Genyk began his coaching career as an assistant at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, where he worked with quarterbacks and tight ends from December 1990 through the spring of 1992.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, he worked in private business from 1982-91. He also has experience as a television color analyst, taking on that role for ESPN Regional Television's coverage of Atlantic Coast Conference football during the 2009 campaign.
Genyk was a quarterback and punter at Bowling Green State from 1978-81 and graduated from the school with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1982. He also has two master's degrees with an MBA from Western Michigan in 1989 and a master's in education and social policy from Northwestern in 1994. A native of Milan, Mich., he was an All-State quarterback at Milan High School.
LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2012