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  • Wed., Apr. 23, 2014 8:00AM MST Cardinals Charities Golf Tournament Cardinals Charities Golf Tournament at Whirlwind Golf Club (5692 W North Loop Rd, Chandler, AZ 85226).
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  • Mon., May. 05, 2014 8:00AM MST On-field work Players allowed on-field football work with coaching (no helmets, no contact, no offense vs. defense)
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  • Tue., May. 20, 2014 8:00AM MST Organized Team Activities Players allowed on-field football work with coaching. Helmets allowed, as is offense vs. defense.
  • Wed., May. 21, 2014 8:00AM MST Organized Team Activities Players allowed on-field football work with coaching. Helmets allowed, as is offense vs. defense.
  • Thu., May. 22, 2014 8:00AM MST Organized Team Activities Players allowed on-field football work with coaching. Helmets allowed, as is offense vs. defense.

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Nick Rapone
Defensive Backs

Biography

Long-time college coach Nick Rapone (ruh-pone) enters his first season with the Cardinals and first year in the NFL after being named defensive backs coach on 2/5/13.

Long-time college coach Nick Rapone (ruh-pone) enters his first season with the Cardinals and first year in the NFL after being named defensive backs coach on 2/5/13.

Rapone, a veteran of 34 seasons as a football coach, including 30 as a collegiate assistant, joins the Cardinals after spending the last seven years (2006-12) at the University of Delaware as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

At Delaware, he was a part of two NCAA national runner-up squads, including the 2010 season when he helped lead the Blue Hens to a 12-3 record and a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title. For his coaching efforts that season, Rapone was named the 2010 FootballScoop NCAA Division I FCS Coordinator of the Year.

That season, he helped lead a unit that led the nation in scoring defense (12.1 points per game), ranked fifth in total defense (280.7 yards allowed per game), and was 12th in rushing defense (105.3). The secondary included four All-CAA performers, including All-American selections Anthony Walters and Anthony Bratton at safety. The Hens also ranked ninth in the nation in passing efficiency defense (102.7) and the team's 21 interceptions were the third highest total in the nation at the FCS level.

He helped the Blue Hens to another outstanding season in 2007 when Delaware went 11-4 and advanced to the NCAA Division I FCS title game with quarterback Joe Flacco. The Blue Hens also captured the Lambert Cup Trophy as the top team in the East and were named the ECAC Team of the Year.

A native of New Castle, PA, Rapone was an All-State receiver at New Castle High School prior to attending Virginia Tech where he was a four-year letterman for the Hokies (1974-77). While at Virginia Tech, he played with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians in 1974 when Arians was a senior and Rapone was a freshman. Arians then served as a graduate assistant (1975-76) and running backs coach (1977) while Rapone played for the Hokies.

Rapone began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh in 1979 where he worked as the secondary coach for two seasons before serving as defensive backs coach at East Tennessee State (I-AA) from 1981-82. He then reunited with Arians as part of his coaching staff at Temple. Rapone coached the Owls secondary for six seasons (1983-88) while also serving as defensive coordinator from 1985-88.

He returned to Pitt in 1989 and was a member of the staff for four years (1989-92) as defensive backs coach, doubling as defensive coordinator in 1992. Rapone then became the head coach at his alma mater, New Castle High School, for two seasons (1993-94).

Rapone then returned to the college game in 1995 at then I-AA University of Connecticut under head coach Skip Holtz. He served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach for four seasons, leading the Huskies to the I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history in 1998. That squad was ranked No. 7 in the final The Sports Network Top 25 poll and was led by a defense that forced 29 turnovers on the season.

He then returned for his second tenure at Temple and served as defensive backs coach and kickoff coverage coach for seven years (1999-2005). The Owls were one of only eight teams in the nation to rank in the top 20 in total defense in both 2001 and 2002.

Rapone earned his bachelor's degree in Education from Virginia Tech in 1979 and his master's degree in Education from Pittsburgh in 1981. He has two daughters, Johanna and Mary.

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