ORONO, Maine — Paul Ferraro, who has spent the last seven seasons as an assistant coach in the National Football League, has been named the University of Maine defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

It will be his second stint at Maine after he coached the linebackers during the 1989 season.

He will replace Joe Rossi, who left after three seasons to become the special teams coordinator at Rutgers University. In December, he was named assistant coach of the year in the Bowl/Championship Division by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.

Ferraro had been the linebackers coach with the St. Louis Rams the previous three seasons but was let go when head coach Steve Spagnuolo was fired in January after three seasons.

Prior to joining the Rams, Ferraro served three years as the special teams coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings and one season as the special teams assistant for the Carolina Panthers, who advanced to the NFC championship game.

“Paul Ferraro will be a great addition to our Black Bear coaching staff,” said Maine head coach Jack Cosgrove in a press release. “We have worked together at Maine and he is very familiar with our program. His experiences, both as a college and professional coach, will help our entire football operation.”

He compiled an impressive resume as a college assistant prior to going to the NFL.

He was the defensive coordinator with Rutgers from 2001-2004 and, in 2004, the Scarlet Knights led the Big East in sacks, takeaways and third-down defense.

He coached defensive backs at Georgia Tech in 1999 and 2000 and the Yellow Jackets played in the Gator Bowl and Peach Bowl, respectively.

He was the defensive coordinator at Bowling Green from 1991-98 and the Falcons won the Mid-American Conference championships and bowl games in 1991 and 1992.

He coached the linebackers at Ohio University in 1990 after serving in the same capacity at Maine in 1989 under Tom Lichtenberg. Maine won the Yankee Conference championship in 1989 and Lichtenberg left for Ohio University after that season and took Ferraro with him.

Ferraro’s coaching career began in 1982 after he had been an All-New England player at Springfield College.

He was a graduate assistant at UMass and Syracuse before serving as the defensive coordinator at Villanova from 1984-86. He became the defensive coordinator at Dartmouth and then went to Catholic University as assistant head coach and assistant athletic director for a year.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and a master’s degree from Syracuse.