Brian Picucci’s stint as the offensive coordinator at the University of Maine was a brief one.
Picucci, who in December was named to succeed Liam Coen as UMaine’s offensive coordinator after serving as the offensive line coach/running game coordinator, has been hired by the National Football League’s Detroit Lions.
He will serve as the Lions’ offensive assistant and quality control coach under new head coach Matt Patricia, the former New England Patriots defensive coordinator.
The Black Bears ranked third in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association in rushing this past fall, averaging 174.2 yards per game.
UMaine sophomore Josh Mack was the conference’s leading rusher with 1,335 yards, although he announced after the season that he is transferring.
The Lions finished last in the NFL in rushing last season, averaging only 76.3 yards per game.
Picucci, who spent two years at UMaine, has 21 years of coaching experience including six seasons as an offensive coordinator, four at the University of Massachusetts.
“We’re disappointed that he won’t be here but this speaks volumes to the type of coach he is,” UMaine head coach Joe Harasymiak said. “The NFL moves quickly [to hire coaches].”
Harasymiak said Picucci did an exceptional job bringing along the offensive line, citing the development of tackle Jamil Demby into an All-American and Chris Mulvey from a walk-on into the team’s starting scholarship center.
Picucci, a native of Leominster, Massachusetts, played football at Syracuse University.
Harasymiak said he will look internally first to replace Picucci.
“That’s what I always try to do. We have guys who work hard here and have shown that they want to be here,” Harasymiak said. “We’ll figure it out quickly.”
Coen left after two seasons to take a similar position at Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Tight ends coach Pat Denecke had been named to succeed Picucci as the offensive line coach after Picucci had been named the offensive coordinator.
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