One never knows when opportunity will come knocking. For Jerry Schuplinski, opportunity showed up at his doorstep recently, in the form of a job offer from the New England Patriots. Schuplinski, who was serving as defensive coordinator under head football coach Tom Arth at John Carroll, did not turn down the chance, deciding to join the Patriots as an offensive quality control coach.
In early December, Tom Arth was named the head football coach following the departure of Regis Scafe. Arth slowly assembled a collection of football minds from both inside and out of the program. The man Arth chose to run his defense was Schuplinski, formerly the special teams coordinator at Case Western Reserve University.
Schuplinski, a JCU alum who graduated in 1999, served as a graduate assistant from 2000-2001. Arth played quarterback for the Blue Streaks from 1999-2002. Though Schuplinski’s responsibilities were running backs and special teams, the two still developed a close relationship.
In fact, Arth’s presence was a significant factor in Schuplinski’s return to JCU, as he told Blue Streak Nation (a web site covering JCU sports) in March. “Having the opportunity to work with a guy I have a lot of respect for, Tom Arth, and a lot of other guys on the staff who I know, it’s been awesome,” he said. “I think John Carroll is a really special place. It always has been for me.”
But anytime the National Football League comes calling, it is hard to turn down the opportunity. Naturally, Schuplinski jumped at his chance. Though Schuplinski’s late departure shakes things up on the defensive coaching staff, Arth was excited for his friend and colleague. “I am very happy for Jerry and his family. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it couldn’t have happened to a better person,” Arth told The Carroll News. “I am very proud of Jerry and all of our alumni who have built such an incredible legacy in the NFL.”
Schuplinski becomes the fourth JCU alum to join the Patriots. Josh McDaniels, New England’s offensive coordinator, graduated in 1999 with Schuplinski. Nick Caserio, director of player personnel, also graduated with the two. Frank Ross, assistant scout, graduated from JCU in 2010.
Arth has not set a timetable for announcing a new defensive coordinator.