Defensive line coach Lorenzo "Zo" Costantini enters his third year on the Green Wave coaching staff in 2006. For the first time during his Tulane tenure, Costantini enters the season with a defensive line depth chart comprised of upperclassmen, including three seniors.
With the most experienced position group on the Tulane defense, Costantini's 2006 unit features 10 players who have picked up significant game experience over the last two seasons. Players like 2004 Conference USA All-Freshman choice Antonio Harris, the leading returning tackler among defensive linemen, as well as seniors Michael Purcell and Billy Harrison, will provide stability to the Green Wave defensive front, while the addition of four newcomers are expected to improve depth while gaining experience.
Costantini came to Tulane after four seasons at UCF where his 2002 defensive line ranked third in the Mid-American Conference with 31 sacks. The 2000 and 2001 editions of the Golden Knights' defense ranked in the Top 30 in the nation. While at UCF, he coached a pair of players who went on to the NFL in Elton Patterson, an All-MAC selection who was a seventh-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003, and Josh McKibben, who signed with the Ravens.
Prior to going to UCF, Costantini spent five seasons as defensive line coach and assistant strength coach at his alma mater, UTEP. He began his collegiate coaching career at UTEP in 1995 as the team's strength and conditioning coach and was promoted to defensive line coach a year later.
At UTEP, Costantini coached four players who earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors eight times during their careers. Topping the list was Brian Young, the 1999 WAC Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time All-WAC choice. A fifth-round draft pick of the Rams in 2000, Young now plays for the New Orleans Saints. In addition to Young, Costantini saw his pupil Leif Larsen chosen in the sixth round of the 2000 draft.
Costantini, who attended high school in Houston, Texas, was a four-year letterwinner at defensive tackle for the Miners from 1986-90. He was a member of the UTEP team that won a school-record 10 games and earned a trip to the Independence Bowl in 1988. As a senior, he recorded 33 tackles. Costantini also set several weight-lifting records while a student-athlete.
Following his senior year, he remained at UTEP as a student assistant while earning his bachelor's degree in education. He then moved on to Texas' Jefferson High School for three seasons before returning to UTEP.
Costantini and his wife, Merritt, have a 3-year old son, Rocco, and a 2-year old daughter, Sofia.
Birthdate: August 19, 1968
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Hometown: Rome, Italy
Family: Wife, the former Merritt Lloyd; Son, Rocco (3) and daughter Sofia (2).
|1992-94||Jefferson (Texas) HS|
1988 Independence - Player
College: UTEP, 1990
High School: Stratford (Texas), 1985