Ray Rychleski joined the Gamecock coaching staff on Dec. 18, 2007. He will serve as the Gamecocks' special teams coordinator and tight ends coach in 2008.
Rychleski has spent the past seven years as the special teams coordinator and tight ends/H-backs coach at the University of Maryland. Over that seven-year period Maryland had zero punts blocked, the longest current streak in Division I-A football. His special team units blocked 22 kicks and had eight returns for touchdowns in that seven-year span. In addition, Maryland led the country in kickoff return yardage defense, allowing just 16.56 yards per kickoff return in 2007. Rychleski coached an All-Atlantic Coast Conference punter for six straight years (2001-06), had one specialist selected in the NFL draft and five others sign as free agents.
During his seven-year run at Maryland, Rychleski had three tight ends selected in the NFL Draft, including Vernon Davis, the sixth pick overall in the 2006 draft, and four others who signed free agent contracts. Rychleski helped the Terrapins to a record of 56-31 with five bowl appearances during his tenure, including the 2001 ACC Championship, the 2002 Peach Bowl Championship, the 2004 Gator Bowl Championship and the 2006 CHAMPS Sports Bowl Championship. The Terps were ranked in the Top 25 three times (2001, 2002 and 2003) and appeared in their first-ever Bowl Championship Series bowl game in 2001 (Orange Bowl).
Prior to his arrival in College Park, Rychleski spent eight seasons (1993-2000) at Wake Forest University. For the 1999 and 2000 seasons, Rychleski was the Demon Deacons' tight ends coach while also serving as the team's special teams coach. For the three years prior to that, he worked with WFU's outside linebackers. During his first three seasons at Wake (1993-95), Rychleski coached the defensive line.
A veteran of 28 years of coaching, including 26 seasons at the collegiate level, Rychleski began his coaching career on the prep level in Pennsylvania in 1979 before heading to Temple University, where he took a position as a graduate assistant. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to his first full-time collegiate coaching post. He spent eight years at Temple (1981-88) before joining the Northeastern staff as a defensive coordinator/inside linebacker coach. After two years at Northeastern (1989-90), he spent a year as a G.A. at Penn State and one summer with the Toronto Argonauts as a volunteer assistant.
In 1992, Rychleski was hired as a special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at East Stroudsburg University where he helped the Warriors to their best record in 13 years. After his brief stint there, he left for Wake Forest in 1993.
A native of Old Forge, Pa., Rychleski earned his degree in social studies from Millersville (Pa.) State College (now known as Millersville University) in 1979.