Former John Carroll University quarterback and long time member of the New England Patriots' front office Nick Caserio '98 has been hired to be the next general manager of the NFL's Houston Texans. In 2020, the Texans finished 4-12, but the future is bright with star quarterback Deshaun Watson and eight selections in the 2021 NFL Draft.
"The Houston Texans are an organization committed to excellence. Since the start of our search, we have been steadfast on identifying a general manager that embodies what it means to be a Houston Texan, and it is Nick Caserio," said Texans Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cal McNair. "Nick is an incredibly hard worker, disciplined, a man of integrity and high character. He has a tremendous amount of experience building a winning franchise and we have faith he will continue his success as a Texan. Nick has an unparalleled reputation around the league amongst his peers. We couldn't be more excited to name him our new general manager and to welcome his family to Houston."
Caserio becomes the third John Carroll alumnus to ascend to general manager of an NFL team.
"When I think of Men of Carroll, I think of Don Shula '51, London Fletcher '97, and Nick," said Head Coach Rick Finotti. "Nick's legacy is immense. He was one of the first guys in the 1990s to go high in the NFL and to have sustained success. Many Blue Streaks have followed his example, and he has brought a lot of pride to our football program. With the Patriots, Nick could be directing scouts in a meeting and then go coach the wide receivers. He's a very talented and driven man, I'm so excited for him."
Caserio was a four-year starting quarterback for the Blue Streaks from 1995-1998, a three-time academic All-OAC selection, and captain in 1998. The 1997 season was highlighted by a come from behind win against Baldwin Wallace University. McDaniels tossed a game winning touchdown to future New England Patriots colleague, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels '99. Caserio graduated from John Carroll as the school's all-time leader in career passing yards, total offense, touchdown passes, career completions, and completion percentage. He guided the Blue Streaks to a 33-7-2 mark, leading the 1997 team to the NCAA Division III playoffs. College Football Hall of Famer London Fletcher '98 was also on the team. McDaniels and Caserio later matched up with Fletcher in Super Bowl XXXV.
Caserio was a disciple of the late Joe Perella '63, the renowned former JCU offensive coordinator. McDaniels and current University of Akron Head Coach Tom Arth '03 were also tutored by Perella at John Carroll. Before heading to JCU in 1994, Perella coached at University School, Caserio's high school alma mater.
After an incredible career with the Blue Streaks, Caserio was inducted into the JCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. Caserio began his professional career in 1998 as a graduate assistant at Saginaw Valley State University from 1999-2000, and transferred to Central Michigan in the same role before heading to New England in 2001.
"Nick bettered himself not only as a football player at JCU, but he developed his football mind, values, and hard work ethic," said Finotti. "His success gives you confidence in the process, particularly for the many student-athletes in our locker room who want to be coaches, scouts, and general managers. Nick shows it can be done. When you go to JCU, you work hard, help others around you, and make others better, you can achieve your dreams. The tools you develop at JCU will help you in life, Nick is proof of that."
Caserio and McDaniels made quite the duo as JCU, as evidenced by this highlight. But the two made an even better tandem combined with Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
Caserio started in the Patriots organization on the ground floor as a personnel assistant, with McDaniels joining the team the same year. Caserio served many roles throughout his 19 years with the team including area scout, offensive assistant, wide receiver coach, director of pro personnel, and director of player personnel.
Nick Caserio was named director of player personnel on February 21, 2008, after serving in a number of roles for the Patriots personnel department and coaching staff. He notched his 20th season with the Patriots in 2020 and his 18th season in player personnel. In 2007, Caserio served as the Patriots wide receivers coach following a three-year stint as the team's director of pro personnel (2004-06). Caserio is also credited as one of the architects of the Super Bowl XLIX, Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl LIII Champion New England Patriots. Because of Bill Belichick's unique style and role with the Patriots, this will be Caserio's first time with final say on an NFL roster, though he was the highest ranked staffer in the personnel department in New England.
Caserio also played at JCU with Patriots director of pro personnel Dave Ziegler '01, '07G and former Patriots assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski '99, '02G. Nick Caley '06 (Tight Ends/Fullbacks Coach) D.J. Debick '13 (Midwest Scout), and former JCU coach Alex Brooks (Scout Assistant) have all followed in his footsteps with the Patriots dynasty.
Caserio joins fellow JCU alum and teammate Tom Telesco '95 as an NFL general manager. David Caldwell '96 also held the general manager role with the Jacksonville Jaguars until recently.
The Lyndhurst native has hired many JCU alums over the years, including Ziegler, and it will be interesting to see if any former Blue Streaks follow Caserio to the Lone Star State.
Caserio is the perfect example of the heights you can reach with an unbeatable work ethic, a model for student-athletes and aspiring students of the game.