Graduate Assistant (Offense)
Donovan Raiola, a three-time all-Big Ten honorable mention center at Wisconsin in 2003-05, is in his second year in 2016 as an offensive graduate assistant for the Irish.
Raiola spent the 2014 season as an intern with the University of Hawai’i football program. He assisted Rainbow Warrior offensive line coach Chris Naeole.
Raiola started 39 of 43 career games for the Badgers (2002-05), including 38 of his final 39 contests. He was a three-time all-Big Ten honorable mention selection and team captain as a senior. Raiola was named to the 2003, 2004 and 2005 preseason watch lists for the Rimington Trophy, which is given to college football’s outstanding center. He was also selected to the watch list for the ‘04 Outland Trophy.
After redshirting at Wisconsin in 2001, Raiola played in five games in 2002, including a start at right guard versus Iowa. He shifted to center in 2003, started every contest of the season and The Sporting News rated him as the fifth-best center in the country. Raiola registered 33 knockdowns with seven touchdown-resulting blocks. In 2004, Raiola collected 35 knockdowns and was part of a Badgers offensive line that allowed just 22 sacks. He recorded 40 knockdown blocks in 2005.
The Honolulu, Hawai’i native signed a National Football League free-agent contract with the St. Louis Rams in 2006. He ultimately spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. Raiola also played parts of two seasons with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.
Prior to the 2014 campaign at Hawai’i, Raiola spent two years as an assistant coach for his scholastic alma mater, Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama (2012-13). He coached offensive line and helped organize clinics for high school offensive linemen in the state of Hawai‘i during the offseason.
Raiola graduated from Wisconsin in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management. Raiola’s brother, Dominic, played 14 years at center for the Detroit Lions.