March 2, 2015
Donovan Raiola, a three-time all-Big Ten honorable mention center at the University of Wisconsin in 2003, 2004 and 2005, has been named an offensive graduate assistant football coach for the University of Notre Dame.
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, and served as team captain as a senior. Raiola was named to the 2003, 2004 and 2005 preseason watch lists for the Rimington Trophy, given to college football’s outstanding center. He also was selected to the watch list for the 2004 Outland Trophy.
After a redshirt season at Wisconsin in 2001, Raiola played in five games in 2002, including one start at right guard versus Iowa. He shifted to center in 2003, starting every contest of the season, and 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 the 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, is the long-time center for the NFL Detroit Lions.