Donovan Raiola is in his second season with the Bears after being hired as the club’s assistant offensive line coach on February 27, 2018. Raiola, a three-time all-Big Ten honorable mention center at Wisconsin in 2003-05, also possesses four years of coaching experience at the collegiate level.
Under Railoa’s guidance, the Bears offensive line allowed just 33 sacks in 2018, tied for the third fewest in the NFC (Rams), behind the Panthers (32) and Saints (20). As an offensive unit, the Bears averaged 26.3 ppg, fourth-best in the NFC, and scored 24 or more points 11 times in 2018, the most since score 24+ points in 11 games in 1995.
Raiola spent the 2017 season as the offensive line coach at Auora (Ill.). Prior to that, he spent two seasons as an offensive graduate assistant at Notre Dame (2015-16). Raiola also spent the 2014 season as an intern with the University of Hawai’i football program, where he worked with the offensive line.
Raiola also spent time in the NFL as a player, signing contracts with the St. Louis Rams (2006-08), Pittsburgh Steelers (2007), Seattle Seahawks (2008), Arizona Cardinals (2009) Chicago Bears (2009) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010). Raiola also played parts of two seasons with the Omaha Nighthawks (2010-11) of the United Football League.
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.
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.