After spending the last two seasons as the Offensive Coordinator at Iona College, John Kaleo is starting his first season as the Quarterbacks Coach at Towson University.
A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Kaleo was one of the first assistant coaches hired by the Tigers’ new Head Football Coach, Rob Ambrose.
"John has an incredible amount of experience as a player and coach," said Coach Ambrose. "He grew up in Anne Arundel County and played quarterback at the University of Maryland. His ties to Maryland are very valuable to us. He is a technical expert at playing quarterback and had a tremendous career in the Arena Football League. Like me, he started his coaching career at a very early age. While finishing up his degree work at Maryland, he was a student assistant coach for Mark Duffner and worked with the offense. We’re very excited to have John as part of our coaching staff."
In two seasons as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Iona, Kaleo helped the Gaels post a 7-4 record and win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2007. The 2008 season was the final season for Iona football and the Gaels posted a 3-8 record. During his two seasons at Iona, Kaleo was one of the top assistant coaches for Coach Fred Mariani.
A 1989 graduate of Bowie High School, Kaleo began his college playing career at Montgomery College-Rockville. A two-year starter at quarterback, he had an outstanding season in 1990 when he led the Knights to a perfect 10-0 record and the NJCAA national championship.
A first team All-American, he was the 1990 NJCAA Player of the Year. During his junior college career, he set every single season and career passing record at Montgomery-Rockville.
Kaleo was inducted into the Montgomery College Hall of Fame in 1998 and the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1999. He was also inducted into the Anne Arundel County Hall of Fame three years ago.
A two-year quarterback at the University of Maryland, he enjoyed a record-setting senior season for Coach Mark Duffner. In 1992, he completed 286 passes in 482 attempts, both school records. He also passed for a school record 3,392 yards and threw 22 touchdown passes. In addition, he set a Maryland single season record with 3,472 yards of total offense. In a game against Clemson, he tied a school record by throwing five touchdown passes.
After the season, he was named as the Terrapins’ Most Valuable Player. Selected to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game, he was named as the Most Valuable Player of the game.
In 1993, he began his coaching career as a student assistant for Coach Duffner. In that role, he worked with Clyde Christensen to develop quarterbacks Scott Milanovich and Brian Cummings.
After earning his Bachelor’s degree from Maryland, he joined the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League as a reserve quarterback. At the end of the CFL season, he joined the Arena Football League where he enjoyed a 14-year career as one of the league’s top quarterbacks.
During his AFL career, he played for ten different teams, including the Albany Firebirds (1993), the Cleveland Thunderbolts (1994), the St. Louis Stampede (1995-96), the Anaheim Piranhas (1997), the San Jose SaberCats (1997), the New England Seawolves (1998-99), the Tampa Bay Storm (2000-03, 2007), the Austin Wranglers (2004), the Los Angeles Avengers (2005) and the Columbus Destroyers (2006). He retired after playing the 2007 season with Tampa.
During his career, he led ten different teams to playoff appearances and compiled a 78-62 record as a starting quarterback. In 2003, he led Tampa Bay to the Arena Bowl championship, passing for 4,188 yards and 78 touchdowns. He also led three teams to division titles.
He also quarterbacked St. Louis to the Arena Bowl championship in 1995 as he accounted for eight touchdowns. He threw five TD passes and ran for three other touchdowns as the Stampede beat Arizona.
Kaleo finished his AFL career with 35,335 passing yards while completing 2,929 passes in 4,880 attempts (60%). He also threw 581 touchdown passes and scored 59 rushing TD’s.
During the latter stages of his career, he evolved into the role of unofficial player-coach. He assisted the coaching staff with game plans, play calling duties, organized practice scripts and film breakdown.
While playing in the Arena Football League, he also did some coaching in the off-season. In 1994, he was the Passing Game Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach at Montgomery College-Rockville.
While living in Tampa in 2004 and 2005, he was the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Berkley Prep High School. In 2004, he helped Berkley Prep post a 10-1 record and reach the regional semi-finals. At Berkley Prep, Kaleo worked with quarterback Derrick Hatcher, the Florida 1A Player of the Year.
In 2006, Kaleo was the Passing Game Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Tampa Catholic High School. Under his direction, Tampa Catholic passed for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns while completing 70 per cent of its passes. Tampa Catholic finished the season with a 9-3 record and advanced to the regional semi-finals.
During his two seasons at Iona, Coach Kaleo worked with running back Dane Samuels, who was the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year. At Iona, he ran a spread offense that enabled quarterbacks Warren Smith and Nick Rossetti to excel.
Coach Kaleo has been married to his wife, Jamie, since 1997. They are the parents of two sons, Parker (11) and Carson (10).