Sunday, July 31, 2005

New UMass Assistant Coach Tim Dwyer

Since I did a blog about the return of Matt Dawson (scroll down), it’s only fair to mention Tim Dwyer, the other new graduate assistant coach. Tim comes to us from Northeastern where he played for Coach Brown.

Dwyer won Northeastern’s team dedication award as well as the Iron Man award two years in a row.

The UMass Football Fanzone would like to welcome Tim aboard and wish him well on starting his coaching career.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

2005 Footbal Season outlook is out

The UMass Preseason Outlook is out. See it here . It's not very different from my blogs of 07/24 and 07/25.

Technical note on this blog. The longest thread in the support area is how to make blogger point to a previous post. Most bloggers cannot get that feature to work. I’m one of them. I’ve changed the archiving to a weekly period, which is probably more inline with football anyway. But to get to an earlier blog, the only thing I can do at this time is to link to a specific week and then the reader will have to scroll to find what he or she is looking for.

But I digress…

On the Outlook the big subplot is who’s going to be quarterback... The press release leaves the question open. Tim Day was the starter last year. He had good stats, throwing for the 5th best totals in UMass history. However, the Offense went through a dry period during the middle of the season where we only scored 21 points over three games (Delaware, B.C. and James Madison). Day was effectively a red-shirt freshman. He started two games in 2003 when starter Jeff Krohn suffered a concussion. UMass lost both games.

The Fanzone Blog still believes he’ll start over redshirt freshman Liam Coen. Day had mono in the spring and played only sparingly in the Spring Game . Coen, on the other hand looked really sharp throwing 13-18 for 185 yards. Taylor Humphrey had a stellar prep career at Miramonte High School in CA (check his high school stats in the UMass bio). However, he injured a shoulder in the spring and was ineffective in the Spring Game.

This Blog opines that Day will start under the lights against Richmond. However, if the Offense hits a dry spell like last year, I think Coen will be given his chance quickly.

Unless Humphrey catches fire when practice opens on 08/07/05, I think he’ll have to wait a year to be in the mix.

The only other new tidbit in the Outlook is that RJ. Cobbs (former A10 Rookie-of-the-Year), Steve Costello and UConn transfer Matt Lawrence will be handling the PR and KR duties. UMass lost B.C. transfer Nathanael Hasselbeck, who is not with the team this year. So UMass will have all new punt and kickoff return men.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Atlantic 10 Football Media Day

The Atlantic 10 website has an article stating that the Football Media Day will be broadcast live from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick RI. UMass All-American Shannon James and Head Coach Don Brown will be interviewed.

The head coach from each team will be interviewed as well as student-athletes. It will be held 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on Aug. 3, 2005.

New Englanders can listen live on WSKO 99.7 FM and 790 AM.

The Hofstra Student station WRHU (88.7 FM) will have a live internet feed here

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Matt Dawson returns

Former UMass player and assistant coach Matt Dawson has returned to UMass as assistant defensive line and outside linebackers coach. has the story here .

The UMass press release does a good job of reviewing Dawson's career, so I won't recap most of the information.

His playing career at UMass as a 6-0 210 LB overlapped the period of time when Don Brown was Defensive Coordinator under Whipple. Several other current assistant coachs including Brian Picucci , Sidney Powell and Keith Dudzinski were on the staff at that time.

Dawson is the younger brother of former UMass Defensive End Mike Dawson (1994-1997).

Welcome home Matt.

The Image above is a scan from the UMass 1998 Football Media Guide.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More UMass History from November 12,1983

In a prior blog (scroll down, I still have not been able to figure out how to point to an individual post), I published some images from the UMass-UNH game of November 12, 1983.

These images should be appended to the original post, but I haven't found an efficient way to do that with out re-publishing the entire blog.

The images below are from the official game program at Cowell Stadium. Click on the image to enlarge. All seem to be readable except for the UMass roster. If you can't view it by transferring the image to an image processing program, e-mail me and I'll send you a full-rez jpg. The text is viewable when I open it with Photoshop Elements 2.0

Official Game Program from UMass-UNH 11/12/83 Posted by Picasa

From the 11/12/83 Official Game Program Posted by Picasa

UMass-UNH starters 11/12/83 Posted by Picasa

UMass roster November 12, 1983 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

UMass Legend Jim Reid hired at Bucknell

Former UMass assistant and Head Coach Jim Reid has been hired as defensive line coach at Bucknell. Read the press release here . He was last working as defensive line coach at Syracuse.

Reid is a great guy and is remembered by the UMass faithful with affection. After nineteen total years at UMass, Reid still bleeds Maroon and White. He was slated to appear at the 3rd annual Friends of Football Golf Classic on August 1,2005. Now, he probably will be at Bucknell improving their defense.

Reid had a highly sucessful career at UMass. Among his accomplishments:

  • 12 years as an assistant coach
  • Head coach from 1986-1991
  • Yankee conference champions three of the six years he was head coach
  • 1988 Yankee conference Coach-of-the year, New England Coach-of-the-Year (UPS), New England Division I Coach-of-the-year (Gridiron Club of Boston)
The above image is a scan from the 1989 UMass Football Media Guide. Reid is posing with 1988 edition of the "Beanpot" the Yankee Conference Championship trophy.

Note that the Fanzone first read about Reid's hiring on Colgate 13's excellent blog The 13 Yard Line

Monday, July 25, 2005

Friends of UMass Football

The UMass Football Fanzone frequently hears other UMass faithful express variations of the following:

“I wish:”

  • UMass football would win another National Championship
  • Go I-A
  • Beat the dog snot out of UConn/Boston College/Delaware

Well, the following are not ways to help.

  • Never washing the UMass sweatshirt you wore during the National Championship game in 1998 (washing invokes demons of loss)
  • Always driving the same route to the stadium the week following a win.
  • Sitting on the visitor’s side and shouting comments at the opposing team designed to be hurtful to their self esteem

The real way to help is to join Friends of UMass Football. This is a group of UMass fans, former players and coaches that have joined together to promote UMass football. Among their accomplishments so far are:

  • Raised over $300 K, every dollar of which went to improve UMass Football
  • Purchased Pinnacle Video Training System (UMass is the first A10 team to have it)
  • Represented a constituency for UMass football in the Byzantine world of campus politics *
  • Helped complete the 9000 Sq/ft UMass weight training facility.

Every UMass Football fan should belong to Friends of UMass Football. For 2.7399 cents/day you can make a major impact. Click here for information about joining.

* To understand campus politics, it’s hard to beat F. M. Cornford’s 1908 classic Microcosmographia Academica . Read Higher Ed’s review first . Wikipedia has an article with a link to an on-line version. WARNING! If you have been exposed to academic culture, reading Microcosmographia Academica may cause loss of bladder control…

The Fall Two-Deep Depth Chart is out

The UMass preseason two-deep Depth Chart is out. See it here . The UMass Fanzone Blog thinks the two-deep is very close to what will be the starting lineup against Richmond on 09/01/05.

Below is the Special Teams. A * symbol denotes a returning starter. A number after the name () indicates a note.

Pos. No. Player Yr. Height Weight

PK 31 Armando Cuko Fr. 5-11 180 (1)

KO 31 Armando Cuko Fr. 5-11 180

H 10 Tim Day Sr. 6-0 210 *

P 13 Christian Koegel Jr. 6-0 185 (2)

LS 97 Jason Leonard RJr. 6-2 280

KR/PR 2 Steve Costello RSr. 6-0 190 (3)


1 Armando Cuko was the subject of a previous blog (scroll down). He is a true freshman and the only kicker on the roster. Hey! The UMass Football Fanzone has achieves…

2 Christian Koegel was the subject of a 07/04/05 blog on this site. He also has his own blog here

3 Costello sat out 2004 with a medical redshirt.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Preseason Depth Chart (Defense)

The UMass preseason two-deep Depth Chart is out. See it here . The UMass Fanzone Blog thinks the two-deep is very close to what will be the starting lineup against Richmond on 09/01/05.

Below is the Defense. A * symbol denotes a returning starter. A number after the name () indicates a note.

Pos. No. Player Yr. Height Weight


1 Williams was All-A10 last year. With a stronger supporting cast, he could be an All-American in 2005

2 John Hatchell is a transfer from Lehigh. He is the brother of LB Jason Hatchell. John Hatchell set UMass bench press records in 2004. Hopefully he will make a major impact at DT for UMass

3 Leonard started in 2004. Separated his shoulder against JMU. He should regain his starting position in 2005

4 Schweighardt started at DT last year. He transferred from Ball State in 2003

5 Tikum is a Tri-Captain and the subject of a prior blog

6 Walker changed his number. He played as # 56 in 2004

7 Brandon Smith backed up James Ihedigbo RJr. 6-1 202*, who played well for UMass last year, but had several game suspensions.

8 Shannon James is a UMass Tri-Captain and an All-American. See a previous blog on him.

9 Steve Costello is a former starter. He sat out 2004 with a Medical Redshirt.

The Fall Two-Deep Depth Chart is out

The UMass preseason two-deep Depth Chart is out. See it here . The UMass Fanzone Blog thinks the two-deep is very close to what will be the starting lineup against Richmond on 09/01/05.

Below is the Offense. A * symbol denotes a returning starter. A number after the name () indicates a note.

Pos. No. Player Yr. Height Weight


1. London should rotate with J.J. Moore RSo. 6-0 210. The Blog thinks Moore would start on the other side if Cobbs should be injured.

2. Stoetzel is one of the Tri-Captains and the subject of a previous blog.

3. The Fanzone Blog actually thinks Brent Caldwell Sr. 6-3 290, a transfer from Syracuse will start. Caldwell played very well in the spring game. He is the lone projected starter out of the six I-A players who transferred to UMass.

4. McDonald is a transfer from Northeastern who sat out last year. He is one of the two I-AA transfers who will start.

5. Cobbs is a former A10-Rookie-of-the-Year who has been moved from CB to WR. The Fanzone Blog thinks Dominique Stewart Sr. 6-0 180 will get a lot of time here.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

UMass adds UConn transfer

UMass has added Matt Lawrence TB 6-1 195 a junior transfer from UConn. The official UMass notice is here .

This will help replace TB Bryan Smith, who was an academic casualty.

As for Lawrence, he was all state in CT and was MVP of the state championship game. Should give UMass some depth and competition at TB

Image link

Sunday, July 17, 2005

2005 UMass Captains

The UMass team Tri-Captains have already been chosen.

One captain is Buchanan Award candidate Shannon James. Scroll down for an earlier blog on him.

A new Captain for 2005 is Colin Stoetzel who is a SR OT 6-6 290. Stoetzel has been a mainstay of the UMass offensive line since he was a redshirt freshman. His official UMass bio is here . Among his accomplishments are:

  • Played in all 36 games of his career
  • Started all games as a sophmore and junior
  • Allowed only one sack in 2004
  • Had team high 55 knockdowns
Repeating as UMass Captian is SR LB Serge Tikum 6-0 226. His official UMass bio is here . Tikum has had an excellent career at UMass.

  • Started at LB in 2003 and 2004
  • Team Captain in 2004 as a Junior
  • Team high 82 tackles, 66 solo and 5 TFL in 2004
  • Team leader on defense.
The two images below are UMass photos. I could not find a good color image of Tikum. The image shown is a scan from the 2003 UMass press guide. The image was unattributed.

Hopefully, James, Stoetzel and Tikum will lead UMass into the playoffs in '05!

2005 UMass Captain Colin Stoetzel lead the way-----UMass Photo by Karen Winger Posted by Picasa

UMass 2005 Captian Serge Tikum----UMass photo Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Shannon James---- Buchanan Candidate

Senior UMass Safety Shannon James is a candidate for the Buchanan Award given to the best defensive player in I-AA. James has had a stellar career at UMass. Read his official UMass bio here . His official NCAA stats are here .

He has been listed as top safety in I-AA by the Sports Network. The Sports Network also picked him as a First Team All-American . lists him as the four highest pick in both I-A and I-AA.

Some of his stats and honors:

  • Seven first team All-American selections in 2004
  • A-10 Defensive Player-of-the-Year
  • Led nation and I-AA in interceptions and interceptions per game
  • Leads all active Division I players in career interceptions (16)
  • 75 tackles (63 solo) in 2004
  • Named tri-captain of the UMass team in 2005
Hopefully, James will close out his UMass career with an A10 Championship and a deep run into the playoffs.

The two images below are from the UMass photo gallery.

Shannon James closes for the tackle---UMass photo (photographer not listed) Posted by Picasa

Shanno James runs back an interception against UNH------UMass image byKaren Winger Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sports Network picks Baylark as Pre-Season All-American

The Sports Network has chosen UMass RB Steve Baylark Sr. 6-0 225 as a second team All-American for 2005. Read the original article .

Baylark has had an excellent career at UMass. Some of his accomplishments so far:

  • 2,522 career yard (5th in UMass history)
  • Led A10 in rushing in 2004 (1,138)
  • 2004 Atlantic 10 first Team
  • New England Sports Writers All-Star Team
  • Gold Helmet Award in New England (10/25)
  • MVP of New Hampshire game (Bill Knight Trophy)
His official UMass bio is here . His official NCAA stats are here .

Operating behind a veteran offensive line, Baylark should continue his run through the A10. The offensive line only looses one starter in 2005. The UMass offense really picked it up in the last five games of 2004. Baylark ran for over 100 yards in four of those games. Here's hoping he has another great year in 2005

The two images above and below are from the UMass picture gallery. Photographer Karen Winger.

Baylark runs through the line----UMass image by karen Winger Posted by Picasa

Steve Baylark------UMass photo by Karen Winger Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 07, 2005

UMass listed as #14 in preseason Sports Network Article

The Sports Network has an article by Matt Dougherty listing his preseason rankings for entire I-AA division. Read the article here . Note that this is not the Sports Network "official" preseason rankings. The article is a good read covering all 98 scholarship teams and it also ranks the non-scholarship "Mid-Majors"

The A10 does well in his article with five teams in the top 20.

  • #3 James Madison
  • #6 New Hampshire
  • #11 William & Mary (not on this year's UMass schedule)
  • #13 Delaware
  • #14 UMass
  • #17 Hofstra
The rest of the A10 is listed this way:

  • #27 Villanova (not on this year's UMass schedule)
  • #35 Maine
  • #39 Richmond
  • #49 Northeastern
  • #62 Rhode Island
  • #70 Towson (not on this year's UMass Schedule)
The non-conference portion of UMass' schedule is listed this way:

  • #44 Colgate
In the Mid-Major section:

  • #9 Albany
UMass' lone I-A opponent Army is not covered by the article, but Athlon Sports lists them as #101 out of 119 I-AA teams.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

UMass QB Jerry Whelchel elected to UMass Hall-of-Fame

It was recently announced that former UMass QB Jerry Whelchel (1962-1965) was elected to the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame.

Whelchel certainly deserved to be included among the greatest players in UMass history.

Among his achievements were:

  • 22-5-1 as a starting QB
  • Led UMass to the 1964 Tangerine Bowl
  • 1964 winner of the Bolger Lowe Award as top New England football player
  • 1964 pass efficiency rating of 165.4 is the highest in UMass history
  • His career 139.9 pass efficiency ranks him first in UMass history
  • 14-1 as starter in Yankee Conference play
  • Also was the team's kicker and went 30-45 in extra points and 2 for 2 in field goal attempts.

A post on the UMass Hoops board stated that Whelchel passed away several years ago. Several internet searches produced no information about his passing.

The image below is from the UMass athletic website. The official UMass press release is here

UMass Football legend Jerry Whelchel Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 04, 2005

UMass Punter Christian Koegel

Check out UMass Punter Christian Koegel's Blog . He's in the middle of having a great career at UMass. Christian's official UMass bio is here. His official NCAA stats are here .

  • Christian's 40.1 career punting average is second only to David Sanger (1999-2002)
  • He has 5099 in career punting yards in only two years
  • He's A10 Academic All Conference!
I've added a link to his site. Hopefully he'll keep it going and add some more insights into college football. How do punters make the ball spiral when they kick it anyway?

His image is the next post below.

UMass Punter Christian Koegel Posted by Picasa