Friday, March 31, 2006

2006 Spring UMass Football Roster is up

UMass has posted the Spring 2006 Football Roster. It's here .

Some notes:

Number Changes
  • Brad Anderson is now wearing Steve Costello's old #2. Click on Brad's bio for the reasons behind the switch...
Eight days until Spring Practice opens!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Colgate Spring Prospectus

UMass opens its 2006 season Sept 2nd against Colgate.

The Raiders have published a 22 page (PDF Format) Spring Prospectus.

It's nicely done and it's available here .

For UMass fans a couple of facts stick out:
  • Colgate lost seven starters on defense.
  • The entire Defensive line graduated.
  • Two of the starting three linebackers (including the Patriot League Defensive-Player-of-the-Year Jared Nepa) graduated.
With six of the Raider front seven gone, I would expect UMass to give the Raiders a heavy dose of Steve Baylark and Matt Lawrence.

Only 157 Days until that happens. I can't wait...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

NCAA Rules changes for 2006

This link give a summary of college football rules changes for 2006.

This was brought to my attention over on the Any Given Saturday site's I-AA message board.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Interesting internet site

Well, only twelve days until Spring Football opens.

While we're waiting, check out this football site with dozens of links to all things football.

One link takes you to I-AA historical information. Did you know?
  • UMass is 14th in all time games played (1062) for current I-AA teams.
  • Penn is 1st with 1264 games played
  • Coastal Carolina is the rookie with 33 games played (#96)
  • If UMass should stop playing football (Allah forbid!), and coastal Carolina played 11 games/season-------it would take them over 93 years to catch up with UMass!

Friday, March 24, 2006

UMass meet the Athlete event

Well here it is in late March 2006. UMass football news is hard to come by. We are still more than two weeks away from the start of Spring practice on 04/08/06.

Rob McFaddin is still AWOL in his 2006 Recruiting Analysis. He has not posted an update for more than a month.

UMass football will be hosting a youth football clinic with a chance for the kids to meet and work with UMass players and coaches. The UMass press release is here.

I have worked up more UMass football historical information, including blogs about UMass legend Greg Landry and much other historical material, but we need to space it out to cover the long dry spell until football news picks up.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

UMass legend Ron Villone

There have been a number of articles lately about former UMass player Ron Villone joining the Yankees. His Yankee bio is here. Villone has had a 23 year career in Major League Baseball. His cumulative major league stats are here.

Villone was a two-sport star for UMass. He played TE for the UMass football team and walked on the UMass Baseball team.

However, many people do not know much about his football career at UMass. This article and this article both cover some of his career as a 6-3 245 pd TE for the Minutemen Football team.

Villone played TE for UMass for 1989-1991. He signed a professional baseball contract before the 1992 season.

As a TE for UMass:
  • Stats 47 rec, 651 yards, 4TDs, 13.85 yards/catch
  • 1st team All-Yankee Conference, 1st Team All-ECAC, 3rd Team All-New England (1990)
  • 1st team All-Yankee Conference, 1st team All-ECAC, 1st Team All-East (1991)
The only image I could find of him in the UMass press guides was a very tight mug shot, so the image above is his Major league Baseball Rookie Card.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I-AA waves

As far as I know, there is only one sports program devoted exclusively to I-AA football.

The show is I-AA Waves privately produced by Ralph Wallace, the driving force behind

The show is available over the internet most Tuesdays at 8:00 pm CST. The show includes commentary by Ralph, recorded interviews with I-AA personalities (including a past interview with UMass Coach Don Brown) and call-ins.

Production values can be a little rough at time, but I-AA Waves is the only show in town.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Friends of Football Spring Gathering

Received the following letter from Bill DeFlavio (President, Friends of Football)

Dear Friend of Football:

The Friends will be hosting the annual Boston Spring Gathering a the new "University of Mass Club" on Tuesday, April 4th. Head Coach Don Brown will be the featured speaker.

We will also review the past year's events of the organization, as well as update you on the progress of the turf/lights initiative, our annual golf outing and our new "Alumni Mentor" program

Please join us and bring an Alumnus/former player.

When: Tuesday April 4th, 2006

Where: UMass Club, 225 Franklin Street, State Street Bank Building, 33rd floor, Boston, MA

Time: 6:00 pm

Attire: Sport Coat required

RSVP: Please RSVP at or call Joyce Gorman at the football office at 413-545-2000 by 03/28/06

All UMass Football fans should be members of Friends of Football. They are the driving force behind excellence in the program!

I'll be there! Any readers of the Blog going?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Minuteman legend Coach Dick MacPherson on Ballot for College Hall of Fame

Former UMass coach Dick MacPherson is listed on the ballot for election in 2007 for the College Hall of Fame.

"Coach Mac" is already in the UMass hall of Fame. He is still interested in UMass football and appeared at the last meeting of the UMass Friends of Football.

During his tenure at UMass MacPherson was very successful.
  • Led the Minutemen for seven years (1971-1977)
  • Four Yankee Conference championships
  • 45-27-1 as UMass coach
  • .778 winning average in the Yankee Conference is still 5th best in conference history
After UMass he became head coach at Syracuse. He led the Orange to five postseason bowls including an undefeated season in 1987 and a win in the Orange Bowl.

Later became head coach at the New England patriots (1991-1992).

Good luck to Coach Mac in his election to the college Hall 0f Fame. He deserves it!

A tip-0f-the Helmet to "Rocks22" over on the UMass Football Board for bringing this to my attention.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Three assistant Coaches leave, Two new coaches Hired

The UMass coaching tree continues to expand.

The UMass football site has news that three assistant UMass coaches have left for jobs at other schools. Two left for I-A schools and one for I-AA.

Leaving are:
Matt Dawson joins former UMass Defensive Coordinator Tom Masella at Fordham where Masella is now Head Coach

Joining the Minutemen are:
  • Stephen Militello ------- from Assistant to the UMass Director of Operations
  • Mike Wood-----from Assistant Coach at Gettysburg College
Sidney Powell's position has not yet been filed.

Off-Season Training

Well, it's still a month to the start of Spring practice. The UMass team should be deep into its off-season training program.

The UMass strength and conditioning program is headed by Coach Bob Otrando and assisted by former UMass QB Anthony Catterton as well as Assistant Strength Coach Chris Boyko.

This site has a great deal of material about off season football conditioning. This page alone has dozens of articles about various aspects of football conditioning.

Seeing it's March and all of us cold weather residents probably need some get-in-shape work before spring, this article has a specific football conditioning program if you want to try a real football workout...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Transfer Possibilities

As you know, Coach Brown has stated that he will be continuing to recruit after Letter-of-Intent day. I would think that UMass would still be interested in OL and DL.

I saw this on the Delaware fan site. I have no idea if it's true or not.

The post was that three Boston College players will not be back for their senior seasons.

All three are defense linemen, which is one of our needs. The three players are:
None of the three had much playing time at BC. Don't know if UMass would be interested, but the Delaware site said Burns had visited the Hens with the idea of possibly transferring...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring practice and future blogs

UMass starts Spring practice a month from tomorrow on April 8th.

The date of the Spring Game has not been announced. However, given the number of practices allowed by the NCAA, the Spring Game probably will be May 6th.

We are entering a slow period for football news. Rob McFaddin will be completing his 2006 recruiting analysis and I'll be commenting on that.

I also have a lot of historical material that I will be posting. But I need to space that material out to cover slow periods like now.

If no football news comes out this week, I'll start posting some scans of UMass Historical material shortly.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Coaching changes in I-AA

Matt Dougherty's latest article on I-AA coaching changes for 2006 has several points of interest for UMass fans.

His article covers the changes at Hofstra. The Pride is a member of the A10 North division. Any UMass road to the playoffs includes a regular season game against the team from Long Island. More to the point, the Pride has knocked UMass out of the playoffs in two of the last four years. Any changes there definitely impact UMass.

The other section of interest is coverage of former UMass Coach Jimmie Reid at VMI. It is unlikely that UMass and VMI will meet in football, but Reid is still held in high regard by the UMass faithful.

An article about Reid's first spring practice with the Kaydets is here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Former UMass WR Neal Brown coaches at Troy State

This summer I blogged about former UMass WR and receivers coach Neal Brown being hired at Delaware.

Brown has now accepted a job at I-A Troy State. The news article is here .

Brown's UMass stats are listed in my former blog.

This was brought to my attention by search engine wizard "Rocks22" over on the UMass Football message board.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

George Parks elected to Bands of America Hall of Fame

Bands of America has elected UMass Marching Band Director George N. Parks to its Hall of Fame .

The UMass announcement is here. The UMass Marching Band site is here.

This blog has talked about the UMass Marching Band before . One of the great things about UMass football is the atmosphere at McGuirk. Autumn in New England. The UMass Marching band.

Some of Parks achievements:
  • The UMass band is widely regarded as one of the top bands in all divisions of football
  • Won the Sudler Trophy for the best college band in 1998
  • The band has a loyal following of alumni and its reunions are always well attended.
Congratulations George!

The image above is George leading the UMass band at Army. The UMass band's after game concert wowed the Army faithful.