Saturday, March 31, 2007

CAA North

While UMass football news has been slow the last few days, I've continued investigating moving this Blog off Blogger to a private server. Blogger is limited in a number of ways. Hope to have some news about that soon.

We do have some UMass History in the works. I have scans of UMass football rosters from the early 70's and once all that material is together, I'll be doing a blog post.

There is some news about the CAA North available. Maine (who I think may contend with UMass for the CAA North title this year) has its spring prospectus out (pdf).

There is also new from the Rhode Island Rams. They have some images from spring practice here . Interesting is an interview with their Coach Tim Stowers. After years of neglect, the Rams have actually made some capital improvements to their football program.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jason hatchell's Spring Practice Blog

The Official UMass Football page has a new feature---a Spring Practice Blog by UMass LB Jason Hatchell.

The CAA also has more Spring Blogs from other CAA teams here .

Worth reading.

UMass History 1978 part II

Below are a few scans from the 11/11/78 Holy Cross-UMass game program from Fitton Field in Worcester.

Right Click and Blogger displays a larger view.

I've included it because it has some UMass material that was not available in the previous blog entry-----I just found it in my vast achieves :)

The Holy Cross player on the cover is Peter Colombo a 5-8 175 pd Senior QB from Brockton, MA

The game program describes Holy Cross' Peter Hurley OG as "one of the top professional prospects in the East". He was AP All-East and All-New England. Look up his size and weight from the Holy Cross roster. Times sure have changed.

UMass-Holy Cross Game Program 11/118/1978

UMass Posed Shots from 1978 I

UMass Posed Shots from 1978 II

1978 Holy Cross Roster

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Coach Crist to Return

Matt Vautour has an article about UMass sports in today's Hampshire Gazette. At the end of the article he talks of UMass filling two assistant coaching positions. He states that former UMass assistant coach Brian Crist will be returning this spring.

I've done several blogs about this. With the addition of Crist, two of the three positions will be filled.

The image to the right is a scan from the 1999 UMass Press Guide.

Welcome home Coach Crist!

Peter McCarty Assistant Coach at Western Michigan

If you will scroll down to this Tuesday's Blog (3/20/07) about the 1977 UMass team, you'll see an image of the '77 Captains.

Peter McCarty went on to be a career college football coach. He is currently coaching at Western Michigan.

McCarty had coaching stops at UCF, Stanford, Illinois, Maryland and Holy Cross.

The Bronco's play FCS/I-AA team CCSU this year.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sean Spencer Returns

The UMass website has news that Coach Sean Spencer has returned as Defensive Line/Special Teams coach.

The image to the right is a scan from the 2002 UMass Press Guide.

Welcome back Coach Spencer!

We've blogged before that Coach Tirrell is leaving for private business. Coaches Bob Shoop and Brian Smith left for a Defensive Coordinator job with William & Mary and the NFL respectively.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Scans from 1978--- Boston College and Villanova

The Following images are scans from two 1978 UMass game programs.

Right click and Blogger displays a larger view.

This was the team that advanced to the very first I-AA National Championship game against FAMU in Wichita Falls.

UMass lost to Villanova, which was led by Howie Long 21-25. Remember the Wildcats were I-A in 1978.

UMass beat the Fred Smerlas led Boston College Eagles 27-0 in front of a sold out McGuirk stadium.

UMass crushed #1 seeded Nevada Reno in the first Playoff game and lost to FAMU 28-35 in the National Championship Game.

UMass-BC 11/25/78 Game Program

1978 Team Photo

1978 UMass Captains

1978 UMass Coaches

1978 Umass Roster

1978 Intramurals Champs

1978 UMass Defensive Starters

1978 UMass Offensive Starters

1978 BC Captains

1978 Boston College Roster

UMass-Villanova 09/16/78 Game Program

1978 Villanova Players

1978 Villanova Roster

Friday, March 23, 2007

Spring in the CAA and 2007 opponents

The CAA's website has a short article here about the league's spring practices (and gives UMass' Spring Game date as May 5th).

Give the award for most energetic sports information office to UMass' opening opponent Holy Cross, for a 26 page Spring Prospectus .

Hofstra has some spring practice news here .

Maine also has a spring article here .

Big doin's at New Hampshire as an alum gave the Wildcats $1,000,000 for stadium renovations. They're starting with Field Turf. Also, David Ball is getting his jersey retired.

Rhode Island has interviews with both their offensive and defensive coordinators here .

The Richmond Spiders have an extensive Spring Practice article here .

William & Mary goes minimalist here .

Nothing of note from Colgate, UMass, Towson, Delaware and JMU.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

UMass' Pro Day

UMass recently had its Pro-Day workouts. A number of UMass players were tested including Steve Baylark, James Ihedigbo, Brandon Smith, Brandon London and Christian Koegel.

The NFL news report is here. The Boston Globe has a non UMass-Centric article here .

Interestingly, UMass punter was second on the team in NFL bench press reps; he was second to only 6-2 310 pd OL David Thompson. Koegel later exceeded nine feet in the broad jump in a FL workout.

The NFL bench press is 225 pds. The record is 45 reps by Mike Kudla of Ohio State.

Stony Brook joins the Big South

I've blogged before that FCS/I-AA football seems to be undergoing a Renascence here in the northeast with a number of programs upgrading their facilities and programs.

Leading the charge is SUNY Stony Book, which is leaving the non-scholarship Northeast conference and going full scholarship (63). The school announcement that they are joining the Big South is here . Another story is here.

Stony brook will soon return to UMass' schedule, probably in 2008.

Many people feel Albany will soon join Stony Brook offering in 63 scholarships. UAlbany already has a program to up-grade their stadium to 10,000 to 15,000.

Albany went down to old UMass nemesis Delaware and held them to 170 yards of offense last year.

Stony Brook seems to have designated football as their flagship program. This blog thinks they could surpass Hofstra, who has never seemed very interested in its football program...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Kerry Taylor plays for a local team

UMass legend Kerry Taylor has signed with a local indoor team. Another article here .

The above image is a scan from the 1998 UMass press guide.

Taylor had 100 career receptions for UMass and currently is 7th in the UMass All-Time receiving list.

His 74 receptions in in UMass' 1998 National Championship year was the 3rd highest yearly total in UMass history.

Good luck Kerry!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

UMass History ----- Scans from 1977

The following images are scans from the UMass-Holy Cross game program of 11/05/77.

Right Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view (if you need to read the rosters).

Last year I scanned a series from a 1976 game program (it's in the 2006 archives).

At this rate, I'll have my entire collection scanned just after the first manned Mars landing :)

UPDATE: The 1976 game program blog is here.

UMass History ---- November 5,1977 Game Program

UMass History--- 1977 Team Photo

UMass History-- 1977 Co-Captains

Peter McCarty (L) and John Gladchuck (R)

UMass Hitory --- 1977 UMass Football Coaching Staff

UMass History -- 1977 UMass Football Roster

UMass History-- Offensive starters

UMass Histrory--- 1977 Defense starters

UMass History--- 1977 Twirlers

Monday, March 19, 2007

Recruiting 2008 ---- RB Bobby Tarr

For 2008 UMass is recruiting Bobby Tarr, a 5-10 180 pd RB from Peabody MA/Bishop Fenwick.

His Rivals page is here .

Tarr has averaged 9.1 yards/carry and scored 39 TD.s His Bishop Fenwick stats page is here .

Drawing recruiting interest from UMass, Delaware, Hofstra, W&M, Northeastern, Colgate as well as Boston College and Penn State.

Friday, March 16, 2007

More 2006 Award stuff

You know it was a good year when UMass had viable candidates in each of the "Big Three" awards in FCS/I-AA football.

Steve Baylark, James Ihedigbo and Coach Brown were in contention for the Walter Payton Award, the Buck Buchanan Award and the Eddie Robinson Award respectively.

The actual voting totals are here . The totals for Baylark were WAY too low ITBHO (in this blog's humble opinion)...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

College football awards---- Deep Background

Most college football fans are aware that in BCS/I-A football the Rimington Trophy is given to the best center in college football.

Did you know that there was a version of the Trophy (Rimington Award) given in FCS/I-AA ? You didn't? Well, neither did this year's recipient.

The Rimington Trophy is chosen with the assistance of the American Football Coaches Association, who have a FCS/I-AA All-America Team, of which, Alex Miller is a member... Whew!

Update: Please scroll down and read the comments section of my Monday post "The FCS Fab 50". It has some news about Brandon London and UMass NFL workouts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Coach Mac again on College Hall-of-Fame ballot

UMass coaching legend Dick MacPherson is again on the College Football Hall-of Fame ballot. Note in the press release UMass is listed as his lead school.

This Blog has done at least four previous blog entries on Coach Mac.

He still supports UMass football and certainly deserves being elected to the Hall-of-Fame.

UPDATE: Coach Mac is in both UMass' and Syracuse's Hall of fame.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The CSN Fab 50

The UMass football team and players have accumulated numerous awards for the record setting 2006 season.

Are we too blasé by now to read about more awards?

No, we are not :)

Here's one I missed. Back in December College Sporting News published its "Fab 50" of the top fifty players in I-AA. The article is here.

Named were:
The choice of Koegel was particularly pleasing as he did not get the accolades he deserved this year. When UMass was only punting once or twice a game, it was difficult for him to generate stats that would draw the eye of sports writers.

UPDATE MARCH 15, 2007: Read the 3rd comment for some updated news on Brandon London. This is a high quality post.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The UMass Football Banquet

Big turnout for the football Banquet. The hall was packed. A great end to the 2006 season!

Right click on any of the following images and Blogger displays a bigger view.

2006 Awards

Lambert Cup, A10 Trophy, ECAC and others.

Coach Brown pointed out that we will be the last team to hold the A10 trophy...

National Runner-up Throphy

ECAC Trophy

The new Adidas 2007 Uniforms

In 2007 UMass will switch to Adidas uniforms. The white pants will have the black side accent stripe also.

Coach Brown spoke about the 2006 Season

The small flash on my camera did not reach all the way to the podium, so the following images are pretty dark.

Coach Brown covered all the accomplishments of the 2006 team and seniors.

He said he was proud of their accomplishments on and off the field. Brown stated that for the last two years all the seniors were on their way to get their degrees. He also stated that the team grade-point average had improved more than half a point.

The 2006 seniors were the winning-est seniors in UMass football history...

Chancellor Lombardi gave a rousing speech!

The UMass football nation appreciates the support of Chancellor Lombari! His support really helps UMass.

The 2006 Captains

Each of the 2005 Captains said a few words. James Ihedigbo should think about coaching. He had he crowd ready to suit up and and join the team!

Friday, March 09, 2007

A word to those of you planning to buy a computer with Vista or Upgrading to Vista


Two more I-AA Blogs go dark

We've already lost The 13 Yard Line.

I've received an E-mail from Ryan who runs the Big Sky Blog. He stated that the Blog is inactive until at least this coming summer .

Now the OVC Blog is also going inactive.

I'm still fairly amazed at the low number of fan blogs in I-AA. Moveable Type, Wordpress and Blogger all have free sites for the asking. Some fans have thousands of posts on the AGS board...

Anyway, you are reading the most active FCS Football Blog in the universe.

I plan on keeping it going.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Former UMass Offensive Coordinator Mike Dunbar appointed OC at Minnesota

Former UMass assistant Coach Mike Dunbar (1984-1986) has been appointed Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator at Minnesota.

He was formerly an assistant coach at Cal. His Gopher bio is here . Minnesota has a discussion of his accomplishments here .

From the 1985 UMass press guide "Mike Dunbar joined the UMass football family in 1984 from Central Washington University where he was the Head Coach fir a 1983 8-2 squad. A native of Tacoma, WA, Dunbar played football basketball and baseball at Lakes, HS. He graduated from Lakes in 1967 , the same year he earned All-State honors as a football halfback. Mike played defensive back for Duffy Dougherty at Michigan State for three years before transferring to the University of Washington in 1972. His Coaching career stated at Clover Parks HS in Tacoma where he was an assistant. He earned his Master's Degree at Pacific Lutherian where he was a graduate assistant for one year. He then served as offensive coordinator from 1975 to 1978. In 1980, Mike went to Central Washington as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator, a position he held for three years before being named Head Coach for the 1983 season. Mike and his wife Linda have a son Troy and a daughter Lori.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Contract Extensions and Marcel Shipp

Matty Vautour has an article here about a possible c0ntract for Coach Brown. Brown certainly deserves it. He has brought a new spirit of accomplishment and winning attitude to UMass.

This blog also thinks that UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon should be considered for an extension himself. This Blog goes back 30+ years and for too long in UMass history the AD job was was held by non-professionals----to the great detriment to UMass sports.

UMass legend Marcel Shipp has also signed a contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals. The official Cardinals article is here . There were a number of newspaper articles, but perhaps the best is in the North Jersey Herald here .

The Cards have a Shipp highlight video here (real player).

To the Victors belong the spoils

Mary-Francis Hech has an article in the UMass Daily Collegian about one additional perk from the football team's run to the National Championship game...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Recruiting 2008 --- Ryan Harrison RB/LB

The Springfield Republican has an article here about Ryan Harrison a 5-11, 210 pd RB from Longmeadow, MA.

Ryan won the Angelo Bertelli award for the best football player in western Mass.

He will attend Milford Academy next year.

Drawing recruiting interest from UMass, Delaware and Hofstra.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Recruiting 2007--- Justin Halas LB

UMass has announced that Justin Halas a 6-2 240 pd LB from Phelan CA has signed with the Minutemen.

Halas played last year for Victor Valley Junior College . Dave Hoover, a member of UMass' National Championship Coaching staff, is head coach there.

Halas' page is here .

He drew recruiting interest from UTEP, USC, Arizona State, Fresno State and San Diego State.

Made first team Junior College All-State, Gridwire All-American, and Junior College All-American.

Key stat: 6-2, 240 and runs a 4.6 forty...

Welcome to UMass Justin! You made the right choice.

UPDATE: This article has some quotes by Halas.

Eight Minutemen named to the Don Hansen All-american Team

Let's see if I can do a better job than I did with the previous blog post.

Eight UMass players were named to the Don Hansen Gazette All America team. The Don Hansen website is here . The UMass athletic dept article is here .

James Ihedigbo was named first team .

Steve Baylark and Jason Hatchell were named second team.

Alex Miller was named third team .

Matt Austin, Chris Koepplin, Brad Anderson and Tracey Belton were named Honorable Mention.

All-American. Has a nice ring to it...

Twelve UMass players named to Don Hansen's All-Region Team

The UMass athletic Dept. has an article here about Don Hansen's Gazette naming eleven UMass players All-Northeast Region.

The parent article has not yet been posted on Don Hansen's website .

Let's parse the players list this way since it's the new year and most UMass fans are thinking about 2007

Seniors honored:
Underclass men honored:

Congratulations to All.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mike Douglas drafted by NFL Europe

The UMass Athletic site has an article on Mike Douglas former UMass TE being drafted by NFL Europe. Douglas graduated in 2005. His UMass bio is here.

He was drafted by the Cologne Centurions .

Also on the Centurions roster is old foe Jamaal Branch of Colgate.

They're already practicing in Boone

Spring football is well underway at the Mountaineers...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Links--- Coming and going

Travis, the UNH fan from New York, has started more New Hampshire fan sites than Carter had Liver pills.

Right now he does not seem to have an active Wildcat football site. So I've removed the "UNH fan site" from my links.

He has been working on a composite I-AA football schedule for 2007. It's here as an Excel spread sheet. And here as a pdf file.