Mass. College Football: Kavanaugh Returns To Bentley As Head Football Coach


Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s today’s release about Bill Kavanaugh, who will be the new head coach of the Falcons football team:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Bill Kavanaugh, a 2004 graduate of Bentley University and currently the Director of Player Personnel for Penn State University Football, has been named the head football coach at his alma mater, Athletics Director Bob DeFelice announced this morning.

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the football program at my alma mater, a place I have held in high regard since stepping on campus as a freshman,” said Kavanaugh, a native of Dartmouth. “The opportunity to return home to Boston and lead a program with such a great tradition is a dream come true.”

Kavanaugh, a co-captain of Bentley’s 2003 team that earned the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II tournament berth, returns to Bentley with nine years of college football coaching and administrative experience under his belt, the last six as part of the staff at Penn State, where he worked under Bill O’Brien and Joe Paterno.

“I’m thrilled that Bill has accepted our offer to become our head football coach,” said DeFelice. “He displayed his leadership ability as a team captain ten years ago and has since grown into an outstanding young man who will be a tremendous leader for our football program and Bentley University.”

Bentley Vice President for Student Affairs Andrew Shepardson said “It’s already a thrill to welcome back to campus a graduate who has gone out into the world and done great things, and is now returning to contribute to his alma mater.”

“I hope to build on the tradition of playing tough, winning football with focused student-athletes and high character people,” said the new Falcon head coach. “The standard at Bentley has been set high by Coach Yetten, Coach Boerman and their staffs.”

Kavanaugh, 31, has been the Director of Player Personnel for the Nittany Lions since April 2012, with his duties including directing all aspects of recruiting, managing a staff that included 14 coaches, a three-person personnel office and 30 interns, and responsibility for the oversight of a 115-player roster.

Before being elevated to that position, Kavanaugh was Penn State’s Recruiting Coordinator from January 2011-March 2012, the team’s Wide Receivers Coach from November 2011-January 2012 (including the TicketCity Bowl at the Cotton Bowl) and a graduate assistant coach, working with the running backs, from July 2008-January 2011.

“Bill Kavanaugh was a tremendous asset to us here at Penn State University,” praised O’Brien, who recently completed his second year as head coach at Penn State following five years with the New England Patriots. “He was involved in all facets of our program and I credit him with much of our success in recruiting and all of the things that went on behind the scenes here at Penn State.

“Bill will be a fantastic head coach at Bentley University,” continued O’Brien. “Bentley is very lucky to have a guy like Bill Kavanaugh.”

Kavanaugh began his coaching career serving under his father, Bill Kavanaugh, Sr., at UMass-Dartmouth during the 2004 and 2006 seasons. He worked with the Corsairs’ linebackers and special teams during his tenure and was also UMass-Dartmouth’s Event Coordinator during 2006-07.

Kavanaugh coached the defensive line at Stonehill College in 2007 and spend fourth months on the Bentley coaching staff in 2008 before getting the opportunity to coach under Paterno while pursuing his Master’s degree. He received his Master of Education in educational leadership in December 2010.

Bentley associate athletics director Kevin Loftus, who chaired the selection committee, said there were a number of factors that made Kavanaugh the choice. “Bill knows us, and he’s both an alumnus and a team captain. Bentley is a special place to him and he’s invested in the program.

“Having grown up as the son of a football coach, coaching is in his blood. He’s ready to be a head coach and he is experienced despite his young age. He’s been on the field with Paterno and he essentially served as the general manager under O’Brien.

“Over the past six years, Bill has been involved with the best-of-the-best, working at one of the nation’s premier academic institutions and competing in one of the country’s top athletic conferences, the Big Ten” concluded Loftus.

Kavanaugh was a four-year starter on the defensive line for Bentley from 2000-03, helping the Falcons to a 29-5 record over his final three seasons. He finished his career with 149 tackles, including 47.5 for losses, and 24.5 sacks. The majority of those sacks came as a junior in 2002 when he shared the NCAA Division II lead with 13.5 and was tied for second in sacks per game.

Honors included two-time first-team All-Northeast-10 Conference, 2003 d2football All-Northeast Region second team, 2002 Football Gazette Division II All-Northeast Region second team, 2002 Football Gazette Division II Mid-Major Defensive Lineman of the Year and 2002 Football Gazette Division II Mid-Major All-America. He was also Bentley’s defensive Most Improved Player as a junior.

“I look forward to building relationships with faculty, staff and the Bentley student body as we work together to cultivate America’s future business leaders,” stated Kavanaugh. “I look forward to meeting the team when they return from break and hitting the recruiting trail to bring more fine individuals to be part of a great team.”

Kavanaugh and his wife, Kristen, have one daughter, Anna, who will be one in late January.

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