Category: Noontime Football

Framingham State’s Onujiogu’s Signs With The Seattle Seahawks

Joshua Onujiogu (No. 91), who played defensive end at Framingham State, was recently signed by the Seattle Seahawks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin Photography)

By NoontimeSports.com

Joshua Onujiogu’s football journey is not over yet.

The Framingham State University defensive end that racked up a career-best 44 solo stops last fall, including 13.5 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss, was signed yesterday by the Seattle Seahawks.

According to D3Football.com, Onujiogu is the only NCAA Division III student-athlete to ink his name on a contract with an NFL team.

The Wareham, Massachusetts native gained attention from the Houston Texans and New England Patriots following an impressive pro day workout earlier this year at Holy Cross. He also visited with the Patriots ahead of this year’s draft.

Onujiogu has been a staple of coach Tom Kelley’s defense since his initial season with the Rams in 2016. He registered 228 total tackles in 47 contests to go with 36 sacks, 67 tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles.

Against Westfield State University last September, Onujiogu recorded his first-ever interception to go with nine total tackles, including five tackles for a loss of 26 yards.

Prior to his team’s initial NCAA postseason contest against Muhlenberg College, Onujiogu was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named to the New England Football Writers’ (NEFW) Division II/III All-New England team while securing a spot on the D3Football.com All-Region 1 squad.

Onujiogu concluded his final season by earning a spot on our Noontime Sports All-New England Team.

Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe Selected By The New England Patriots

Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe was selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. (PHOTO COURTESY: DraftWire.USAToday.com)

By Matt Noonan

Did the New England Patriots add some competition to its quarterback room?

Perhaps they did by selecting Bailey Zappe this afternoon in the fourth round of the 2022 National Football League (NFL) Draft.

Zappe quarterbacked Western Kentucky University last fall to a 9-5 overall record while establishing new single-season FBS records for passing yards (5,967) and touchdowns (62).

The 62 touchdown passes erased the original mark of 60, which was established by Joe Burrow in 2019.

Prior to becoming the quarterback at Western Kentucky, Zappe was spotted under center for three seasons (2018, 2019, and 2020) at Houston Baptist University, but elected to transfer after the Huskies’ 2020 season concluded after four games.

The team elected to not compete in the Southland Conference’s spring season.  

Zappe, who was selected with the 137th pick, may not be the flashiest quarterback selected in this year’s NFL Draft. However, he certainly seems to fit the “Patriot mold” given the squad may need an extra arm if Mac Jones were to get injured. Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham are still on the roster, but it is possible one or both quarterbacks may not make the final cut.

The Victoria, Texas native is not the biggest signal-caller or has the arm strength of North Carolina’s Sam Howell, but he does throw a “catchable ball” that should create some explosive plays. Zappe led all FBS signal-callers last fall in completions (51) and yards (1,805) on deep passes and could certainly develop into a capable backup quarterback.

With drafting Zappe, it’s possible Jarrett Stidham’s time in New England could be coming to an end. The 2019 draftee, who has played eight games for the Patriots, could be a valuable target for some teams looking for a younger backup quarterback.

As of this afternoon, it seems likely that Brian Hoyer would step in if Mac Jones were to get injured.  

Todd Parsons Named Head Coach of Curry College Football

Todd Parsons, who oversaw the Endicott College offense last fall, was named the head coach of Curry College on Thursday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway/Tammy McManaway Sports Photography)

By NoontimeSports.com

A new chapter of Curry College football began today with the hiring of Todd Parsons.

Parsons previously oversaw the Endicott College offense in 2019 and 2021 – he was also an assistant coach with the Gulls last season when they captured the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown.

“I am extremely excited to begin this new chapter,” Parsons said in a statement, via CurryAthletics.com. “I would like to thank President (Kenneth K.) Quigley, Athletic Director Vinnie Eruzione, and the search committee at Curry College for entrusting me with their football program.”

Parsons inherits a Colonels squad that concluded the 2021 season with a 3-6 overall record. Four years earlier, Curry concluded its 2017 campaign by winning eight of 11 contests while representing Commonwealth Coast Football in the New England Bowl.

“With the support of the administration, our student body, and our passionate alumni, we look forward to bringing Curry football back to a position of prominence,” said Parsons.   

In his first season with the Gulls, Parsons, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, helped Endicott conclude its 2019 campaign with nine wins, including a New England Bowl victory over Dean College. Quarterback Joe Kalosky enjoyed his best season under center, posting career-bests in multiple categories, including touchdown passes (29), passing yards (2,433), and completion percentage (71.2%).

Last fall, Endicott’s offense finished second in the conference in points (301) and third in points per game (27.4). They averaged 28.8 points against conference foes.

“I want to thank everyone in the Endicott community for a memorable three years,” Parsons said, via ECGulls.com. “I especially want to thank Dr (Brian A.) Wylie and head coach Paul McGonagle for giving me the opportunity to join the Endicott Athletics department and football program. My time here with them, the other coaches, and the student-athletes helped prepare me, more than anything, to be able to take this step in my career.”

The new opportunity with Curry is Parsons’ first head coaching role after serving as a coordinator for multiple New England teams, including Brown University (Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, 2014-17) and Assumption College (Special Teams Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach, 2013-14).

Parsons began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with McDaniel College after graduating in 2007 from Averett University.

Curry’s 2022 season will kick off on Saturday, September 3 when they welcome MIT to Milton, Massachusetts.

Coyne Named The 22nd Head Coach of Bates College Football

By NoontimeSports.com

Bates College has a new football coach. And his name is Matt Coyne.

Coyne, who has played and coached in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), becomes the 22nd head coach of the Bobcats — he was introduced as the team’s new leader earlier today by Bates Director of Athletics, Jason Fein.

Matt Coyne was named the next head coach of Bates College on Tuesday, February 8. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bates College Athletics)

“We are delighted to welcome Matt Coyne to the Bobcat family as Bates’ head football coach,” Fein said in a statement. “Matt’s experience as a player and coordinator in the NESCAC, as well as his impressive football acumen, impressed everyone on the hiring committee, from students to coaches to alumni, and his ability to inspire and lead makes him the perfect person to take Bates football into the future.”

A native of Bristol, Connecticut, Coyne played and coached at Wesleyan University while spending two seasons with Oberlin College where he oversaw the team’s quarterbacks, pass game, and offense.

Last season, Coyne oversaw the Cardinals’ defense and special teams while coaching the linebackers. Wesleyan’s defense finished third in the NESCAC in sacks (20) and yards per play (6.0) while leading the 10-team league with 14 interceptions.

Wesleyan’s Nick Helbig was named the NESCAC’s Defensive Player of the Year after the Groton, Massachusetts native produced a team-high 50 tackles while placing second in the league in tackles for a loss (11).

“I am extremely grateful and honored to be selected as the next head football coach at Bates College,” Coyne said in today’s release announcing his hiring. “It’s an incredible opportunity to work with this group of exceptional student-athletes while representing one of the leading institutions in the country.”

Coyne inherits a Bates squad that posted a 3-6 record last fall, which included a pair of end-of-season wins against Bowdoin College and Hamilton College. 54 members of the 2021 team will return this season, including quarterback Colton Bosselait, wide receiver Sean Bryant, and linebacker Tony Hooks.

Added Coyne, “We are going to build a championship culture that our campus, community, and alumni will be proud to support.”

Holy Cross, Chesney Agree To Contract Extension

Bob Chesney will be coaching the Holy Cross football team for the next five seasons. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston Globe/Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Bob Chesney will be sticking around Worcester area for a few more years — five, to be exact.

The former Assumption College and Salve Regina University head coach inked his name on a five-year contract extension this morning to continue coaching Holy Cross through the 2026 season.

Chesney’s extension was announced this morning by Holy Cross Director of Athletics, Kit Hughes.

“I could not be happier with this process and the opportunity to reaffirm the College’s commitment excellence for Holy Cross Athletics,” Hughes said in a statement. “Under Coach Chesney’s leadership, our Crusader student-athletes have achieved new heights in the classroom, community, and field of competition.”

In four seasons with the Crusaders, Chesney has guided the Purple and White to 25 wins, along with three Patriot League titles and three appearances in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) postseason. Additionally, he led the Purple and White to its first-ever postseason win last November with a come-from-behind win against Sacred Heart University.

“Worcester has become home for my family, and we are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to continue our time in this great community and at Holy Cross,” Chesney said in this morning’s release about his extension.

Chesney was named the New England Coach of the Year by the New England Football Writers and the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston after leading the Crusaders to a 10-3 record last fall, including a 6-0 mark in the Patriot League.

Holy Cross has improved every season under Chesney since his initial campaign in 2018 when the Crusaders placed second in the Patriot League with a 4-2 record while registering single-season records with seven blocked kicks, six blocked punts, and four blocked punts returned for touchdowns.