Tag: Andrae Murphy

Noontime’s Five D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Four

Matt Hersch and the Colby College football team will attempt to win its second-straight contest on Saturday against Trinity College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Colby Athletics and Peter Li)

By NoontimeSports.com

The fourth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is quickly approaching, which means its time to highlight five squads to watch this week, including the Mules of Colby College, which scored its first opening day win in six years last weekend.

Colby College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC): For the first time since 2016, the Mules scored an opening day win.

Colby topped Williams College last Saturday by a score of 24-14, which erased memories of last year’s meeting between the two squads that saw the Ephs beat the Mules, 42-0.  

Quarterback Matt Hersch highlighted his team’s win by completing 14 of 23 passes for two touchdowns while adding 46 yards on six carries and one score. Halfback Keon Smart led all rushers with 129 yards on 21 carries.

Colby’s defense intercepted quarterback Jack Dickinson twice while recording three sacks for a loss of 10 yards.

The Mules outgained the Ephs, 357-264, and will attempt to win their second-straight contest on Saturday against a Trinity College squad that was able to squeak past Tufts University last weekend.

Trinity has won its last five meetings with the Mules.

Dean College (0-3, 0-0 ECFC): Coach Andrae Murphy’s Bulldogs have produced the most points amongst all Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) squads through three weeks.

Yet, despite producing 108 points in three contests, the Bulldogs have surrendered 137 points, including 77 points earlier this month in a crazy setback to Nichols College.

Dean is inching closer to its first win – perhaps it occurs this weekend when the Bulldogs visit MIT?  

Wide receiver Quintus Reid has been a player to watch this fall – he currently ranks third in the ECFC in receiving yards (266) and is tied for second in touchdown receptions (four) with Anna Maria College’s Justin McMillian.

Reid’s teammate, Mozes Mooney, leads all ECFC receivers with five touchdown receptions.

In addition to Reid and Mooney, fans of New England small college football should keep their eyes on quarterback Nathan Cisco, who previously competed for the University of Idaho. Cisco has tossed eight touchdowns this season.

Framingham State (1-2, 0-1 MASCAC): This is an important week for the Rams.

Coming off its first loss to UMass Dartmouth since 2016, the Rams will look to bounce back against Westfield State on Saturday.

A win against the Owls would even their overall record, but also provide the Black and Gold with some much-needed momentum heading into an important matchup in week five with Plymouth State. The Panthers are idle this weekend, but currently sit atop the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) standings with a 3-0 record.

Halfback Devaun Ford will be one of many players to watch on Saturday – the Mashpee, Massachusetts native has rushed for a team-high 264 yards and two touchdowns this season. He led all rushers with 143 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown last week against UMass Dartmouth.

In addition to Ford, the Rams will need some key members of its defense to have a big game. Keep your eyes on Dylan DeWolfe, Gerell Boyce, and Cully Curran.

Nichols College (3-0, 0-0 CCC): In the words of coach Dale Olmsted, last Saturday’s win against Coast Guard Academy was a “team effort.”

The Bison scored their third-straight win, thanks to quarterback Xavier Powell, who concluded the non-league matchup with 318 yards of total offense and three touchdowns.  

Derrick Revolus recorded three interceptions to go with 10 total tackles, including seven solo stops. Joshua Sayer led the Nichols defense with 13 total tackles – he also recorded one pass breakup.

The squad’s effort from last week will certainly be needed this week as Nichols concludes its non-conference slate with a visit to Hartwick College on Saturday. Hartwick was idle last weekend after dropping its initial contest of the 2022 season earlier this month to King’s College.

Western Connecticut (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC): Quarterback John Giller has the Wolves heading in the right direction.

The sophomore signal-caller has tossed seven touchdowns in three contests while completing 47 of 93 passes for 716 yards.

Last week against Westfield State, Giller recorded a season-high 305 passing yards to go with three touchdowns. Eli Koukoulis caught two touchdowns – he is currently third on the team in receiving yards (117) but tied with Julian Ferguson for touchdown receptions (two).    

WestConn’s defense has received a boost from Jaeden Alexander, Nosa Uzamere, and Stephen Johnson – expect this trio, along with other members of the defensive unit to provide some challenges for Bridgewater State’s offense on Saturday.

Five New England D3 Football Teams to Watch In 2022

Alex Cohen and the Anna Maria College football team will be a squad to watch in 2022. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s time to kick off our preseason football coverage – are you ready for some football?

Yes, we know the Boston Celtics are occupying our attention while writing this post, but while we anxiously wait for the fourth game of the NBA Finals to tip off tomorrow evening, let’s highlight five teams New England NCAA Division III football fans should watch this fall.  

Anna Maria College: Quarterback Alex Cohen is back, along with some key members of last year’s squad, which captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title.

Cohen will certainly be a player to watch this fall after concluding the 2021 season with career-highs in passing yards (3,087) and touchdown passes (23).

Wide receiver Hayden Braga returns for another season, as well, along with Alvin Martin (linebacker) and Armstrong Antoine (defensive back) – all three student-athletes, along with Cohen, should help the AMCATs contend for their second-straight conference crown.

Anna Maria is scheduled to face some challenging conference foes in September, beginning with their season-opener against UMass Dartmouth.

Colby College: Coach Jack Cosgrove has the Mules heading in the right direction.

Last year, Colby won four games for the first time since finishing 4-4 in 2013. The Mules scored some important early and mid-season wins over Amherst College and Middlebury College while providing some challenges for Hamilton College and Tufts University.

Halfback Keon Smart will be a player to watch on offense – the sophomore tailback finished his initial season with the Mules last fall with 248 rushing yards on 69 carries and three touchdowns.

Colby will commence its 2022 season at home against Williams College.   

Curry College: A new era of Colonels football has begun with the hiring of first-year coach Todd Parsons.

Parsons, who oversaw the Endicott College offense last fall, inherits a squad that finished 3-6 last season, including 1-5 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).

Michael Sims will be a player to watch on the Colonels after concluding his initial season with the Purple and White with 49 total tackles, including 26 solo stops to go with one fumble recovery, one interception, and one pass break-up.

Sims played high school football in Connecticut and was a two-way player for Griswold High School. He played fullback on offense and linebacker on defense. Maybe we could see him play fullback this fall?

Curry will begin its 2022 season at home against MIT.

Dean College: Like Curry, Dean will have a new leader of its football program with Andrae Murphy returning to his alma mater to coach a Bulldogs squad that won just two games last fall.

Errol Breaux, the team’s leading wide receiver, was a player to watch last fall as he led the receiving core in catches (75), receiving yards (1,215), and touchdowns (eight). Quintus Reid was also a player to watch on offense as the New Haven, Connecticut native concluded his junior season with 52 receptions and six touchdowns.

It’s likely Murphy’s signal-caller will be David Curry, who was spotted under center every game last fall. He completed 196 of 351 passes for 2,585 yards and 18 touchdowns. Curry also led the rushing attack with 627 yards and six touchdowns.

Dean will travel to Fitchburg State for its season-opener.

University of New England: For the second time in program history, the Nor’easters concluded its campaign with four wins (they won a program-record four wins in 2019 after capping their inaugural campaign one year earlier with just two victories).

Last fall, UNE gained our attention by scoring an impressive early-season win against Bridgewater State, which saw the Blue and White outscore the hosts, 14-0, in the second half to set up a game-winning field goal by Ruelas Villasen in overtime.

In addition to their come-from-behind win against the Bears of Bridgewater, they also provided some challenges for Endicott and Western New England down the stretch. They capped their 2021 campaign with a wild victory over Curry.

The team’s late-season win over the Colonels, which was highlighted by five passing touchdowns by Jarrett Henault should provide the Nor’easters with some momentum heading into four this season in program history.

UNE will begin its season on the road at Coast Guard Academy.

Checking In On The D3 Football Coaching Carousel

Dan Swanstrom will be returning to the University of Pennsylvania after spending five seasons as the head coach at Ithaca College. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Pennsylvania Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The football coaching carousel never stops, especially in NCAA Division III.

As noted, both this morning and over the last few days by D3Football.com, three schools, including Ithaca College, will be looking for a new head coach to lead their respective program onto the gridiron this fall.

Dan Swanstrom, who guided the Bombers to 32 wins and 11 losses in five seasons, is returning to the University of Pennsylvania as the Quakers’ new offensive coordinator. His final day at Ithaca College is next Monday, January 31.

Penn head coach Ray Priore announced Swanstrom’s hiring on Monday and is excited to welcome back his former quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator that helped the Quakers share a pair of Ivy League crowns in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s great to have Dan rejoin the Penn Football Family after leading Ithaca to great success over the last years,” Priore said in a statement on Monday. “He returns with a tremendous work ethic, an incredible amount of football knowledge, and a passion for the game.”  

Swanstrom inherits a Penn offense that ranked last in the Ivy League in touchdowns (24) and points (191).

In his final season at Ithaca, the Bombers won eight of 10 contests, including five of six Liberty League (LL) matchups. Ithaca concluded its campaign with a heartbreaking defeat to SUNY Cortland in the 62nd meeting between the two schools last November.

According to D3Football.com, this year’s Cortaca Jug Game between Ithaca and SUNY Cortland will be played at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, November 12.

“I can’t put into words how special my time at Ithaca has been,” said Swanstrom, via D3Football.com. “I would like to thank the players, coaches, and fans for the cherished experiences and the meaningful relationships.”

Swanstrom isn’t the only one making a transition from Division III to Division I as it was announced yesterday that Chris Wilkerson, who guided the University of Chicago for the last nine seasons, has been named the new head coach at Eastern Illinois University.

Wilkerson, who is an Eastern Illinois alum, guided the Maroons to an 8-2 record last fall, including a 7-2 mark in the Midwest Conference. UChicago’s offense shattered numerous single-season records while halfback Nicholas D’Ambrose placed second in the nation with a school record of 1,714 rushing yards.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the head football coach at UChicago for the past nine seasons,” said Wilkerson, via athletics.uchicago.edu. “I want to thank all the players and coaches for their commitment and passion for Maroon football.”

North Central will also have a new head coach — the school’s athletic director Jim Miller recently announced Brad Spencer will be taking over for Jeff Thorne, who recently accepted the offensive coordinator role with Western Michigan.

Thorne will reunite with Western Michigan coach Tim Lester as the two coached together at North Central under Jeff’s father John Thorne.

As the head coach of North Central, Jeff Thorne guided the Cardinals to the school’s first-ever championship in 2019. They fell short of winning their second title last month against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  

Other coaching changes/notes:

Andrae Murphy Named Dean College’s Football Coach

Andrae Murphy, who coached the defensive backs at Columbia University last season, was named the Dead College football coach on Friday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Dean College Athletics & Columbia University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Dean College has a new football coach for the upcoming 2022 NCAA Division III season.

Andrae Murphy, who graduated from the Franklin, Massachusetts institute in 2007, was named the new coach of the program earlier today. He takes over a Bulldogs program that was previously coached by Steve Tirrell, who announced his resignation from the program shortly after the 2021 season concluded.

“It’s an honor to be named the head coach of Dean College,” said Murphy, via DeanBulldogs.com. “I’d like to thank Present (Paula) Rooney and (Dean College’s Director of Athletics) George Martin for giving e such an incredible opportunity to return home and lead this remarkable group of student-athletes. I owe so much to Dean College and I am eternally grateful to serve the Dean Community in this capacity.”

Murphy inherits a Bulldogs squad that finished 2-8 last fall, including 1-5 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). In 2019, the Bulldogs captured their first-ever ECFC crown with a 4-1 conference record and represented the league in the New England Bowl against Endicott College.

Prior to being named the new head coach of Dean College, Murphy coached for a slew of collegiate and high school programs, including Columbia University where he spent four of the last five seasons overseeing the defensive backs.