Dan Mulrooney Tabbed Anna Maria College Football Coach

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)
Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

A “new culture” is set to begin at Anna Maria College as Athletic Director Serge DeBari announced yesterday that Dan Mulrooney would become the next football coach of the AMCATs football program.

“He is a hardworking football coach with a great attitude looking for an opportunity to develop high character student-athletes on and off the field,” DeBari said in the athletic department’s release.

Mulrooney comes to Paxton, Massachusetts following an impressive three-year stint with the WPI football team as the defensive coordinator. Mulrooney helped the Engineers enjoy a pair of winning seasons (2015 & 2016), while improving the defense every year.

A Division I safety and tailback, Mulrooney competed for both Boston College and Stony Brook – he concluded his career as Seawolves’ leading tackler in 2011, while earning Big South Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

Mulrooney hails from Waterbury, Connecticut and competed for Holy Cross High School where he earned a pair of all-state accolades, while guiding his squad to two state titles.

Said Mulrooney, “I am an enthusiastic, dedicated, hardworking coach, who strives to develop student-athletes to reach their maximum potential.”

Boston University is headed to the Big Dance

By Brian Willwerth

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Boston University men’s basketball team in the first half of the America East championship game against Stony Brook, but with five minutes remaining in the half, the Terriers scored seven points.  Seven.  They were 0-for-10 from behind the arc, which was quite shocking.

Early in the second half, they were looking at a 15-point deficit.

Then the conference player of the year took over.

Senior John Holland, playing in his final home game, single-handedly brought the Terriers back.  He scored 14 straight points to put BU back within striking distance.  Ultimately, it was his two free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining that lifted the Terriers over the Seawolves, 56-54, at Agganis Arena.  With the win, BU earns the automatic berth to the “Big Dance,” its first ticket since 2002.  Holland finished with 27 points, 23 of them coming in the game-changing second half.

With the game tied at 54 in the final minute, the Terriers forced a held ball situation and got the ball on the alternate possession.  Holland got the ball down low on a back-door cut, and was fouled with just a few ticks left on the clock.  His two free throws gave BU its first lead of the game, much to the delight of the 3,845 fans in attendance at Agganis Arena.

But the Terriers still held their collective breath, as the Seawolves got one last chance to win it.  Bryan Dougher launched a half-court shot that hit the back of the rim and bounced off, a shot eerily similar of the one from Butler’s Gordon Hayward at the end of last year’s NCAA title game.  But like Hayward’s, Dougher’s was no good, and the celebration began on Commonwealth Ave.

Head coach Patrick Chambers has his team in the tournament in just his second season. His team is riding an 11-game winning streak.  The Terriers will be a heavy underdog against whoever their first opponent will be.

But for the moment, he’s put BU basketball back on the map.

Willwerth: Boston University Athletics Will Be On Display This Weekend

By Brian Willwerth

It’s been a long time since Boston University will see a sports weekend quite like this.

We all know about the success of the hockey team over the years.  That hasn’t changed much.  The Terriers are hosting Northeastern in the Hockey East quarterfinals and this particular Hockey East opening round match up promises to be some quality hockey.

But what really spices up the weekend, is what will play out on the court.

The men’s basketball team hosts Stony Brook in a nationally-televised game on Saturday afternoon at Agganis Arena. The winner goes to the NCAA tournament.  BU lost in the title game last year in Vermont.  But now, the Terriers get to host the America East championship game for the first time since 2003, and it’s the first time hosting the game at Agganis (they play the majority of their home games up the street at Case Gym, a.k.a. “The Roof.”)

The player to watch in this game will be senior John Holland, the America East Player of the Year.  He leads the Terriers by averaging 19 points per game.  He’s only the 2nd player in BU history to score more than 2,000 points in his career (Tunji Awojobi is the other.)  If Holland has a big game Saturday, BU will be tough to beat.

BU swept Stony Brook during the regular season.  But the Seawolves cannot be overlooked.  They’re looking for their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.  SBU has won four straight – including an upset of top-seeded Vermont in the America East semifinals.

The Terriers have won ten in a row.  An eleventh straight victory would earn them their first ticket to the Big Dance since 2002.

If all of this isn’t enough, the Lady Terriers host Hartford Saturday night with a tourney berth on the line.  That game tips off at 7 p.m. at The Roof.  The BU women’s team hasn’t hosted a championship game since 1990.  The Lady Terriers have only been to the Dance once; that was back in 2003.

It will be interesting to see if Agganis Arena and The Roof are sold out on Saturday.  BU does not exactly pack ‘em in for basketball.  I can tell you from personal experience: it is an accomplishment when 1,000 fans make it to a game at either location.  If that’s not enough, Spring Break starts this weekend.  That didn’t stop Vermont fans from packing Patrick Gymnasium for the title game last year.

We’ll see if BU fans show there’s more to athletics than just hockey.

American East: Men’s Basketball Preview

By Brian Willwerth

March has arrived.  The “madness” is about to begin.

The America East Conference will only send one team to the NCAA tournament again this year.  That’s nothing out of the ordinary, given the history of the conference.  Of the nine teams in the league, five of them are from New England.  All of them have dreams of dancing into the field of 68 in a week and a half.

A preview of what’s to come at Chase Family Arena, the home court of the University of Hartford:

Top-seeded Vermont [13-3] gets the winner of Thursday’s opening-round game between [8] Binghamton and [9] UMBC.  UVM swept the series against both teams.  The Catamounts are led by senior Evan Fjeld [14.9 ppg].  Freshman Brian Voelkel leads the team in assists and rebounds.  The Cats represented the America East in the NCAA tournament a year ago, but lost to Syracuse University.

The hottest team coming into the tournament is [2] Boston University [12-4].  The Terriers have won eight in a row, led by senior John Holland [19.2 ppg].  BU earned a season sweep over Vermont by knocking off the Catamounts in OT on Sunday.  BU faces New Hampshire [7-9] in the quarterfinals Saturday.  Ironically, the Wildcats were last team to beat the Terriers, a 60-48 triumph in Durham on Jan. 29.

[3] Maine [9-7] gets the task of facing [6] Hartford [7-9] on the Hawks’ home court.  The Black Bears may be the higher seed, but the Hawks beat Maine twice during the regular season, including a 74-65 victory at Chase Family Arena on Feb. 10.

The last quarterfinal matchup pits [4] Albany [9-7] against [5] Stony Brook [8-8].

The Great Danes have won four in a row, led by the most recent conference player of the week, sophomore Mike Black.  The Seawolves ended the regular season with a two-game winning streak.  Albany won both meetings during the regular season.

The quarterfinals are Saturday, March 5.  The semifinals are on Sunday.  The championship game will be played the following Saturday, March 12, on the home court of the highest remaining seed.  All signs point to a rematch of last year’s title game between BU and UVM.  But, this is March, so let the madness begin.

American East: Men's Basketball Preview

By Brian Willwerth

March has arrived.  The “madness” is about to begin.

The America East Conference will only send one team to the NCAA tournament again this year.  That’s nothing out of the ordinary, given the history of the conference.  Of the nine teams in the league, five of them are from New England.  All of them have dreams of dancing into the field of 68 in a week and a half.

A preview of what’s to come at Chase Family Arena, the home court of the University of Hartford:

Top-seeded Vermont [13-3] gets the winner of Thursday’s opening-round game between [8] Binghamton and [9] UMBC.  UVM swept the series against both teams.  The Catamounts are led by senior Evan Fjeld [14.9 ppg].  Freshman Brian Voelkel leads the team in assists and rebounds.  The Cats represented the America East in the NCAA tournament a year ago, but lost to Syracuse University.

The hottest team coming into the tournament is [2] Boston University [12-4].  The Terriers have won eight in a row, led by senior John Holland [19.2 ppg].  BU earned a season sweep over Vermont by knocking off the Catamounts in OT on Sunday.  BU faces New Hampshire [7-9] in the quarterfinals Saturday.  Ironically, the Wildcats were last team to beat the Terriers, a 60-48 triumph in Durham on Jan. 29.

[3] Maine [9-7] gets the task of facing [6] Hartford [7-9] on the Hawks’ home court.  The Black Bears may be the higher seed, but the Hawks beat Maine twice during the regular season, including a 74-65 victory at Chase Family Arena on Feb. 10.

The last quarterfinal matchup pits [4] Albany [9-7] against [5] Stony Brook [8-8].

The Great Danes have won four in a row, led by the most recent conference player of the week, sophomore Mike Black.  The Seawolves ended the regular season with a two-game winning streak.  Albany won both meetings during the regular season.

The quarterfinals are Saturday, March 5.  The semifinals are on Sunday.  The championship game will be played the following Saturday, March 12, on the home court of the highest remaining seed.  All signs point to a rematch of last year’s title game between BU and UVM.  But, this is March, so let the madness begin.