Skip to main content

Lehigh's New Head Coach Is... Andy Coen!

Hope your money was on Andy Coen and 5:1 odds!

The decision was in this morning, and... it's Andy Coen, former offensive coordinator at Penn! There's no doubt in my mind that he's an excellent choice for head coach, and I'm already excited for spring football to start!

We are getting a guy that was the one of the architects of the more dominating Lehigh offenses under head coach Kevin Higgins in the mid-to-late '90s. Beloved by former offensive players and an emotional leader, coach Coen boasts a truckload of experience with both the Patriot League and the grant-in-aid scholarship environments.

While at Lehigh, he was the offensive line coach in 1994 and 1995, and went on to become Lehigh's offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999. He coached future NFL RB Rabih Abdullah ('97), RB Ron Jean ('99), WR Brian Baker('97), WR Brett Snyder ('00), and QB Phil Stambaugh ('00). When you look down the rushing and passing milestones, you see these names over and over again. Coach Coen is the guy who headed the system to make them excel.

At Penn he didn't stop there. He coached the Quakers' all-time leading rusher (Kris Ryan - 3,181 yards), passer (Gavin Hoffman - 7,542 yards) and receiver (Rob Milanese - 3,409 yards). His teams scored piles of points - in 2002, Penn's offense averaged 43 points per game. His offenses were instumental in the three Ivy titles they won during that time.

As a part of Penn's coaching staff, he recruited New Jersey, Georgia, and Florida. Penn's leading rusher in 2005, junior RB Joe Sandberg, was undoubtedly recruited by coach Coen, and this year three linemen were named all-Ivy second team and all-Ivy honorable mention. He knows the importance of recruiting nationally and it's likely we won't skip a beat recruiting.

I saw Penn play last year against Yale, and coach Coen's defense simply was in a different universe than Yale's defense, as they cruised to a 38-21 victory that could easily had been greater had they chose (Yale scored all three TDs against Penn's "B" defense). If the offense I saw that day is any indication about what coach Coen can deliver for us on offense, I'll be one happy camper.

Finally, check this resume out:

1998, Lehigh OC: 12-1, Patriot Champions, Playoffs 2nd r
1999, Lehigh OC: 10-2, Patriot Champions, Playoffs 1st r
2000, Penn OC: 7-3, Ivy Champions
2001: Penn OC: 8-1
2002: Penn OC: 9-1, Ivy Champions
2003: Penn OC: 10-0, Ivy Champions
2004: Penn OC: 8-2

5 championships and 2 I-AA playoff appearances is quite the resume!

By all early indications he seems to be really excited and eager to jump right in and to win Patriot League Championships and get back to the I-AA playoffs. He may need some time to get it all in place, but he seems like a great choice!

You'll read plenty of quotes from yesterday's press conferences in tomorrow's papers, but he says something that is worthy of repeating here:

"It will truly be 'our' program. It's not going to be Andy Coen's program, it's going to be the program of the players... and together, we will work to accomplish great things at Lehigh. I want our program to be something that the entire Lehigh community will take pride in, both in the academic community, [and] certainly our student body, but also, very importantly, I want our alumni to have a real sense of connection with our football program.

"Tradition never graduates. The great tradition of Lehigh will go on and on forever and ever... the faces will change, the guys wearing the uniforms will change, but the tradition... will continue. It's critical that our alumni realize that, and I want them to get involved with this program. I will reach out to them, [and] I certainly want them to have the sense that we want them around... [and] we want them involved.... Once you're Lehigh, you're always Lehigh."


As you may have guessed, I think we're off to a great start to 2006!

Please leave your comments here. The link to the official announcement and the archive of the press conference is here.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Looks good to me!

Everything we need, and not a thing we didn't need at this level.

My enthusiasm is back. Whew!
Ngineer said…
An excellent decision. "Dr. Joe" did a very good job with what sounded like a very deep candidate pool. This should generate a lot of excitement back into the program...While he has been called 'emotional and passionate' my sense was 'solid'. He should be a great representative for Lehigh.
Anonymous said…
The LehighAthletics.com site was relaunched late this afternoon...your link to the press conference archive should be changed to http://www.lehighsports.com/sports/football/release.asp?release_id=3943

Very excited for the new coach...looking forward to a victory over Lafayette (and just about the same against every other opponent!)

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

#TheRivalry Flashback: November 21st, 1987: Lehigh 17, Lafayette 10

Since becoming an undergrad at Lehigh back in the late 1980s, I first heard about the historic nature of the football team and "The Rivalry" through the stories that fellow students would share.

I did not attend the final meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Taylor Stadium, which was the final time a football game would be played there.

Those that did attend said that was that it was cold.

"I remember it being one of the coldest games ever," Mark Redmann recollected, "with strong Northwesterly winds and the temperature hovering around 20.  By the end of the game, the stands were half empty because most of the fans just couldn't take the cold.

"Fortunately, several of my fraternity brothers snuck in flasks to help fend off the chill."

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn't unknown before this week - after all, as a freshman and a sop…