|Title:||Head Football Coach|
Jeff McInerney enters his seventh season as the head football coach at Central Connecticut State University in 2012. He has a 42-25 record over his first six seasons in New Britain. McInerney has led the Blue Devils to a pair of Northeast Conference titles and his 42 wins are the second-highest total in school history. His .627 winning percentage ranks third in the program's history.
The 2012 season will feature the opening of the newly expanded
Arute Field, a facility that has been kind to the Blue Devils under
McInerney. Since 2006, Coach Mac and the Blue Devils are 24-5
in home games, with four undefeated seasons at home.
The Blue Devils opened 2011 with a home victory over Southern Connecticut, which marked the 15th consecutive home victory for the Blue Devils. The 15-game winning streak at Arute Field is a school record and was tied for the longest in the nation.
In 2010 Central posted a perfect 5-0 mark at home, and an 8-3
overall record. They were 7-1 in NEC play, marking the second
straight season with seven conference wins. They won a share
of their fourth NEC title since 2004. The 14 league wins are
the second-highest two-season total in league history. In
McInerney's five seasons the Blue Devils are 22-2 at home.
McInerney was named the NEC Coach of the Year in 2009. The Blue Devils won the first outright NEC title in school history and advanced to their first-ever Division I postseason game.
In 2009 the Blue Devils matched the school-record for victories with a 9-3 overall mark, including a 7-1 record in NEC action. Central clinched the title with a 14-13 win over St. Francis (PA) in the final regular season game of the season. Central's six-straight wins from Sept. 26 until Oct. 31 marked the longest win streak in its Division I history. The Blue Devils advanced to the Gridiron Classic and faced Butler on Dec. 5. They lost to the Bulldogs and finished the season with nine wins, the most in a single-season since 1973.
The Blue Devils made an appearance in the national polls for the second time in McInerney's four seasons in 2009. Running back James Mallory helped make program history by becoming the second player in school history to be a finalist for the prestigious Walter Payton Award, awarded to the top player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. Mallory finished his career in New Britain as the second-leading scorer and rusher in program history, and earned numerous All-America honors following his senior campaign.
Three years ago, the Blue Devils set more milestones under McInerney. They won the NAACP Harmony Classic, defeating North Carolina Central, 35-23, in front of an NEC record 8,322 people at New Britain's Veterans' Stadium in Willow Brook Park on Sept. 20, 2008.
McInerney has coached two NEC offensive players of the year (Mallory, 2009; Justise Hairston, 2006), 15 first team All-NEC selections, 20 second team All-NEC selections, five ECAC Player of the Week honorees and 32 NEC Player/Rookie of the Week recipients during his tenure. McInerney's student-athletes have also received 12 All-America awards, including two Academic All-America honors. Two year's ago linebacker Lawton Arnold was named the NEC defensive rookie of the year.
Central Connecticut went 6-5 in 2007. The Blue Devils again ranked high in the national rushing ranks. Jo Jo Freeman guided the nation's 10th most prolific rushing offense. His 828-yard, 10-touchdown season helped him earn first team Sports Network Mid-Major All-America status.
McInerney saw many firsts in his inaugural season as the head coach at Central. An 8-3 record in 2006 marked the third straight winning season for the Blue Devils. But it was the national attention that McInerney's Blue Devils received that helped CCSU reach new heights among FCS programs.
The second week of the 2006 season brought the Blue Devils to the national stage. CCSU went to Statesboro, GA, to face six-time national champion Georgia Southern in its home opener. A 17-13 victory by the Blue Devils made national news, and a week later CCSU entered the Sports Network National Poll for the first time in school history. The Blue Devils were nationally ranked for the first time during the season and reached as high as #19 in the poll. The 8-3 record marked the second time in three seasons that CCSU posted eight wins, the second-highest single-season total in program history.
McInerney's teams have led the league in rushing offense during each of his five seasons in New Britain. The Blue Devils have also ranked in the nation's top-10 in rushing during each campaign. That includes holding the top spot in 2006. Led by Hairston, the Blue Devils paced the nation in rushing. Hairston, who set a CCSU and Northeast Conference single-season rushing mark with 1,847 yards, earned third team AP All-America honors and finished eighth in the Walter Payton Award voting. The NEC Offensive Player of the Year, Hairston also joined Nutt and Farod Muhammad as Sports Network Mid-Major All-America selections.
McInerney became the 12th head coach in the history of Central Connecticut State University football on January 13, 2006. McInerney spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Rhode Island prior to arriving at CCSU. He has also been an assistant at Tulsa, UNLV, Oregon State, Georgia Southern and Southern California.
The South Windsor High School graduate received his bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock University in 1982 and his master's degree from Troy State University in 1984. His first coaching job came at Slippery Rock as an undergraduate in 1981 and then as a graduate assistant coach in 1982.
McInerney has seen plenty of success in his coaching career, thrice being a part of a staff that won a National Championship (1984 and 1987 at Troy State; 1990 at Georgia Southern).McInerney and his wife, Leslie, have two children. Ryan is a 2009 graduate of Pittsburgh State and currently a graduate assistant at TCU. Amy is a senior at CCSU.
|Title:||Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs|
Jason Manson begins his third season with the Blue Devils football coaching staff in 2012 and will serve as co-defensive coordinator in addition to coaching the defensive backs. He came to Central Connecticut after coaching stints at Western Connecticut and Milford Academy.
Manson, a native of Bloomfield, CT, graduated from Iowa University in 2006 where he was a two-year letter winner, playing quarterback and wide receiver. At Iowa, he was also a member of the Team Leadership Council and the Iowa Student Athlete Advisor Committee.
He played Professional Indoor Football for a season after college and then began his coaching career as wide receivers coach at Becker College in Worcester, MA. In the spring of 2008 Manson worked as an assistant coach at Western Connecticut State University, again coaching the wide receivers.
Prior to joining Central's staff in 2010 Manson was the offensive coordinator for the Milford Academy football team in New Berlin, NY. He was responsible for game planning and play calling during his tenure at the preperatory school.
Central Connecticut head football coach Jeff McInerney announced
on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, that Tommy Buzzo has been named the
co-defensive coordinator for the Blue Devils. Buzzo will join
Jason Manson, who has been on staff with the Blue Devils for the
last two seasons, in coordinating the defense for McInerney.
Former defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa recently assumed the same duties at Columbia University.
"Having Tommy join our staff is a home run," McInerney said on Tuesday. "He has been a great friend to the Central Connecticut football family over the last few seasons, bringing his team up from Virginia for our summer camp. He has a tremendous football mind and we are excited to bring his experience and work ethic to CCSU."
Buzzo most recently served as the head coach at Liberty High School in Virginia for 10 seasons. He posted a record of 89-24, including a 10-3 mark in the fall of 2011. They lost in the regional final. His teams captured four AA district championships and one AAA regional title in his 10 seasons.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I am excited to become a part of the Blue Devil family," Buzzo said. "Coach McInerney and his staff have built a great tradition of winning football, and I look forward to building on that tradition. We're already hard at work preparing for our spring season. I am currently getting to know our personnel and can't wait to compete for another Northeast Conference title."
Buzzo is a two-time selection as the Northwestern Direct Coach of the Year award and a two-time winner of the Evergreen District Coach of the Year award. He was the defensive coordinator of the East Team in the Virginia High School League Coaches Association All-Star Game this past fall. He was the head coach of the West squad in the 2009.
Buzzo was an assistant for six seasons at Liberty before assuming the head coaching position in 2002. In his 10 seasons as the head coach he sent 22 student-athletes on to play Division I football.
Now in his third season, Marty Humphrey will be working with the quarterbacks in 2012. He had coached the wide receivers and cooridinated special teams during his first two seasons in New Britain. Humphrey came to CCSU after coaching at his alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Last season, Humphrey guided a deep receiving group, which featured four players that posted 20 or more receptions.
After a four-year career with the Warhawks, the Shreveport, LA,
native joined the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant during the
spring of 2009. For the ensuing fall he was promoted to
assistant coach in charge of wide receivers. With the help of
Humphrey, ULM offense recorded the highest points per game average
at the University since 1993.
Before getting into coaching, Humphrey was a four-year letter winner for the ULM football team. He joined the Warhawks as a walk-on and work ethic and knowledge helped him earn a scholarship after his freshman season. Humphrey finished his career with 45 receptions and more than 600 yards. He had the best game of his career in arguably the biggest win in program history. During ULM’s 21-14 win at Alabama, Humphrey caught three passes for 70 yards and pulled in the game-winning touchdown. For his efforts against the Crimson Tide, he was named Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
Humphrey is a 2009 graduate of ULM, earning a degree in kinesiology.
|Title:||Director of High School Relations/Asst. Offensive Line|
Joe Grace begins his sixth full season with the Blue Devils. He joined the staff prior to spring practice in March 2007. Grace will serve at the Director of High School Relations and coach the offensive line in 2012.
In 2011, Grace's running back tandem of Brian Fowler and Chris Tolbert combined for 1,503 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Grace has helped run a Blue Devil rushing attack that has led
the league in rushing each of his four previous seasons.
Central has also finished in the top-10 in the country in rushing
during that time.
In 2010, senior running back Everette Benjamin rushed for a 1,330 yards, the third-highest total in the NEC. He averaged 120.9 yards per game. As a team Central led the NEC averaging 212.5 yards per contest.
With the Blue Devils Grace spent two seasons coaching All-American running back James Mallory, who was a finalist for the 2009 Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in Division I FCS. Mallory earned numerous All-America honors and finished his career with the Blue Devils as the second all-time leading rusher and scorer. In his last two seasons he rushed for over 2,800 yards and scored 31 touchdowns.
Grace came to New Britain following a 17-year stint as the head coach at Simsbury High School. He won his 100th career game as a high school coach in 2005. Grace led his team to the state title game twice and won four consecutive league championships from 1991-94. Prior to coaching at Simsbury, he was the head coach at Glastonbury High for four seasons. Grace was also the wide receivers coach at Trinity College for six seasons and an assistant coach at the University of Miami for three years. Grace graduated from Southern Connecticut in 1967 and was a fullback for the Owls.
Grace and his wife, Patti, reside in Simsbury, CT and have three children, Don, Brian and Kara, and five grandchildren.
|Title:||Director of Football Operations/Wide Receivers|
Bobby Maffei enters his second season with the Blue Devils in 2012. He will continue his duties as Director of Football Operations for head coach Jeff McInerney and will also work with wide receivers this season.
During his first season with the Blue Devils, Maffei worked as a
defensive assistant in addition to handling football
Maffei most recently served as a student assistant at the University of Nebraska under head coach Bo Pelini. He assisted the Cornhuskers in all facets of game day preparation, including film breakdown, analysis and evaluation.
Maffei has coached at numerous camps and clinics during his days as an undergrad with Nebraska. He coached at the Big Red Football school in both 2009 and 2010, and the Elite Quarterback Academy at Nebraska. He has also coached at camps at Navy, Boston College and Trumbull High School.
Maffei played his high school football at Trumbull High School under his father Bob Maffei. He was a senior captain and an honor mention All-FCIAC selection.
|Title:||Tight Ends/Video Coordinator|
Mike Doty enters his second season as an assistant coach on the Central Connecticut football staff. Doty will continue to work with the tight ends and will serve as the video coordinator during the 2012 season.
A 2011 graduate of CCSU, Doty began working with the football program in February 2010. He served as a student assistant during the 2010 season.
In 2010, Doty was primarily responsible for film exchange and
editing for CCSU. He also assisted with scouting reports.
Doty has also worked as a coach at the Crawford Educational complex. He has coached both defensive backs and wide receivers.
|Title:||Academic Coordinator/Asst. Defensive Backs|
Head coach Jeff McInerney has added Dwight Hazelwood to his staff for the 2012 season. Hazelwood will serve as the team's academic coordinator and will also assist with coaching defensive backs.
Hazelwood coached football at Milford Academy the last three years while also teaching at the school. His final season with Milford, he served as defensive coordinator and coached defensive backs.
He is 2007 graduate of Springfield College where he double majored in business management and finance. On the field, he was a 4 year player in the defensive backfield. He helped his team to a pair of ECAC Championships and and Empire 8 Trophy.