Mark Whipple Begins Second Tenure as Head Football Coach at UMass


Mark Whipple is all set to begin his second innings at the University of Massachusetts. Whipple, 56, has been chosen as the head football coach, the same role he served from 1998 through 2003.

Whipple replaces Charley Molnar, who was fired Dec.26, with three years and $836,000 remaining on his contract. Minutemen went 1-11 in each of their two seasons.

During his first tenure at UMass, comprising of six seasons, the team won the NCAA I-AA National Championship, made two postseason appearances and secured three Atlantic 10 championships.

"We are thrilled to welcome back one of the greatest coaches in the 135-year history of UMass football," UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said in a statement. "Coach Whipple is committed to fostering a positive environment in which our student-athletes will thrive both athletically and academically."

Whipple is reported to have been a popular figure at UMass, even after his departure, making it easier for the officials to determine their next prospective candidate.

The campus community was not supportive of Molnar. Molnar reportedly never showed any attachment to the school's alumni and players, which might have led to the team's poor performances, Boston Globe reports.

Whipple's immediate responsibility will be to create a positive environment around the team and boost their moral confidence.

"I have a lot to give," said Whipple. "I can make a bigger impact than I have ever made in my life with people young, old and in between at the University of Massachusetts and that's what I am really excited about. This is a special place and I will represent this University better than I ever have. I am trying to do it better than anyone ever has."

After leaving UMass in 2003, Whipple served as quarterbacks coach for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-06, offensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008, offensive coordinator at the University of Miami from 2009-10 and quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland Browns from 2011-12. He did not hold any coaching position in 2013.

This is, however, the first time he is being appointed the head coach since leaving UMass, 10 seasons ago.

Prior to beginning his tenure at UMass, he worked as a head coach for 16 seasons (six at the University of New Haven and four at his alma mater, Brown). Overall, he posted a record of 121-59. Under his leader ship at New Haven, the team twice made an appearance at the NCAA Division 2 tournament.

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