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The University of New Hampshire football program has been a model of consistency in excellence over the past nine seasons. Despite playing in the Colonial Athletic Association, widely considered the nation’s premier and most competitive Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference, the Wildcats have strung together nine straight appearances in the NCAA Division I Football Championship tournament, the country’s longest active streak. Further, the ‘Cats have appeared in the Top-25 for a nation-leading 126 consecutive polls, a stretch that dates back to Sept. 13, 2004. After claiming the CAA co-championship in 2012, the Wildcats look to become Durham’s first repeat gridiron champs since the 1976 squad repeated as Yankee Conference champions. Fifteenth-year head coach Sean McDonnell, who was a member of that ’76 team, will lead a squad that has to deal with the graduation of such talented players as NFL draft selection Jared Smith and all-time tackle leader Matt Evans. But the 2013 Wildcats are dedicated to extending the program’s near decade-long run of excellence and taking that next step among the top teams in FCS football.

Sean Goldrich

two TDs while rushing for 71 yards in the Wildcats’ 38-17 win at Holy Cross. Goldrich, though, was knocked out of commission a week later at Minnesota, which allowed Vailas to step in and take command. After guiding the ‘Cats to a convincing 43-10 triumph versus Central Connecticut State in the home opener, the Phillips Academy product passed for 336 yards and five touchdowns to go along with a 67-yard rushing score in a wild 64-61 loss at No. 5 Old Dominion. Vailas won the CAA Offensive Player of the Week award the very next week when he went 23 of 36 for 315 yards and two TDs in a 34-14 defeat of No. 8 Delaware at Cowell Stadium. Six weeks after suffering his shoulder injury at Minnesota, Goldrich reclaimed the starting role and led UNH to a comefrom-behind 28-21 victory at Maine with four touchdown tosses to win his second CAA Rookie of the Week award. Vailas finished the season ranked third in the CAA in passing efficiency (143.0), second in points responsible for/game (14.2), seventh in total offense/game (182.5) and ninth in passing average/game (141.6); Goldrich was ninth in the league in total offense/game (152.9) and 10th in both passing average/ game (133.6) and pass efficiency (124.6). Joining the veteran duo are redshirt freshmen Adam Riese (Hamilton, N.J.) and Chris McCormick (Winooski, Vt.).

Andy Vailas

QUARTERBACKS A year ago, the quarterback position was up for grabs as the team sought to replace 2011 CAA Offensive Player of the Year Kevin Decker with unproven signal callers Sean Goldrich (West Haven, Conn.) and Andy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.) among those who competed right through fall camp. The QB battle is once again wide open between Goldrich and Vailas, only this time the competition is between two proven men under center. Goldrich won the neck-and-neck battle for the starting post in 2012 and promptly won the CAA Rookie of the Week award in week one after completing 21 of 31 passes for 193 yards and


Chris Setian RUNNING BACKS Once reputed to be an offense that carved through defenses almost exclusively with its diverse aerial attack, the Wildcats found consistent balance in 2012 with a suddenly potent and deep running attack. The trio of Nico Steriti (Toms River, N.J.), Chris Setian (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Jimmy Owens (West Deptford, N.J.) spearheaded the CAA’s third-ranked and

2013 UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE FOOTBALL 2009 New Hampshire Football 11 • 11 •

UNH 2013 Football Media Guide  

UNH Football Media Guide 2013 The official 2013 University of New Hampshire Football Media Guide contains player and coach bios, team recor...

UNH 2013 Football Media Guide  

UNH Football Media Guide 2013 The official 2013 University of New Hampshire Football Media Guide contains player and coach bios, team recor...