Villanova concludes spring ball workouts
Football team hosted annual event on campus this week
Testing drive is open to the public and it will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Antoine Lewis and Dan Shirey Chosen as Team Leaders
Wildcats will hold 15 practices that run through April 18
Villanova finished 8-4 (6-2) in 2012
Villanova defeated Rhode Island, 31-10, in its CAA opener on September 15, 2012.
Villanova played Temple in the fourth annual Mayor's Cup game on August 31, 2012 at Lincoln Financial Field.
Villanova vs. Temple
Villanova hosted Delaware on November 19, 2011 in the first American football game played at PPL Park.
Updated April 2013
Record at Villanova: 198-120-1, .622 (28 Years)
Villanova head coach Andy Talley will be entering his 34th season as a collegiate head coach, including his 29th as the Wildcat leader in 2013. The winningest coach in school history, Talley's record on the Main Line currently stands at an impressive 198-120-1.
He has a 33-year overall coaching record of 226-138-2. The 226 career victories rank him eighth on the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) active coaching list and he rates 21st in career winning percentage at .611.
Last year, Talley led the Wildcats to the NCAA playoffs for the 10th time in program history with an 8-4 overall record. Villanova also claimed a share of the CAA championship with a 6-2 CAA mark. This was sixth conference championship for Villanova under Talley's direction. For his efforts last season, Talley was named the CAA Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. Talley also helped redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson to a season that saw him win the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in FCS football, as well as earning both the CAA and ECAC Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Talley reached the pinnacle of his illustrious career in 2009 as he led the Wildcats to a 14-1 record and the FCS National Championship. Villanova earned the title with a thrilling 23-21 win over previously undefeated Montana in a game played at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn. Villanova also won the 2009 CAA championship with a 7-1 league mark and were awarded the Lambert Meadowlands Trophy, the ECAC Team of the Year and the Wanamaker Award which is given to the athlete, team or organization that has done the most to reflect credit upon the city of Philadelphia.
For his efforts in 2009, Talley received numerous coaching honors. Highlighting the list was the AFCA National Coach of the Year Award. Talley also earned this award in 1997 and becomes just the 17th coach to win the award twice. He also garnered the 2009 CAA Coach of the Year, the Sportsman's Award from the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation and the Maxwell Club President's Award. Talley guided 14 players to All-Conference honors in 2009. In addition, junior wide receiver Matt Szczur was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year, the CAA Special Teams Player of the Year and a first team All-American, while tackle Ben Ijalana garnered first team All-American accolades.
In 2010, Talley led his Wildcats to a third consecutive NCAA playoff appearance, including a second straight trip to the NCAA semifinals and a final ranking of No. 3 in the Sports Network Top 25. En route to the semifinal round, Villanova earned road victories at No. 3 Stephen F. Austin and at No. 2 Appalachian State. In addition to the team success, Talley led numerous players to individual achievement in 2011. Highlighting the list was Ijalana who was a consensus first team All-American and was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. All total, Villanova had 14 players garner first team All-CAA distinction in 2011, including five first team honorees.
On October 24, 2009, Talley became just the 55th coach in NCAA history to reach the 200 win plateau when his Wildcats defeated the University of Rhode Island by a score of 36-7 in a game played at Villanova Stadium. Talley is already the all-time coaching leader for conference wins in the history of the CAA with 119 league victories. Former New Hampshire mentor Bill Bowes is second with 97 conference victories.
The 2008 season was also a special one for Talley, as he led his Wildcats to a 10-3 overall record and a 7-1 CAA mark. Villanova earned a playoff appearance in 2008, finished the season ranked No. 6 in the national polls and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA playoffs. For his efforts in 2008, Talley was named the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year, the Field Turf/Howie Long FCS National Coach of the Year and the Maxwell Club Coach of the Year.
In addition to the great teams he has built, Talley has also been able to lead great players as evidence by the two Walter Payton Award winners (given to the top player in FCS football), one Jerry Rice Award honoree (given to the top freshman in FCS football), 14 first team All-Americans, 204 All-Conference performers and 56 All-East honorees he has coached at Villanova. The first Walter Payton Award winner came in 1997 when wide receiver Brian Finneran earned the award. To this day, Finneran is the only wide receiver to ever receive this honor. Finneran went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL. In 2001, running back Brian Westbrook garnered the Walter Payton Award, making Villanova one of just five schools to produce two Payton Award winners. Also, that year, Westbrook participated in two prestigious all-star games, playing in both the Senior Bowl and Hula Bowl. Westbrook would go on to become the first Wildcat since Howie Long to be drafted when he was selected in third round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the hometown Philadelphia Eagles. Under Talley's guidance, Westbrook would be the only player in Villanova football history to be a three-time first team All-American. Also, in 1998, Talley helped Westbrook become the only player in the history of NCAA football at any level to rush for 1,000 yards and receive for 1,000 yards in the same season.
The 14 Villanova players to earn first team All-American distinction under Talley include offensive guard Paul Berardelli (1988), center Bryan Russo (1989), linebacker Curtis Eller (1991, 1992), linebacker Tyrone Frazier (1994), Finneran (1996, 1997), quarterback Chris Boden (1997), Westbrook (1998, 2000, 2001), offensive tackle Eamonn Allen (2001), quarterback Brett Gordon (2002), linebacker Brian Hulea (2005), defensive end Greg Miller (2008), Szczur (2009) and Ijalana (2009, 2010). Eller, Finneran, Westbrook, Gordon and Szczur also earned conference player of the year recognition during their Wildcat careers and Eller was named to the Yankee Conference 50th Anniversary Team.
Throughout his Main Line career, Talley has guided Villanova to 10 NCAA playoff appearances, six conference championships, three Lambert Meadowlands Cup, three ECAC Team of the Year awards, three national semifinal appearances and the 2009 national championship.
While leading his troops to the first-ever undefeated, untied regular season in 1997, Talley also guided the Wildcats to a No. 1 national ranking for the final six weeks of the regular season. This was the first time in school history that a Villanova football team was ranked No. 1 in the polls. On their way to being named the 1997 ECAC Team of the Year, Talley and the Wildcats set 41 school records. After claiming the inaugural Atlantic 10 championship in 1997 with a perfect 8-0 conference mark, Talley and his team were rewarded for their fine season with a bid to the NCAA I-AA playoffs. In the playoffs, Villanova accomplished another first, as the `Cats claimed the school's first-ever I-AA playoff win with a 49-28 victory over Colgate.
When you have a season like Talley and the Wildcats had, individual honors are sure to follow. For his efforts in 1997, Talley won virtually every coaching award possible. At a banquet in New York City in early December, Talley was presented the prestigious Eddie Robinson Award as the nation's top coach in all of I-AA. A few weeks later, he garnered the AFCA/GTE National Coach of the Year Award. As part of winning this distinction, Talley was selected to serve as an assistant coach at the 1998 Hula Bowl. In Hawaii, Talley assisted then Ohio State head coach John Cooper, serving as the secondary coach for the North squad. In addition to these awards, Talley was named the recipient of the first-ever Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year Award.
On Sept. 30, 1995, Villanova defeated the University of Buffalo, 28-3, giving Talley his 67th win as Villanova's head coach, surpassing Harry Stuhldreher, who was one of the Four Horsemen, for the most victories in Villanova football history. About to enter his 27th season on the Main Line, Talley can feel responsible for every facet of the Villanova program, having started it from scratch in 1985. In his 27 years at Villanova, Talley's successes have been numerous. When he arrived on May 29, 1984 as the school's 29th head coach, there was no team. The program had been dropped following the 1980 campaign and had now been restored, with Talley being given the job of building a program. He set out to build not only a winning team, but one that alumni all over the country could be proud of.
In his first season, Talley guided the Wildcats to a perfect 5-0 in a limited schedule and since that season Talley has not let his troops look back. Dating back to that opening campaign, Talley has led Villanova teams to NCAA FCS (Formerly Division I-AA) playoff appearances in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. His 1989, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2009 and 2012 teams were conference champions, while the 1992, 2002 and 2009 squads were voted the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy champions as the top I-AA team in the East.
Before coming to Villanova, Talley served as the head football coach at St. Lawrence University, where in 1982, he led St. Lawrence to the Division III Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy as the top team in the East. That year, Talley was named the American Football Coaches Association/Kodak Division III Region I Coach of the Year, as well as the Metropolitan New York Sportswriters/ECAC Coach of the Year.
Not only has he won as a head coach every-where he has been, Talley has been associated with nothing but winning programs since his coaching career began in 1967. The record of all his teams as both an assistant and a head coach is a gaudy 304-158-4.
For Talley, however, these accomplishments are not enough. Perhaps of greater importance to Talley than wins, losses and athletic accolades are the types of students and people that his program turns out. In his Villanova career, Villanova has had 12 GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, two NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners and 183 academic All-Conference performers.
Away from the football field, Talley is appreciative of the opportunities provided to him through athletics, and is continually looking to give something back to others. The area off the field to which he dedicates most of his time is the National Bone Marrow Foundation. With this group, he works to have potential bone marrow donors entered in a national bone marrow registry, increasing the odds of a needy patient being able to find a "match" for their bone marrow. Since November 1, 1993, he has been responsible for over 30,000 people being tested with the National Marrow Donor Program. In 2008, Talley started the "Get In The Game and Save a Life" national bone marrow registration campaign. Talley enlisted 30 college football programs from all levels to take part in this campaign. Since 2008, this group has combined to test nearly 40,000 potential donors.
For his efforts with the bone marrow program, Talley has received numerous awards and accolades. In the spring of 2010, he was presented The Person of the Decade Award by the Temple Bone Marrow Transplant Program of Temple University Hospital. In 2009, he was given the Volunteer of the Year Award by the Laurie Strauss Foundation and the Collegiate Award by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). The Strauss Foundation Award recognizes an individual for instilling compassion in collegiate student-athletes and the Collegiate Award is given to an individual or university in honor of outstanding commitment to raising awareness, recruiting donors and supporting life-saving work of the NMDP. In the summer of 2008, The Philadelphia Sports Congress gave Talley its 2008 Community Service Award which is presented to the individual, business or organization that has done the most to contribute to the quality of life in Philadelphia through sports. He was also named one of the 75 greatest Living Philadelphians in a survey conducted by the Philadelphia Eagles and Dunkin Donuts for his long standing commitment and ongoing contributions to the city of Philadelphia.
Talley also often serves as a featured speaker at many business and community functions. He acts as President of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Philadelphia Chapter. In December of 2000, Talley was one of two chapter presidents to be honored by the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame and received an award for his leadership of the Philadelphia Chapter at the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Talley was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award in January of 2000 by the All-American Football Foundation.
Talley's coaching career began at Simsbury (Conn.) High School in 1967 where he was an assistant coach for two years. In 1969, he became the defensive secondary coach at Springfield (Mass.) College for one year and then was the offensive backfield coach at Middlebury (Vt.) College from 1970-73.
Talley had his first experience of rebuilding a program when he became the offensive back-field coach at Brown University in 1973. Having experienced several losing seasons prior to 1973, Talley was on the staff while they compiled a 36-15-2 overall record in six seasons, including the Ivy League title in 1976.
From there, he was named the head coach at St. Lawrence (N.Y.) University, a position he held until his appointment at Villanova in May, 1984. Talley rebuilt the St. Lawrence program, and led the Saints to a 28-18-1 record in five seasons, including an undefeated regular season in 1982 when he advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals.
During the winter of 1996, Talley was inducted into the Haverford Hall of Fame. He played four seasons at defensive back for Southern Connecticut University, graduating with honors in 1967 and earning a Masters Degree in Education in 1969. In the spring of 1998, Talley was inducted into the Southern Connecticut Hall of Fame. In November, 2005, he was recognized by the Delaware County Hall of Fame, while in June of 2006, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Delaware County Chapter. During the summer of 2007, he earned a spot in the Pennsylvania State Hall of Fame.
In March, 2012, Talley earned yet another Hall of Fame honor when he was inducted into the Villanova University Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
A graduate of Haverford (Pa.) High School just five minutes from the Villanova campus, Talley is a native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Arlene, currently reside in Berwyn, Pa. They are the parents of two children: Josh, a graduate of both Brown University, and Villanova Law School who is currently a practicing lawyer in Philadelphia and Gina, who earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters Degree from New York University and a Doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts.