Joe Conlin had the credentials and Fordham University Athletic Director David Roach welcomed his new head football coach to Rose Hill Thursday afternoon in the Bronx. This search for a new head coach did not take long when Andrew Breiner went for another opportunity after the Rams dismal 4-7 season.
And this hire of Conlin, an associate coach of offense at Yale University the past four years, indeed breathes the Fordham University theme of academics first for their student athletes. There is also that rich tradition up at Rose Hill with Vince Lombardi and those “Seven Blocks of Granite” that will always be there and Conlin is aware of that history.
For now it’s about this defined process that Conlin emphasized at his introductory press conference. This is also about Fordham retaining a head coach for an extended period. Breiner served two years and left for Mississippi State to join Joe Moorhead his predecessor at Fordham.
Of course it was Moorhead the Fordham football alumnus who led the Rams to a Patriot League title and built a foundation for a program that was on the brink of disaster. Part of that Fordham success was the recruitment and play of the All-American, Chase Edmonds who broke every Fordham and Patriot League rushing record.
So for now it’s Joe Conlin time up at Rose Hill. He has a task to get another Patriot League title back to the Bronx. He emphasized that winning was a goal and that was to be the best program in the Patriot League.
And that process was defined about the all and important academic goal that always describes what is expected from the Fordham student-Athlete. Perhaps some of the other candidates for this job did not breathe and live that approach and Conlin did.
After all, those Major Division 1 college football programs seem to thrive on the competition and because Colin does have that Yale look, he was the perfect choice. But it is about winning and in the end that is what boosters and alumni of any college athletic program want.
“We don’t control an outcome,” said Conlin. “We control our process how we achieve.” This past season the Yale offense under Conlin was 12th in the FCS. The family man with two daughters will not have Edmonds leading the Fordham offense but looks for a faster game and as he said, “Not a tempo.”
And you can tell from this first meeting up at Rose Hill, described as a “Meet and Greet” that Conlin will get the respect and love of his players. And of course the search for a new coach, one that had nearly 100 interested in the position, abruptly ended when Conlin had that background of love for his players at Yale and that philosophy is a part of that defined process at Fordham.
“Less outcome oriented,” said the new head coach. That may not have gone over well with the boosters, but it is a part of that defined process and with that academic tradition at Fordham winning is important but secondary.
The important thing is for Fordham football athletes to have that success when they leave Rose Hill. Conlin will assure that, and at the same time he did not take his first career coaching job to lose games. And it is now being shown that the head spot on the gridiron at Rose Hill is leading to more opportunity though for now Conlin is the choice and is expected to be around until further notice.
Most of all the job requires consistency up at Rose Hill. The hiring of Joe Conlin and with this defined process could be the consistency the Fordham football Rams need. Academics is first but the new coach still wants to win football games.
“Work tirelessly,” said Conlin. He meant the Fordham tradition and of course there will be a defined process up at Rose Hill that begins with a new season in early September.
Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso