UMass has been a college football bottom-feeder since making the leap to the Football Bowl Subdivision two years ago. According to Mark Whipple, those days are over.
Whipple was introduced as the new head coach of the Minutemen on Tuesday, returning him to the school he led to the top of Division I-AA in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Recreating that level of success against FBS powerhouses will be no easy task — especially for a team that finished a combined 2-22 over the last two seasons under previous coach Charley Molnar — but Whipple is confident in his ability to prove that UMass football belongs among the nation’s elite.
“We will win championships here at UMass,” Whipple said at his introductory press conference.
Whipple served as UMass’ head coach from 1998-2003, leading the team to a D-IAA national championship in his first season. He has since held three positions at the NFL level, most recently working as the Cleveland Browns’ quarterbacks coach before he was fired along with the rest of Pat Shurmur‘s staff after the 2012 season.
“People ask me,” Whipple said, “‘Why would you leave the NFL?’ They haven’t been to UMass. They haven’t been to the University of Massachusetts.”
UMass, which finished second to last in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference this season, will open its 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Boston College at Gillette Stadium.
Photo via Facebook/UMass Athletics