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Monday, December 12, 2005

TRINITY FOOTBALL COACH ACCEPTS NEW HEAD POSITION AT STONY BROOK

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JEFF DEVANNEY NAMED NEW BANTAM HEAD COACH

Hartford, Conn. - Trinity College head football coach Chuck Priore who led the Bantams to their fourth consecutive NESCAC Championship this season and the longest winning streak in the nation (30-0) for NCAA Division III, has accepted the head football coach position at Stony Brook University. He begins his new duties on January 1, 2006. Trinity defensive coordinator Jeff Devanney has been named as the new Bantam head football coach.

Commenting on Priore’s highly successful tenure at Trinity, President Jones said, “Not only was he an extraordinary coach for the Bantams, but he demanded excellence from our athletes in the classroom as well. While we are hugely disappointed to lose a person of his caliber, we wish him nothing but total success in his new assignment at Stony Brook. He represents the highest ideals of the College and I have the deepest admiration for his outstanding achievements.”

Three-time NESCAC Coach of the Year and two-time AFCA Regional Coach of the year, Priore has placed his indelible stamp on the Trinity football program, with his focus on structure, team work, and game preparation. During his six years at Trinity and with his achievement of a 39-9 record, he coached players and teams that excelled on both sides of the ball. Athletic Director Rick Hazelton affirms, “Coach Priore has left an incredible record and legacy at Trinity. His work ethic, planning, and daily routine have created a special environment in which the players excel both on and off the field. They have not lost a game since 2002, a record that speaks volumes about the quality and success of the football program he has shaped at Trinity.”

Echoing NESCAC’s educational emphasis, Priore led a program in which his student-athletes’ academic achievement was even more important than athletic accomplishment. Priore notes: “Trinity’s reputation as an outstanding academic institution allowed us to recruit good students who are also good football players. Our student-athletes work hard both in the classroom and on the field. We not only prepare our student-athletes for games, but for lives of leadership after college.” He adds, “I owe many, many thanks to the Trinity community and to the alumni for their support, as well as my deepest appreciation to all the coaches and players that I have had the opportunity to work with, for without their passion, success would not be possible.”

Before coming to Trinity, Priore served as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1999, which amassed three Ivy League titles and a 24-game winning streak. He has also coached at Union College and SUNY-Albany. A graduate of SUNY-Albany, where he was a three-year starter at fullback, he went on to earn a master’s degree in business education there in 1985.

A 1993 Trinity graduate and star player in football and baseball for the College, Devanney was voted the NESCAC Football Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. He earned his master’s degree in liberal studies from SUNY-Albany in 1995. Devanney is excited about his new position, saying: “Becoming head coach at a great academic school has always been a goal of mine. I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to do it here at my alma mater. I owe a lot to Chuck Priore for what he has done for Trinity’s football program and for me personally. I am looking forward to continuing his legacy of success.”

Devanney was the defensive line coach in 2001 and the secondary coach from 2002 to 2004, before taking on duties as the defensive coordinator this year. Under his leadership this season, the Trinity defense led the NESCAC and the nation in scoring defense (4.5 points allowed per game), rushing defense (40.6 yards allowed per game), and total defense (165.9 yards allowed per game). The Bantams also claimed the New England Division II/III Defensive Player of the Year in 2005, as well as the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year the last two years.

Prior to Trinity, Devanney was the defensive coordinator at Central Connecticut State University from 1998-2000. He also served as a secondary coach at Georgia Tech and worked with the wide receivers and tight ends at Albany and Coast Guard.

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