UMass welcomes back Whipple as football head coach - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

UMass welcomes back Whipple as football head coach

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UMass welcomes back former football head coach Mark Whipple. UMass welcomes back former football head coach Mark Whipple.
AMHERST, MA (WSHM) -

The University of Massachusetts officially introduced Mark Whipple as the new football head coach Tuesday morning.

Whipple first served as head coach of the Minutemen from 1998-2003 with a record of 49-26 in Amherst. Since then he has coached for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns.

"Sometimes you need to go away to find out where your home is, and I've found it. Thank you," Whipple said, as he was visibly choked up.

The former NFL coach said he will represent UMass better than he ever has.

"This is a special place," Whipple said. "People ask me, ‘Why would I leave the NFL?' They hadn't been to UMass."

Whipple spoke optimistically about the future of the football program at UMass.

"Someone once told me, coaches win games, but administrations win championships. I believe in this administration. We will win championships here at UMass," Whipple said.

University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret called the reacquisition of coach Whipple an important step for UMass Football and an important step for the University of Massachusetts.

"We believe Coach Mark Whipple is the right man at the right moment," Caret said.

The 56-year-old Browne University graduate is well-known in the UMass community as he coached the Minutemen during one of the program's most successful eras, leading them to an NCAA I-AA National Championship in his first year as head coach in 1998.

The Tarrytown, NY, native has more than 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels. Whipple has 16 years as a head coach under his belt with a 121-59 overall record.

UMass fired Charley Molnar as head football coach last month after its first two years in the highest level of competition in college football.

UMass joined the Mid-American Conference and the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2012. Molnar's record was 2-22 with the team since.

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