Fordham University football coach Tom Masella, who turned a program that won three games in 2006 into the 2007 Patriot League champion, has been selected the league’s Coach of the Year. The Patriot League awards are selected by the league’s seven head coaches.
Joining Masella in garnering a major award was freshman running back Xavier Martin, who was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Martin becomes the third Ram to earn Rookie of the Year honors, joining placekicker Micah Clukey (2003) and current teammate and backfield partner, Jonte Coven (2004).
Besides Martin, 11 other Rams earned All-Patriot League honors. Earning First Team accolades were senior running back Jonte Coven, senior linebacker Earl Hudnell and senior punter Ben Dato. Martin, sophomore quarterback John Skelton, senior center Mike Breznicky, senior offensive lineman Mike Nardone, sophomore wide receiver Asa Lucas, junior defensive lineman Ryan Mehra, sophomore linebacker James Crockett, senior linebacker Dominique Owens and senior defensive back Sam Orah all were named to the Second Team.
The Rams finished the regular season with an 8-3 overall record and a 5-1 Patriot League mark, winning the league title for the second time in the past five years. Fordham, who was picked to finish sixth of the seven Patriot League teams, fell to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst 49-35 in the first round of first round of NCAA Division I Championships on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Masella, who is also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, which is given to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national coach of the year, arrived at Rose Hill in 2006 after serving as head coach at Central Connecticut State University for two years. He lead the Blue Devils to back-to-back Northeast Conference (NEC) titles, the school’s first ever football championships, in 2004 and 2005. He led the squad to 15 wins over the two seasons, the most victories recorded over a two-year period by a Central Connecticut State football team in school history.