July 25, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Chiarelli: Sam Koch’s impact evident in those who knew him best -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Longtime UMass men’s soccer coach Sam Koch dies after two-year battle with sinus cancer -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Southwest evacuated after gas leak -

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UMass Rowing finishes NCAA Championships, ends year ranked No. 21 in the nation -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two UMass basketball alums to compete for a lofty prize in The Basketball Tournament -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Commencement Photos 2014 -

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two arrested in relation to series of vandalism -

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Students push for relocation of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health -

Monday, May 12, 2014

Video: No. 14 UMass WLAX ends season in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

No. 14 UMass women’s lacrosse season ends in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sixth inning rally propels UMass past Dayton 7-2 -

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

McMahon, Ferris and McGovern: Not your usual transfer story -

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Women’s lacrosse defeats Richmond 10-6 to win sixth straight A-10 Championship -

Sunday, May 4, 2014

No. 13 UMass women’s lacrosse knocks off Duquesne 16-3 to reach Atlantic 10 finals -

Friday, May 2, 2014

UMass one of 55 schools currently facing investigation over handling of sexual assault cases -

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Two thefts reported at library -

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Senior Columns 2013-2014 -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

UMass Dining proposes major meal plan changes -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

UMass baseball beats UConn for first time since 2007 -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MTV’s seemingly controversial new show proves to be ‘Faking It’ -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Havens looks to improve second year as starter

Kyle Havens left the comfortable weather of the Golden State to play football in a new climate. As a junior quarterback, he transferred to play for the Massachusetts football team and battled for a starting role amidst a team seeing its complexion change with a new season.

A full year later, Havens gained the trust of his teammates and feels a renewed confidence in his ability to run the offense and lead the Minutemen to victory.

“I feel a lot more confident in [my play],” Havens said. “I know the guys are more confident in me. We’re ready to go out and show everybody what we’ve got this season.”

The transfer from Concord, Calif. challenged former quarterback Scott Woodward for the starting role while attempting to replace one of the most productive quarterbacks to ever put on a maroon and white uniform.

UMass quarterback Liam Coen broke almost every career passing record in the Minutemen history book in 2008. Coen was an All-American and graduated amongst the top 15 in yards and completions in Football College Series history.

A year later, UMass lost Coen to graduation and saw its head coach leave to become the defensive coordinator at Maryland. Don Brown left the Minutemen after coaching them to a 43-19 record from 2004-08, the most successful five-year stint in school history.

Meanwhile, Havens threw for over 300 yards a game with Diablo Valley in Pleasant Hill, Calif., and earned national recognition.

Havens finished his two-year career with 3,017 yards and 27 touchdowns at DV. He earned NorCal All-Conference Second Team honors and Gridwire Academic All-American honors while being rated the 18th-best junior college quarterback in the nation by Scout.com, receiving interest of then-Minutemen offensive coordinator Kevin Morris.

Morris, who worked on Brown’s staff since 2000 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Northeastern, took over as his successor. In his first test as head coach, he recruited Havens to battle for the elusive starting quarterback position.

Thrust into a competition with three other players, Havens chose to wear the same-numbered jersey as his predecessor, No. 12.

The  currentsignal-caller beat out Spencer Whipple, Octavius Hawkins and Scott Woodward to earn his place under center.

After a shaky game in his first start, Havens played well in his next four games, completing 64 percent of his passes for 1,147 yards and six touchdowns. He had a breakout performance on Sept. 19 against Rhode Island, when he threw for 329 yards on 22-for-30 passing with  two touchdowns. That performance earned him Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week and New England Golden Helmet honors.

After a full offseason to get acclimated to the offense, Havens hopes to experience improved results on the field in 2010.

“This is the first time since high school that I have two consecutive years in one offense and it’s just night and day,” Havens said. “The whole game slows down for me. I understand what I’m doing and what everyone else is doing.

“It’s not so much the level of play. My understanding of defensive concepts, knowing where everyone is supposed to be or wants to be on the field, being able to watch film and work with the coaches.”

Key departures at wide receiver make way for a fresh group of receivers whom Havens will look to throw to. Victor Cruz and Jeremy Horne, his No. 1 and No. 3 options from a year ago have graduated as well as starting tailback Tony Nelson.

The Minutemen team is much younger this season and will look to veterans for guidance and leadership in the coming year.

Free from any distraction as a new quarterback in a new system, Morris already sees improvement in Havens.

“Kyle is our quarterback. It’s his team,” Morris said. “He’s got to mature and grow. He’s a different kid coming in this fall, when he was in the shadow of Liam Coen and a new team. Now it’s his squad and the players are performing well around him.”

Dan Gigliotti can be reached at dgigliot@student.umass.edu.

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