Molnar officially announced as UMass football coach

By Herb Scribner

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On Wednesday, reports claimed that Notre Dame’s Charley Molnar would be leading the Massachusetts football team as it moves to the Football Bowl Subdivision next season.

Courtesy UMass Athletics

The announcement was officially made last night at around 4 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. Molnar will take over for former coach Kevin Morris as the Minutemen head to the Mid-American Conference.

“UMass has made a commitment to me,” said Molnar in a press conference. “And I’ve made a commitment to UMass and I’m going to make a winner here. We’re going to work hard, we’re going to work together and we’re going to have a winning football program at the University of Massachusetts.

“We’re going public, we’re a stock and it’s new. Buy it today because the prices are going to skyrocket,” added Molnar. “We are going to go right to the top and I’m asking all of you to join me – all of the people in New England, not just Massachusetts.”

Molnar was selected as coach after athletic director John McCutcheon narrowed a list of 70 possible candidates to 20. McCutcheon noted Molnar wasn’t in the initial group of candidates and it was Molnar who reached out to UMass.

“Why UMass? Why did I choose UMass to be the place where I’m going to put the rest of my professional reputation and career [on the line]?” asked Molnar to those in attendance at the press conference, which included UMass President Robert Caret and Chancellor Robert Holub. “I wanted to be involved in the program from the ground up. I’ve always envisioned myself to be a builder. I like heavy lifting, I like having ideas [and] I like seeing my ideas become realities.”

Molnar also added that he was excited to join a program where everyone is pushing and pulling in the same direction, including everyone working at Gillette Stadium to those back on the UMass campus.

“Today marks a significant step in the transition of UMass Amherst to the top tier of collegiate football,” said Holub. “At UMass, we strive for excellence in everything that we do and our coach, Charley Molnar, builds on the cornerstone … of that program.

“We’re excited to introduce that tradition to a new legion of fans from across the commonwealth and across the nation,” added Holub. “This will increase the visibility of our university.”

Though Holub expressed how much the football team will increase the exposure of UMass across the state, the new head coach expressed his desire for the exposure of UMass to go further than just the Bay State. He said he wants the team to become the flagship school of New England when it comes to college football.

“There’s no reason [why] we can’t be the number one division team in New England football,” said Molnar.

Molnar has specialized in offensive coaching, something which he plans to bring to UMass. His offensive structure will be up-tempo with a heavy reliance on running the football. Molnar said he didn’t favor one type of quarterback-stle over another.

Defensively, Molnar noted he wanted to push the team harder and harder with each play.

“I think that you’re going to see a team that plays very hard,” said Molnar. “You can get your teams to play hard; it’s a matter of coaching the team motivation.”

Aside from motivation, Molnar said he plans to recruit very heavily as the Minutemen make the move to the MAC. While he will still be working at Notre Dame for its upcoming Champs Bowl game against Florida State, Molnar plans to make recruitment calls for the Minutemen even while he is back with the Fighting Irish.

Coming from Notre Dame, a top tier football program in the nation, Molnar said he has visions of how he wants to build UMass. He said that he wants UMass to become a new version of Boise State, which moved up to the Big West Conference in Division I-A – now dubbed the FBS.

“UMass is at a critical junction of what we can do with this football program. I would like to create a Boise State at some university,” said Molnar.

Though Molnar said he hopped on the opportunity to coach at UMass once it was announced the school was in need of a new head coach, Molnar also noted that he wouldn’t have made the move if the Minutemen weren’t planning on moving up to FBS.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Scribner.