GAME #1 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: UNE Visits New London for Program's Football Debut

GAME #1 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: UNE Visits New London for Program's Football Debut
UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND AT COAST GUARD 
AUG. 30TH --7:00 -- NEW LONDON, CONN.
**SEASON OPENER**
 
ON THE AIR: A live video stream will be at www.cgasports.com
 
THE SERIES: This is the first game for the University of New England football program.
 
COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 20th season, has a record 63 career wins as head coach at the Academy as he passed John Merriman for the most in program history in the win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 19th, 2013.
 
Merriman was the coach from (1930-1945) and the Gymnasium is named is his honor. In 2012, George passed NFL Hall of Famer and former Director of Athletics and head football coach Otto Graham, who had 43 wins in his two stints as head coach (1959-'65 and 1974-'75). Coach George led the Bears to a pair of NEFC Bogan Division championships in 2006 and 2007.
 
BEARS PICKED SIXTH IN NEWMAC PRESEASON POLL:  Coast Guard has been picked to finish sixth in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) preseason poll. Coast Guard was 3-7 overall and 1-6 in conference play. Every conference school has voted for defending champion Springfield to repeat as NEWMAC champion getting a first place vote from all seven schools, while the Pride, which can't vote for itself, voted for WPI.       

TO VIEW THE 2017 FINAL NEWMAC STANDINGS -- CLICK HERE 
 
2018 NEWMAC Football Preseason Poll
Rank (First Place Votes)
1.   Springfield (7)
2.   WPI (1)
T3. MIT
T3. Merchant Marine
5.   Catholic
6.   Coast Guard
7.   Norwich
8.   Maine Maritime 
 
THE MEN BEHIND THE MICROPHONES: Coast Guard football will have a new broadcast team this year for the five home webcasts as Keith O'Brien (The Sports Doctor) will handle play-by-play duties while Dan Zumpano will be the color commentator for the 2018 season. O'Brien, who did several road football and some home basketball games last season for the Bears, takes over the the play-by-play duties while Zampano, a newcomer to Coast Guard football joins him in the booth.
 
SCOUTING COAST GUARD: Coast Guard returns 14 starters, six on offense and eight on defense as well as the punter and the kicker from a team that started the season 3-1, before losing starting quarterback Ethan Goldcamp to injury as well as some key defensive players as the team dropped its final six games of the season to finish 3-7 overall and 1-6 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
 
 
Junior Ryan Jones, who started the final six games of the season last year, will be the starter this year. He was 91 of 174 for 964 yards with six touchdown and 14 interceptions while also rushing for 79 yards and three touchdowns.
 
Jones was 24 of 36 for a career-high 311 yards and three touchdowns in the season finale against Merchant Marine.
 
Sophomore Chris Gardner, who carried 20 times for 60 yards last season, will be the starting running back while classmate Jon Wagner will also see time in the backfield.
 
The strength of the offense will be the depth of quality receivers that return. Sophomore Justin Moffatt (27 receptions, 438 yards, 4 TD) along with junior Liam Middleton (25 receptions, 240 yards) and senior co-captain Chip Crowley (20 receptions, 250 yards) and a talented young group will give Jones plenty of weapons.
 
Coast Guard will also return four starting offensive linemen led by senior center Hudson Dunaway. Seniors Nick Szep (LG), Bill Boardman (LT) and junior Colton Rausch (RG) also return while junior Jared Gee will start at right tackle for the first time.
 
On the defensive side of the ball, Coast Guard returns second team All-conference selection junior Patrick Crowley (67 tackles, 49 solo, two interceptions) at cornerback. 
 
Senior linebacker Jake Behne, who led the team with 72 tackles, will anchor the linebacking corp and will be joined by senior Luke Wilson (47 tackles).
 
Crowley, along with juniors Mark Wicke (53 tackles, 36 solo), who makes the move to safety, and Michael Goldsworthy (44 tackles, 23 solo), are the top returners in the secondary.
 
Senior co-captain Jack Brandt (49 tackles, 25 solo, six tackles for loss) and classmate Tommy Jones (47 tackles), who led team with 7.5 tackles for loss last season, will anchor the defensive line.
 
Chip Crowley will once again handle the punting duties after averaging 40 yards on 52 punts last season while Crowley was also the Bears top kickoff returner last year averaging 22.9 yards per return.
 
Senior Cole Austin will handle be the kicker for the third straight season. He had a solid year last season, making 8 of 9 field goals and 18 of 21 extra points.
 
SCOUTING UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND: The Nor'Easters take the field for the first time in program history on Thursday night. They are members of the Commonwealth Coast Conference. 
 
The team played an eight game pre-varsity schedule last year under the direction on current head coach Mike Lichten who was named the coach in 2016. Lichten came to UNE following five seasons as head coach at Becker College leading the Hawks to a program-record seven wins (7-3) in 2015 and earning the distinction of Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Coach of the Year for his efforts. He was the primary coordinator on all three sides of the ball during those years, guiding special teams for the last three, the offense in 2012, and the defense in 2011, coaching 49 all-conference selections along the way. Before taking charge, he served as assistant coach and defensive coordinator in 2010.
 
Prior to Becker, Lichten spent two campaigns at Northeastern University [NCAA I-FCS], working as the Wide Receivers Coach (2009) and the Secondary Coach (2008).
 
UP NEXT: The Bears host Union in a non-conference game on Saturday, Sept. 8th at 1:30.
 
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