Welcome back to 12 CAA Teams in 12 13 days! Sometimes my other job (the one that actually pays me) will get in the way of this and force me to play catchup but it can’t be helped. With that said, it’s time to stay in the Northeast and check out a place where the letter R does not exist. That’s right it’s Massachusetts!
Name: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Student Body Population: Approx. 25,000 with Graduates
Located: In the town of Amherst in western Massachusetts about two hours from Boston
Colors: Maroon and White
Mascot: Sam the Minuteman
Fun Academic Fact: UMass Amherst is part of the Five Colleges Consortium which allows its students to attend classes, borrow books, work with professors, etc., at four other Pioneer Valley institutions: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.
– UMass and UMaine were both founded under the Land Grant Act signed by President Lincoln in 1862.
Head Coach: Don Brown, 5th Year (38-12)
STADIUM: Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium
Opened in 1965, McGuirk Stadium has a capacity of 17,000 and has seen the Minutemen win 17 conference titles most recently in 2007. The stadium was named after Warren McGuirk who served as UMass’ Director of Athletics from 1948 to 1971. For how long the stadium will be around is uncertain due to an increasing call for the Minutemen to play in the I-A Bowl Subdivision which would require increasing the seating or building a new facility.
UMass football was going nowhere fast in the 90s until then head coach Mark Whipple did an overhaul and turned a ragtag team into national champions in what seemed like overnight. In fact it was. The previous year, UMass had gone 2-9, but in 1998, the Minutemen went 13-2 culminating with a 55-43 thrashing of previously top ranked and unbeaten Georgia Southern. Eventual NFL running back Marcel Shipp had 244 yards rushing and three touchdowns to lead the way and UMass football has been on the map ever since.
UMass RB Marcel Shipp slips away as UMass wins the title against GA Southern on 12/19/1998.
Steve Baylark, Greg Landry, Milt Morin, Marcel Shipp