Taylor Harris has nine TD's in the last four games.
PDF Game Notes
The University of Dayton football team returns to the road Saturday, Oct. 30 when the Flyers visit Davidson. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
UD is 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the Pioneer Football League after last week’s 41-23 win at home against Campbell. Dayton’s 5-0 conference mark places the Flyers in first place with Jacksonville.
Dayton has clinched the its 34th winning season in the last 35 years.
Davidson is 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the PFL. The Wildcats have won the close ones (their two wins are by a total of eight points) but unfortunately for the ‘Cats, there haven’t been enough close games. Each loss this season has been by at least 10 points.
Dayton returned 15 starters (10 offense, three defense, two specialists), from the team that went 9-2 and won a share of the 2009 Pioneer Football League title.
Head coach Rick Chamberlin has guided UD to 9-3 and 9-2 records in his first two seasons.
GOOD NEWS WORTH REPEATING
The Flyers entered the season with the second best winning percentage (.791, 87-23) in FCS football since 2000 AND the most football Academic All-Americans (19) at any level of competition in the decade.
MORE GOOD NEWS
The Flyers were predicted to win their 11th Pioneer Football League championship in the annual PFL coaches’ poll that was announced on August 9. UD received 76 points while Butler was picked to finish second, receiving two first-place votes, with 69 points. Jacksonville got the four remaining first-place votes. Drake was predicted to finish fourth with 54 points, followed by San Diego (52), Marist (45), Davidson (30), Campbell (25), Morehead State (22) and Valparaiso (9).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Davidson coach Tripp Merritt has handed the keys to freshman quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff, and the rookie QB has not disappointed. In just his fifth career start, he broke a 37-year-old record last week at Drake.
Carkhuff completed 41 passes, which was not only a school record but tied for the most in FCS football this season. For the year he has completed 120 of 206 passes (.583) for 1,127 yards, seven TD’s and four interceptions.
Sophomore linebacker Patrick Moynahan leads the defense and is eighth in the PFL in tackles (7.1 per game).
Both of Davidson’s wins have come on the road in league play. The Wildcats are 2-0 when they score first.
Dayton leads 7-1, and has won the last three contests. Last year UD shutout Davidson 17-0 on October 17, 2009 in Dayton. DC’s win came on October 21, 2006 at Richardson Stadium by the score of 37-36.
GOOD WORKS GUYS
The Dayton-Davidson game feature the PFL’s two representatives on the AllState AFCA Good Works Team -- UD offensive tackle Dan Prindle and Wildcat linebacker John Behm.
GOOD GRAD RATE GUYS TOO
Saturday’s game is a matchup of the teams with the top two graduation rates in the PFL in the just-released 2010 Graduation Success Rate report. Davidson has a 95 GSR, with Dayton right behind at 92.
THE EYES OF THE NATION
The Flyer football program received more national attention this summer than perhaps ever, when Steve Valentino and James Vercammen were named to the Payton Award and Buchanan Award Watch Lists. UD is also receiving votes in the Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS and the FCS Coaches Polls.
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 383 straight games, the best such active string in all of college football. The last team to shut out the Flyers was Marshall, 9-0, on Oct. 16, 1976. That is also the all-time FCS record.
ALL CAPTAINS ALL PFL
The Flyers are led by captains Tyler Friedrich, Joe Ries and Steve Valentino. All three are redshirt seniors, members of two PFL championship teams in their careers and were named First Team All-PFL in 2009.
ALL-PFL PERFORMERS RETURN
Dayton returned five 2009 First Team All-PFL performers – OG Tyler Friedrich, LB Joe Ries, QB Steve Valentino, F James Vercammen and DE Brandon Wingeier. In addition, UD also returned WR Justin Watkins (second team) and C Justin Griffis (honorable mention).
LONG TIME STARTERS
Joe Ries, Brandon Wingeier and Steve Valentino each enter the Davidson game with 31 starts under their belts (although 13 of Valentino’s starts were at receiver). Seven other Flyers also have double-digit starts. Justin Watkins has 26, Tyler Friedrich and Eric Studt each have 23, James Vercammen has 21, Justin Griffis 19, Dan Fornek and Dan Prindle each have 18, Anthony Papp and Brian Mack have 15, Mike Morante has 13, and Nick Collins has 11 starts.
VALENTINO NAMED FIRST PFL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior QB Steve Valentino was named the 2010 season’s inaugural PFL Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Dayton’s 28-14 season-opening win over Robert Morris. The Walter Payton Award candidate accounted personally for 317 of UD’s 388 yards in total offense. He ran the ball 16 times for 106 yards and completed 19 of 37 passes for 211 yards and two TD’s in the win. It was his fifth career PFL Player of the Week Award.
Senior quarterback Steve Valentino is the first Dayton player to be named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List. The Payton Award goes to the player of the year in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision and is presented by the Sports Network. A First Team All-PFL wide receiver in 2008, he became Dayton’s starting quarterback in the 2009 season’s second week due to injuries. He promptly led the Flyers to seven consecutive victories and finished the regular season among the league leaders in four categories (with a league-best 281.6 yards total offense) and was named the 2009 PFL Offensive Player of the Year. Just the fourth Flyer to be a two-time football captain, he is the first position player in PFL history to be named first-team all-league at two different positions.
GAME UP IN STANDINGS, GAME BEHIND IN THE STATS
Despite playing less than a half in the Central State blowout, and just about a half against Valparaiso, Steve Valentino is still third in total offense (258.9), fourth in rushing (62.8) and fifth in passing offense (196.1) in the PFL.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
This is the first time since he has began playing organized football that reigning PFL Offensive Player of the Year Steve Valentino has been a starting quarterback two years in a row. He started at QB as a senior at Solon High School, and then redshirted and was a third-string QB in his first two years at UD. He moved to WR in 2008, and then came to the rescue and returned to QB last year.
STILL AT QB, STILL A CAPTAIN, BUT...
There are a lot of attributes attached to Steve Valentino (captain, Payton candidate, PFL Player of the Year, etc.) but he no longer holds the title of “Fastest Player on the Team.” That honor now goes to freshman kick returner/cornerback Gary Hunter, who ran a 4.32 in the preseason. Valentino runs a 4.44.
Senior James Vercammen was named to the Sports Network’s Preseason All-America First Team in July. Playing the hybrid safety/linebacker position know as “Flyer,” he is the only player from the PFL on the first team and one of four from the league on any of the Sports Network preseason teams. Vercammen is also the only player from the PFL who has been named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. The Buchanan Award is given to FCS football’s best defensive player. Vercammen is the first UD player to be named to the Buchanan Watch List. As a redshirt junior, Vercammen’s 134 tackles set a new single-season record in the PFL and was third in the FCS. His season earned him a spot on the Sports Network’s Football Championship Subdivision All-American Second Team and All-PFL First Team. He posted eight games of double-digit tackles, including a 19-tackle, 1.5 tackle for loss and one pass breakup game against conference foe San Diego. This season, Vercammen leads the team in tackles (74), solo stops (40) and tackles behind the line (12.0). He also has five sacks, three fumbles forced, two pass breakups, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery.
VERCAMMEN NAMED PFL PLAYER OF THE WEEK TWICE
James Vercammen was named the PFL Defensive Player of the Week after UD’s 48-14 win over Valparaiso, and co-Player of the Week after the 41-23 win vs. Campbell. Against Valpo, he led UD with 12 tackles (five solo) Saturday, including a sack, a fumble recovery and 2.5 tackles behind the line. Dayton held Valparaiso to 33 net rushing yards in the game. He had 17 stops (8 solo) and two critical fourth-quarter fumbles forced in the Campbell win.
James Vercammen turned a “SportsCenter-quality” play in the Butler win. On a blitz, Vercammen was picked up by a Bulldog running back. The Flyer senior didn’t go around the blocker, nor did he go through the blocker. He went over him, jumping over the would-be pass protector and stopping the pass with his facemask. The play can be seen on the Dayton Flyers YouTube Channel.
QUALITY VS. QUANTITY
Dayton only returned three starters from last year’s defense that led the PFL in scoring defense (13.6) and total defense (242.5), but they were the three most productive Dayton players on that side of the ball. Flyer James Vercammen led the PFL and was third in the nation in tackles (134). Linebacker Joe Ries was second on the team in tackles (70), and led in interceptions (3) and fumbles forced (2). Defensive end Brandon Wingeier led the team in sacks (6.5) and fumbles recovered (2).
SPEAKING OF WINGEIER
Brandon Wingeier is a two-time ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American. A mechanical engineering major, he has started 31 straight games for the Flyers. Last year he led UD in sacks (6.5). He also had 39 tackles, 11.5 hits in the backfield, two fumbles recovered, two QB hurries, a fumble forced, a pass batted down and an interception he returned 57 yards for a touchdown.
WINGEIER NAMED NFF NATIONAL FINALIST
Brandon Wingeier has been named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame’s William V. Campbell Trophy.
The Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, has been referred to as “the academic Heisman.” One of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, the Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
He is one of 121 semifinalists from all levels of college football. UD has had semifinalists in three of the last four years. Bart Bergfeld made the cut in 2008, and Brandon Cramer was a finalist in 2007.
SPEAKING FURTHER OF WINGEIER
Brandon Wingeier was named the PFL Defensive Player of the Week after the Morehead State game. Wingeier spearheaded UD’s defensive effort in the trenches, as the Flyers held Morehead to just two yards net rushing. Wingeier’s 2.5 tackles behind the line led UD, as did his 1.5 sacks. Dayton entered game with 4 sacks, but had 5 in the MSU win alone. He also had five stops in the game (three solo) and forced the fumble on the MSU 11-yard line that set up UD’s second TD of the game.
RIES NAMED PFL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Redshirt senior linebacker Joe Ries was named the PFL Defensive Player of the Week after leading all players in tackles in UD’s 21-20 win at San Diego. Ries led with 10 stops. More importantly, he came up with the two critical fourth-down plays on San Diego’s last two possessions in the fourth quarter to preserve UD’s one-point advantage, and eventually, the win. With 7:24 left, teammate Devon Langhorst made the initial hit on San Diego running back Phil Morelli but Ries finished the play, keeping the USD workhorse from getting a second-effort first down on fourth-and-less-than-one at the Dayton 30. Then, with 48 seconds left on a fourth-and-three at midfield, Ries came on a blitz and got a hand on Mason Mills’ pass, knocking it to the ground and keeping the Flyers undefeated in the PFL.
In four games so far in the month of October, All-American James Vercammen has 50 tackles, 7.5 stop in the backfield, five sacks and two forced fumbles.
James Vercammen leads the Dayton defense in five statistical categories, including total tackles (74), solo hits (40) and stops in the backfield (12). Devon Langhorst is second in tackles (53) and leads in sacks (8) and QB hurries (4). Matt Pfleger is UD’s leader in pass breakups (7) and interceptions (2).
Last year, redshirt sophomore Matt Pfleger was playing wideout for UD behind a deep and talented group of receivers. This year, he is a starting cornerback who is third on the team in solo hits (22), and leads in interceptions (2) and pass breakups (7).
QUALITY & QUANTITY
UD returned 10 of 11 starters on offense (and that does not include center Blake Saul who started all 12 games in 2008 and was limited with a back injury in 2009). Every player who scored was back, as were 13 of the players who caught a pass, and the team’s top four rushers.
THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE
Ten different Flyers have caught at least one pass this season. Justin Watkins leads the team in receptions (38) and yards per catch (15.7). Tyler Hujik is second in receptions (24). Luke Bellman is third (17). Nick Collins is fourth (16) and leads with three TD’s. Anthony Papp is fifth (13). Watkins, Bellman and Papp all have two TD receptions. Jordan Boykin has one, as does Steve Valentino.
CAREER DAY FOR WATKINS
Redshirt senior wideout Justin Watkins caught a career-high eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown in the Robert Morris win.
#1 CAUGHT UP UP TO #1
Justin Watkins, who wears jersey number 1 as UD’s lead receiver, is now the Flyer record holder for career receiving yardage. His first catch against Campbell broke the mark previously held by the player who started that uniform number 1 tradition, Ryan Wrobleski. Wrobleski’s old record was 2,058 yards. Watkins now has 2,165.
After four-and-a-half years as a Flyer without a touchdown catch, Anthony Papp hauled what proved to be the eventual game-winning TD pass in back-to-back wins at San Diego and Butler.
UD’s stable of backs -- RS sophomore Taylor Harris, RS sophomore Dan Jacob, RS sophomore Brian Mack and senior Andrew Zapinski -- have 821 yards and 20 TD’s between them. Collectively, they average 4.8 yards a carry.
HUNTER NAMED PFL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Freshman Gary Hunter was named the PFL Special Teams Player of the Week when he returned what is believed to be the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a freshman in the 105-year history of University of Dayton football. Early records are incomplete, but no Flyer freshman has returned a kickoff for a score in the modern era of UD football. Just after Valparaiso scored to tie the game in the first quarter, Hunter gave Dayton the lead back with an 82-yard return. Hunter has 18 returns for a 29.8 yards-per-return average. He leads the PFL and is 11th nationally in the FCS football in kickoff return average.
MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE
UD head coach Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 319 of UD’s 619 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 25 as a head coach.
Rick Chamberlin’s career .806 (25-6) winning percentage is the best among PFL coaches. Drake’s Chris Creighton is next among the league coaches (.765, 114-35 overall & .621, 18-11 at Drake).
DOING GOOD WORK
Senior offensive tackle Dan Prindle is a member of the 22-man Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Honorees were selected based on their contributions to their community and campus. Prindle has volunteered at Children’s Medical Center, St. Vincent DePaul and the Bombeck Center on campus. In addition, he was a part of Christmas on Campus, YMCA Summer Camp and has also helped with the Special Olympics. This summer he was a camp counselor at UD’s engineering camp for gifted students. He is also an executive officer of Dayton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has served as a representative at the NCAA’s APPLE Conference which concentrates on improving substance abuse prevention programming and policies in athletics departments.
THEY ARE WHO WE THINK THEY ARE
Dayton is one of just two schools in FCS football to have a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team (Dan Prindle) and a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy (Brandon Wingeier). Delaware is the other team.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Nick Glavin’s 195 career points put him 11th at UD. Just ahead are Ryan Hulme (201) and Tim Duvic (203). Glavin is also fourth in career PAT’s for the Flyers with 121. Hulme is next with 139. Glavin is fourth for career field goals at UD (25). French is third with 29.
Justin Watkins is the record holder in Flyer career receiving yardage with 2,038 yards. Watkins is second in career receptions (121). Bill Franks (133) is the UD record holder.
Steve Valentino is second in career pass completions (300), career passing yardage (3,981 yards) and career total offense (5,359). Kevin Hoyng in all three (8,862 passing yards, 530 completions, 9,528 yards in total offense). Valentino is also ninth from in all-purpose yardage at UD with 2,923 yards. Jermaine Bailey is eighth (2,937).
Nick Glavin is the active leader in the PFL in overall scoring and kick scoring (195 points), field goals made (25) and PAT’s made (121). The all-time PFL career record holders in those categories are San Diego’s J.T. Rogan (326), San Diego’s Hutch Parker (296), Drake’s Billy Cundiff (79) and Parker (197). Justin Watkins is the active receiving yardage leader (2,165 yards). Valparaiso’s Rob Giancola is the all-time leader (3,804).
THE RED WALL (AND OTHER NATIONAL RANKINGS)
Dayton is eighth in sacks per game (3.1) and tenth in FCS football in rushing defense (93.4). In other national rankings, UD is third in team kickoff return average (25.9) and tenth in scoring (35.1). Individually, Devon Langhorst is tied for fifth in sacks (1.0). Tyler Hujik is seventh in punt return average (15.0). Taylor Harris is tied for 11th in scoring (9.0). Gary Hunter is 14th in kickoff return average (29.0).
PFL MEANS PIONEER FOOTBALL LEADERS
UD leads the PFL in scoring defense (20.0), kickoff returns (25.9), sacks (3.1), sacks allowed (0.9), 4th down conversions (83.3%, 10-12) and red-zone offense (88.1%, 37-42). UD is also second in scoring offense (35.1), total offense (382.8), total defense (319.6), rushing defense (93.4) and first downs (21.2).
Individually, Gary Hunter is No.1 in kickoff return average (29.0) and Tyler Hujik leads in punt return average (15.0). Nick Glavin is tied for first in FG accuracy (.857, 6-7) and is second in kick scoring (6.4) and PAT’s (33). Nate Miller is tied for first in fewest touchback punts (3) and tied for second for punts inside the 20 (12). Taylor Harris is second in scoring (9.0) and TD’s (9). Matt Pfleger is tied for second in passes defended (1.12). James Vercammen is tied for second in fumbles forced (0.38), fourth in tackles per game (9.2), and fifth in tackles behind the line (1.50). Devon Langhorst is tied for third in sacks per game (1.00). Steve Valentino is third in total offense (258.9), fourth in rushing (62.8), fifth in passing yardage (196.1) and sixth in passing efficiency (129.1). Justin Watkins is third in receiving yards (74.6).
Last season, UD led FCS football in pass efficiency defense (96.71) and was second in pass defense yardage (140.1), third in total defense (242.6.10), first in (128.20) and fifth in scoring defense (13.6). UD also led the PFL in first downs allowed (11.8), opponent third down conversions (25.2%), lowest penalty yardage assessed (36.9) and time of possession (33:13 per game).
SHUTTING OUT DISTRACTIONS
Two PFL teams’ last shutout was by the Dayton defense. One is Davidson, who UD beat last year 17-0 on Oct. 17 (12 games ago). The other is San Diego (12019 games ago, 41-0 in 1999).
The Flyers became the 11th NCAA FCS team (and the first west of the Alleghenies) to win at least 600 games in its football history when UD beat Davidson on October 18, 2008. Here are the 14 members of the club, heading into the 2010 season. Yale (857), Harvard (805), Penn (804), Princeton (784), Fordham (743), Lafayette (648), Dartmouth (645), Delaware (637), Lehigh (629), Cornell (618), Dayton (612), North Dakota State (604) Northern Iowa (603) and North Dakota (601). Of the 600 Club members, Dayton has played the fewest seasons (102, nine fewer than Fordham’s 110).
The Flyers’ 73-19 PFL record is the best in the history of the league. UD has won 10 league championships (including ties) in the 17 years the PFL has existed. The rest of the league has 12 combined.
SACKS FOR GROCERIES UD’S 2010 CHARITY INITIATIVE
After picking up “Loose Change” for Catholic Social Services in 2008, and scoring “Touchdowns for Tots” in 2009, the University of Dayton has a new charity of choice this season. It is “Sacks For Groceries.” For every sack the Flyers come up with, PNC Bank will make a donation to a Miami Valley Food Bank. UD is already over $1,000 on the year.
TUESDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
For the fourth straight year, the Flyers are continuing “Tuesday Night Lights,” the free program where pee wee football teams take the field for a practice with the University of Dayton football team. Every Tuesday from Sept. 7 to Oct. 26, teams that sign up in advance get a pre-practice talk from Flyer head coach Rick Chamberlin, take the field to warm up with the UD football team, and then observe practice until they go home at 8:30 p.m.
The UD Flyers moved to Welcome Stadium in 1974. The word “Welcome” implies hospitality, but UD has been anything but hospitable to its opponents at home, where it is 198-40-2 (.829). The “Welcome” is not a greeting, but an honor to the late Percival Welcome, longtime AD for the Dayton Public Schools.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Four Times: James Vercammen; Twice: Justin Watkins; 1 each: Tyler Friedrich, Nick Glavin, Taylor Harris, Gary Hunter, Dan Jacob, A.J. Kaltenbach, Devon Langhorst, Nate Miller, Mike Morante, Matt Riddle, Joe Ries, Eric Robbe, Blake Saul, Tyler Schutz, Eric Studt, Steve Valentino, Chase Walton, Steve Wirkus
SCOUTS OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Pat Dowd, Branden Johnson, Justin Simpson, Nick Weston; 1 each: Will Bardo, Kevin Bell, Kevin Cripe, Ryan Cronin, John Ehrensberger, Ben Estey, Grant Huckenstein, Tom Hunt, Victor Kaczkowsi, Tyler Massie, Jacob Rigali, Sal Savato, Sean Sward, Jake Voight, Robert Washington, Mitch Yinger
Freshman cornerback Howard Savage has two “Hammer Hit of the Week” awards to his credit this season, both on kick coverage. Other Hammers this season are by Bryan Bailin, Devon Langhorst, Zach McPherson, Joe Ries and James Vercammen.
FLYER PFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive Player of the Week--Steve Valentino: 9/4
Defensive Player of the Week--Brandon Wingeier, 9/18
Defensive Player of the Week--James Vercammen, 10/2
Special Teams Player of the Week--Gary Hunter, 10/2
Defensive Player of the Week--Joe Ries, 10/9
Defensive Co-Player of the Week--James Vercammen, 10/23
LAST TIME OUT--DAYTON 41, CAMPBELL 23
The University of Dayton football team scored 21 points and forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter to come from behind and defeat a determined Campbell squad 41-23 Saturday at Welcome Stadium.
During the game, senior wideout Justin Watkins became the Flyer record holder in career receiving yardage. He entered the game needing 20 yards to reach Ryan Wrobleski’s record of 2,058 yards. He took care of that with his first catch, a 27-yarder from roommate Steve Valentino. On the day, Watkins caught seven catches for a season-high 127 yards, finishing the game with a career total of 2,165 yards. Every one of Watkins seven receptions in the game went for a first down.
Valentino was 14 of 25 for 223 yards through the air, and was also the game’s leading ground gainer with 15 carries for 89 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Brian Mack added 10 carries for 57 yards and Taylor Harris had 41 yards and all three fourth-quarter touchdowns in 12 rushing attempts. Anthony Papp was on the receiving end of three passes for 43 yards, with Tyler Hujik adding two receptions for 45 yards.
Senior James Vercammen led the defensive effort with a season-high 17 tackles (eight solo), two forced fumbles in the fourth quarter, 1.5 tackles in the backfield and a sack. Joe Ries checked in with 12 stops, and A.J. Kaltenbach added 10.
Campbell took the opening kickoff and drove 76 yards to take a 7-0 lead. After a Flyer three-and-out, the Camels added a field goal to lead 10-0 after the first quarter. UD scored a pair of Valentino TD’s in its next two possessions to lead 14-10 at halftime.
Campbell took advantage of Dayton’s only turnover to turn a short field into a 17-14 lead, but the Flyers came back on the next series to make the score 20-17 after a nine-yard Mack run followed by a failed conversion caused by an errant snap. The Camels took the kickoff and drove 66 yards for an answering TD, but missed the PAT to head to the fourth quarter with the score Campbell 23, Dayton 20.
After Flyer freshman kick returner Gary Hunter flirted with breaking one off for a TD on each of his four returns (he averaged 25.5 yards a return on the day), the Camels elected to kick short, but that backfired when Mack took the ball and returned it to the Dayton 45. Eight plays later, Dayton reclaimed the lead for good when Harris scored from six yards out.
Vercammen created points off a turnover when he forced a Campbell fumble that was recovered by Steve Wirkus, giving the Flyers a short field. Harris capped off a four-play, 37-yard drive with a one-yard plunge. Vercammen forced another fumble on a sack that was claimed by Mike Morante. UD chewed up the clock by running the ball eight times in nine plays in a 53-yard drive that Harris finished with a four-yard run.
Campbell’s last possession ended in the hands of Flyer safety Eric Robbe, and he ran his interception back 12 yards to the CU 27 yard line. UD ran off three more plays, and then put its sixth straight win in the books.
When Jon Gruden coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl championship in 2003, he became the second UD grad to coach a Super Bowl winner. Former UD co-captain and 1993 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Noll won four Super Bowls (IX, X, XII & XIV) as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Noll started at center and linebacker for the Flyers and graduated from the University in 1953. Gruden played quarterback at Dayton and earned his degree in 1986. UD became only the third school (now there are four) to have two alumni coach Super Bowl winners. The others are San Jose State, with grads Bill Walsh (XIV, XIX, XXIII) and Dick Vermeil (XXXIV), Arkansas with grads Jimmy Johnson (XXVII, XXVIII) and Barry Switzer (XXX), and Eastern Illinois with Mike Shanahan (XXXII, XXXIII) and Sean Payton (XLIV).
At the time of their wins, Gruden was the second-youngest coach to win a Super Bowl and Noll is the fifth-youngest.
As a matter of fact, UD has ties to 19 Super Bowl rings. In addition to Noll’s four and Gruden’s one, five former members of Dayton coaching staffs own a total of 14 Super Bowl rings between them. They are the late Len Fontes (New York Giants, Super Bowl XXI), Jon’s father Jim Gruden (San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowls XXII & XXIV), current Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi (XLIV), John McVay (49ers, XVI, XIX, XXII, & XXIV), current Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore (Steelers, XIII & XIV, Colts XLI) and George Perles (Steelers, IX, X, XII & XIV). McVay was the Flyers’ head coach from 1965-72, and Fontes, Jim Gruden, Moore and Perles were on his staff. Lombardi, an Air Force Academy grad and the grandson of Vince Lombardi, began his coaching career at Dayton. He coached for three seasons on Mike Kelly’s staff while stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The Flyers will return to Welcome Stadium on Saturday, November 6 to take on Drake on Senior Day. Game time is 1:00 p.m. ET. The Lt. Andy Zulli Memorial Trophy will be presented at halftime.