Fordham hires a new football coach, Andrew Breiner

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso

Fordham hires a new football coach

By Rich Mancuso

It did not take long for Fordham director of athletics Dave Roach to find his next head football coach  with the recent departure of Joe Moorhead who resigned last week to take on a position as an offensive coach with Penn State University.  Thursday it was announced that 31-year old Andrew Breiner, who has served as the Fordham offensive coordinator/quarterback coach the past four years was taking over the helm.


“We are thrilled that Andrew Breiner has agreed to lead the Fordham football program,” said Roach. “We believe that he is one of the bright young coaches who has done a great job guiding the record-setting offense over the past four years. He has been a big part of the program’s recent success and we are confident that Andrew will be able to maintain and build upon that success going forward. ”


Under Moorhead, Fordham appeared in three consecutive NCAA FCS Championship post season games.
Andrew Breiner_Fordham Football“I am extremely honored and excited to be selected as the next head Fordham football coach,” said Breiner.  “To serve as the head coach at Fordham, a program with a great tradition and outstanding recent success, is truly an honor. I want to thank Coach Moorhead for all he has done for me, especially for bringing me to Fordham four years ago, and Father McShane, Jeff Gray and Dave Roach for having the confidence in me. I am eager to get started and keep Fordham football at the forefront of the Patriot League and the NCAA FCS.”


He added after addressing the team, “I Wanted the job because of the team and chemistry.  To get into this profession someday you want to be a head coach.”


“I think he’s a great fit for the team,” said senior quarterback Kevin Anderson who credited Breiner for his development the past three years.  Breiner, a 2006 graduate of Lock Haven (Pa.) University, just completed his fourth year on the Fordham coaching staff.
Under his tutelage the Fordham offense has been ranked at the top of the NCAA FCS the past four years. This past fall, the Rams led the Patriot League and are ninth in the NCAA FCS in scoring, averaging 36.8 points per game, and led the league and were second in the NCAA FCS in passing efficiency (168.30). Fordham was also second in the league and 20th in the NCAA FCS in passing yards/game (272.3), 19th in the NCAA FCS in first downs and third in the conference and 42nd in the NCAA FCS in rushing yards/game (180.9).
Two members of the 2015 Fordham offense earned All-America honors this year, sophomore running back Chase Edmonds and senior lineman Garrick Mayweather, Jr., while two other members of the offense joined Edmonds and Mayweather in earning All-Patriot League accolades. Edmonds was also named the 2105 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year.


Said Edmonds about the new coach, “A lot of players relate to him and he can relate to us because he knows what we are going through. He has experienced it and experienced it very shortly. It’s going to be a great experience having him as the new head coach.”
In 2014, the Fordham offense enjoyed another record-breaking season with seven offensive players earning All-America honors and ten receiving All-Patriot League accolades, including quarterback Mike Nebrich, who was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The 2014 Fordham offense set school marks for rushing yards with 2,353, shattering the former mark of 2,162 set in 2013, and scoring with 569 points, surpassing the 2013 record of 526. Included in the scoring total was a school-record 31 rushing touchdowns. Freshman running back Chase Edmonds did most of the damage on the ground, gaining 1,838 yards with 23 touchdowns, both school records.
The Rams led the Patriot League in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense while on the national level the Rams ranked fourth in passing offense (326.1 yards/game) in the NCAA FCS and ranked among the top ten in scoring offense (40.6 points/game – fifth), team passing efficiency (156.23 – third), total offense (494.1 yards/game – seventh) and first downs (331 – ninth).
For the second straight year, Fordham had a 1,000 rusher (Edmonds) and three 1,000-yard receivers (Brian Wetzel, Tebucky Jones, Jr., and Sam Ajala).


With the success of the passing game came recognition of the Fordham wide receivers as Sam Ajala was named All-America and First Team All-Patriot League as was tight end Dan Light while Tebucky Jones, Jr., and Brian Wetzel were both named Second Team All-Patriot League. Ajala set school records for most receiving yards in a season (1,646) and tied the record with 14 receiving touchdowns (as did Wetzel) while Light set the mark for most receptions in a season by a tight end (66).


In 2012, Breiner led a Fordham offense that ranked second in the Patriot League in scoring offense (31.2 ppg), passing offense (279.6 yards/game) and total offense (435.7 yards/game). Additionally, the Rams were ranked 18th in the NCAA FCS in passing offense as quarterback Ryan Higgins threw for 2,940 yards, the fourth best single season for a Fordham quarterback in school history.


At UConn, Breiner worked with the offensive staff in all phases of research and development, coaching and game planning as well as working individually with the quarterbacks and wide receivers in 2009 and 2010 and the quarterbacks and running backs in 2011. He also had special teams responsibilities with the kickoff and kickoff return units.


While at Connecticut, Breiner was part of the staff that helped the Huskies to the 2010 BIG EAST championship and an appearance in the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In 2010, UConn appeared in the Bowl and received the Lambert Trophy, presented annually to the best team in the Northeast in Division I FBS college football.


Prior to his stay at UConn, Breiner was an assistant coach at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., for two seasons. He worked with the quarterbacks in 2008 and the wide receivers in 2007. He began his coaching career in 2006 at Lock Haven University, when he sustained a career-ending injury midway through the his senior year and began working with the wide receivers.


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