Ryan Day Looks To Become First CAA Alumnus To Win FBS Title As Head Coach


Ryan Day’s last game as a college quarterback had playoff implications — just not for Day. 

In the 2001 Battle for the Brice-Cowell Musket, Day passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns to cap his University of New Hampshire career. He left Durham having passed for more than 7,600 yards, which ranked second in the program’s history at the time. 

With a 57-24 loss to rival Maine, however, the Wildcats’ season ended with no postseason bid. That honor belonged to the Black Bears, which used the rout to pad their resume for a spot in the 2001 Division I-AA Playoffs. 

New Hampshire, then in its third season under head coach Sean McDonnell, did not begin its unprecedented run of 14 consecutive playoff appearances for another three years later. But it’s fair to credit Ryan Day for playing a part in setting the foundation. 

Day won the program’s Bo Dickinson Spirit Award, and in the aftermath of New Hampshire’s season-ending loss to Maine, McDonnell offered high praise of Day’s outgoing class to the Boston Globe: 

“I just hope we can recruit players with the same heart of the seven seniors who are graduating,” he said. 

Almost 20 years have passed, and Ryan Day is at another career milestone with playoff implications. This time, the circumstances are considerably more favorable. 

A weekend in which three alumni of Colonial Athletic Association programs led NFL teams into the postseason concludes on Monday when New Hampshire alum Day coaches Ohio State in the College Football Playoff Championship Game. 

WIth a win over national powerhouse Alabama, Day would be the first alumnus of a current CAA member to coach an FBS national champion (New Hampshire was in the Atlantic 10 during Day’s playing career). 

His coaching career began at New Hampshire one season after he finished quarterbacking the Wildcats, beginning an odyssey that included a stint at Boston College with current Maine head coach Nick Charlton

“Certainly I would have no opportunity to be where I'm at right now without a lot of those people,” Day said the Sunday before the Championship. “And Coach Mac was a huge part of it.”

Day’s ascension approaches the apex in just his second year as a head coach, but reaching the mountaintop pits him opposite the most successful coach of this generation, Nick Saban. 

Saban offered effusive praise of Day during the Championship’s virtual media session on Jan. 7.

“He does a great job of coaching,” Saban said. “He's a very good offensive sort of play caller. He's got a great scheme on offense. Certainly does a great job of coaching his players to execute that scheme.”

A coincidental twist, Day’s first national championship game appearance comes exactly a decade after Kelly coached Oregon to the BCS Championship Game. Day later coached alongside Kelly with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. 

Kelly, one of the most visible branches on McDonnell’s impressive coaching tree, told USA Today in 2019: 

“There’s never been a time I’ve seen him where the situation was too big for him...whether he was 12 years old or 39 years old.”

In between those two milestones Kelly cited were the formative years at New Hampshire with McDonnell. Day’s UNH tenure has come full circle in Columbus; it’s Day who is now the teacher for Coach Mac’s son, Tommy, an intern on the Buckeyes staff. 

As Day put it, “the coaching world is small.”

Zac Thomas Defies Doubt On Way To The NFL

Zac Thomas

An audience of more than 100,000 rooting for you to fail isn’t the most welcoming way in which to start a new job. For Zac Thomas, these conditions set a fitting tone. 

After Pit Stop At Charlotte, Tre Harbison Is Ready For A Shot At The League


Perhaps you have known someone, or are that someone, who wishes they took greater advantage of the learning opportunities college offers. Charlotte 49ers running back James “Tre” Harbison III, on the other hand, soaked up learning opportunities.  

How to Watch: 2021 Tropical Bowl


Here's how to watch the 2021 Tropical Bowl on FloFootball.

Ottawa's Dylan St. Pierre Ready For 2021 Tropical Bowl Opportunity

Ottawa wide receiver Dylan St. Pierre

On June 8, 2020, U SPORTS announced the cancellation of its fall sports season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

10 Players To Watch At The 2021 Tropical Bowl


In what has been a historic football season, the next step for dozens of players is taken at the 2021 Tropical Bowl. 

2021 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl Rosters Released

Greg McCrae

Players from all over the country will head to Florida this weekend (Sunday, Jan. 17) to compete in this year's 2021 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl. 

CAA Signing Day Rundown: JMU & Elon Bring In Biggest Classes

Jaelin Montgomery

COVID-19’s impact on the college football landscape reached far beyond the postponement of the 2020 FCS season until the spring. The early-period National Signing Day underscores the point. 

Nasir Adderley's Big Year Continues In Los Angeles

Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 11.09.21 AM.png

Former Delaware safety Nasir Adderley recorded a team-high eight tackles for the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday, highlighting the group of CAA Football players competing during Week 10 of the NFL season.

'Authentic' Liam Dobson Enjoyed Viral Moment, Primed For Big '21


It’s easy to understand why Liam Dobson became a social-media sensation this year.