Awarded for His Commitment to Excellence On and Off the Field
Jan. 7, 2013
(Video below article)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – In recognition of a third straight conference championship and second consecutive playoff appearance, University of New Haven Head Football Coach Peter Rossomando was named the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year for Division II.
The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes coaches for sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence on and off the field.
“This prestigious honor is a testament to Coach Rossomando’s tireless work ethic and his tremendous commitment to our football program and our student-athletes,” said UNH President Steven Kaplan. “Since arriving at the university only five years ago to help restart our football program, he has built the team into one of the best in Division II and has done a remarkable job preparing our players to succeed on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
Liberty Mutual will award Rossomando $50,000 to support his favorite charities, and the UNH Alumni Association will also be awarded $20,000 for scholarships.
Rossomando has selected the Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation, which helps families battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers, and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to receive the charitable donation.
Rossomando was chosen among five finalists for the honor. Fan votes cast between December 4-20, 2012, at CoachoftheYear.com constituted 20 percent of the coaches’ scores. Ballots from elite selection committees of national media members (25 percent) and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches (55 percent) also factored into determining the winner.
“I am very honored by the outpouring of support I have received from our fans, alumni and fellow coaches,” said Rossomando. “Rebuilding the football program at UNH has been a very rewarding experience because of the tremendous support the program has received from the administration. The players have worked very hard, and the program also has experienced tremendous loyalty from our fans, for which I am grateful.”
“I want to congratulate Pete on this extraordinary accomplishment,” said Deborah Chin, associate vice president and director of athletics and recreation at UNH. “He has shown an unwavering commitment to developing a top-notch program that produces well-rounded student-athletes on and off the field. He is very deserving of Division II’s highest coaching honor.”
Chin noted that Rossomando has produced two Academic All-Americans since the program was re-launched.
Rossomando, a finalist for the award last year, was hired in 2007 to rebuild the New Haven football program after its five-year absence. Since the 2009 season, Rossomando had compiled a four-year record of 35-9 against Division II opponents, including back-to-back perfect runs through the Northeast-10 Conference in 2011 and 2012. This year’s season saw New Haven win its third consecutive conference title, return to the Division II playoffs and finish with a 10-1 record and a No. 8 ranking in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll.
The other 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners are Brian Kelly, Notre Dame (FBS); Willie Fritz, Sam Houston State (FCS); and Glenn Caruso, St. Thomas (Minn.) (Division III).
Liberty Mutual Insurance has provided $1.75 million to support charities and alumni association scholarship funds on behalf of its Coach of the Year winners.
“We are excited to stand with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, as well as Chargers fans, to recognize Coach Rossomando’s role in helping his student-athletes achieve their full potential on and off the field of play,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance. “Each year, our winners are able to positively impact their schools, communities and beyond through our award, and we are excited to further support Coach Rossomando’s good work as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year.”
Rossomando is also well-known for his charitable endeavors, supporting local Habitat for Humanity projects, youth mentoring programs and community clean-up efforts. He is dedicated to the memorial fund he created to honor his brother Nicholas, a New York City firefighter who lost his life in the 9/11 tragedy.
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.
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