Central Connecticut State University Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann has announced that Pete Rossomando is the 13th head coach of the CCSU football program. Rossomando signed a four-year agreement to lead the Blue Devils.
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"I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Pete Rossomando as the next head coach of Blue Devil Football," Schlickmann said on Wednesday. "He emerged from a very deep and competitive pool of candidates by virtue of his exceptional success as a head coach, the clarity and substance of his plan, his reputation as a man of character and ultimately his passion for the job. His football pedigree is widely respected, and he has honored and validated that pedigree with his coaching record."
Rossomando spent the last five seasons as the head coach at the University of New Haven. Over that time he led the Chargers to a 42-13 record, two NCAA Playoff appearances and coached numerous all-conference and All-America student-athletes. Rossomando was named head coach of the Chargers in December of 2007 as New Haven reinstated its Division II football program after a five-year hiatus. He rebuilt the Chargers into one of the best Division II programs in the country. In the last three seasons, 2011-13, the Chargers posted an overall record of 29-6 and a 20-2 mark in Northeast-10 action, including two consecutive 8-0 regular seasons in league play (2011, 2012). New Haven was ranked as high as No. 3 in the 2012 Division II national polls.
Personally, Rossomando was named Liberty Mutual NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year following the 2012 season. He also earned three Northeast-10 Coach of the Year awards as the head coach of the Chargers (2010-12).
"I am tremendously excited to join the Central Connecticut athletics family and to help our football program return to the top of the Northeast Conference." Rossomando said on Wednesday. "President Jack Miller, Paul Schlickmann and I all share the same vision about where this program needs to be on a yearly basis. I believe we can win consistently at CCSU and have a chance to compete for a Northeast Conference title and advance to the NCAA Playoffs each and every season. We have everything in place to be successful. I'm looking forward to meeting the players, building my staff and beginning a new era of CCSU football."
"Coach Rossomando rebuilt a program from the ground up, achieving national prominence while adhering to the belief and practice that the academic and social success of student-athletes is paramount," Schlickmann added. "He believes in the notion that a football program should serve as a positive front porch and source of pride for the University. We value all of the qualities he displayed and I believe they will translate well for him as the leader of our program."
Prior to being named head coach at New Haven, Rossomando was an assistant coach at the University at Albany for seven seasons, serving as associate head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for his final three seasons with the Great Danes. Albany won three Northeast Conference Championships (2002, 2003, 2007) with Rossomando on the sidelines. The Great Danes posted a record of 46-32 in his seven seasons, including 36-12 in NEC play.
"Throughout this process I was impressed with the entire campus and the facilities and direction of the athletics program at CCSU," Rossomando said. "This football program has been successful in the past, winning four NEC titles since 2004, and I know we can get back to that level of football. We have some work ahead of us, but the players that are here are ready to get back to the top of the NEC, and we're excited to begin that process. My family and I are excited to be Blue Devils."
Rossomando has also served as an assistant at Northeastern (1999) and Cortland State (2000). His collegiate coaching career began in 1994 as an assistant at New Haven under head coach Tony Sparano. While an assistant at UNH the Chargers advanced to the NCAA Playoffs in 1995 and again in 1997 when the team reached the National Championship game.
In all Rossomando brings 20 years of collegiate coaching experience to CCSU.
As a student-athlete, Rossomando played at the FCS level (then I-AA) for Boston University, seeing action on the offensive and defensive lines for the Terriers from 1990-93. He helped the team to the 1993 Yankee Conference Championship and a trip to the NCAA Playoffs with an undefeated record.
A native of Staten Island, NY, Rossomando was a decorated student-athlete at Port Richmond High School being named the 1989 Staten Island Player of the Year.
Rossomando and his wife, Jessica, have three children, Reese (15), Gianna (9) and Nicholas (7).
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT PETE ROSSOMANDO
Tony Sparano, Assistant Head Coach, Oakland Raiders
"I have mixed emotions when it comes to Pete leaving New Haven and moving on to Central Connecticut. On one hand I know my alma mater is losing a great football coach and a tremendous leader. He brought our program back from nothing and put it back in the football map. On the other hand, CCSU is getting the right person to lead its football program back to the top of the Northeast Conference. I'm happy for Pete and his family and for the fans and players at CCSU. The Blue Devils will be primed for success with Pete leading the way."
Bob Ford, Former Head Coach, University at Albany
"Congratulations to Central Connecticut on hiring an outstanding football coach. Pete brings a lot of things to the table that are going to help the Blue Devils be successful. He is a great recruiter, has a tremendous work ethic and is a proven commodity in the coaching community. Pete has been a position coach, a coordinator and a head coach and has been successful in everything he has gotten himself into. I think the world of Pete and know this a tremendous hire for CCSU."
Chris Palmer, Former NFL Head Coach/Coordinator
"Pete Rossomando is an outstanding football coach and is a proven winner. He'll do an outstanding job at Central Connecticut. He knows the state and its high school coaches and I know the players will enjoy playing for him. CCSU is getting a good man."
Steven H. Kaplan, President, University of New Haven
"Pete has done an exceptional job leading our football program since his return to the University in 2007. He brought Charger football back and spearheaded a transformation that made New Haven one of the most successful football programs in Division II over the last five seasons."