Ryan McCarthy was named Head Coach in October 2019. He took over as Central Connecticut head coach after serving as offensive coordinator for the previous four seasons on the Blue Devils’ staff. Prior to CCSU, McCarthy spent 13 seasons on staff at the University at Albany.
In his first season as head coach, McCarhty led the Blue Devils to a school-record 11 wins during the 2019 season, a perfect Northeast Conference season and the school's second trip to the FCS playoffs. Central finished 11-2 overall after a loss to Albany in the playoffs and was ranked in the Top 25, climbing as high as #17, during the season. It was the only loss of the season by the Blue Devils to another FCS program. He also finished fifth in the voting for the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS National Coach of the Year presented annually by STATS.
In his four seasons overseeing the CCSU offense, McCarthy’s squad became one of the top offensive units in the Northeast Conference. Central won the league for the first time since 2010 with a trip to the FCS Playoffs in 2017. In 2018, the Blue Devils led the league in scoring at 33.8 points per game and rolled up a league-high 432.3 games. McCarthy mentored Central’s all-time leading passer, Jacob Dolegala, and featured a 1,000-yard rusher in Cam Nash in 2017. He helped Dolegala become an all-conference performer and sign with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent following the NFL Draft in 2019.
McCarthy served as quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator for the Great Danes in 2014. It marked this 10th season as the quarterbacks coach. He was the offensive coordinator at Albany from 2008-13 under legendary coach Bob Ford.
During his time at UAlbany the Great Danes set several program marks on offense. Most recently, quarterback Will Fiacchi became UAlbany’s all-time leader in completions (592) and yards (7,150) while also putting together his third season with 2,000 or more passing yards. In 2014 he matched his school-record for completions in a season with 207. He is second all-time with 44 scoring passes and put together the first, fourth and fifth-highest single season yardage numbers in school history.
In 2012, McCarthy directed the top scoring offense in the Northeast Conference, as the Danes averaged 34.1 points per game and shared the NEC title -- one of six championships in his tenure. Wide receiver Ryan Kirchner finished his career as UAlbany’s all-time leading receiver with 172 career catches, while tailback Drew Smith closed his career as the program’s all-time leading point scorer (270), touchdown scorer (45), and tied for most rushing touchdowns scored (40).
Also during his time as offensive coordinator, McCarthy coached David McCarty, the program’s all-time leading rusher (4,287 yards), quarterback Vinny Esposito, who finished his career as the program’s No. 2 passer (now third) with 5,692 yards, and the program’s No. 2 all-time receiver, Tim Bush (147).
In 2011, the Great Danes finished first in the Northeast Conference in total and scoring offense. Four offensive players earned all-conference honors, including quarterback Dan Di Lella who broke the program’s season record with 2,859 total yards and 2,804 passing.
In 2008, the Great Danes won the Northeast Conference and Gridiron Classic, as Esposito put together the second-best season marks in passing yards and total offense in the program’s history at the time. UAlbany’s offense led the conference in total yards (363.2 ypg) and McCarty finished second in the nation in rushing among Division I FCS leaders with 1,852 yards.
McCarthy was the quarterback coach at Siena College prior to his time at Albany.
An honorable mention All-New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) quarterback at SUNY-Cortland, McCarthy passed for 2,266 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior and established a school record with 223 completions. He received the ECAC Division III offensive player of the week award.
McCarthy, originally from Wilder, VT, earned a B.S. in physical education from Cortland. He received a master’s from UAlbany in the spring of 2004. McCarthy was an all-state high school athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He has volunteered at the Lauren’s First and Goal Camp, a one-day clinic that raises funds for pediatric brain tumor research.
McCarthy and his wife Jennifer reside in Simsbury with their three sons.