|Title:||Running Backs/Director of High School Relations|
Joe Grace begins his seventh full season with the Blue Devils. He joined the staff prior to spring practice in March 2007. Grace will serve at the Director of High School Relations and coach the running backs in 2013.
In 2012, Grace worked with the offensive line that helped lead the way for Rob Hollomon’s 1,100 yard rushing season.
In 2011, Grace's running back tandem of Brian Fowler and Chris Tolbert combined for 1,503 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Grace has helped run a Blue Devil rushing attack that has led the league in rushing each of his four previous seasons. Central has also finished in the top-10 in the country in rushing during that time.
In 2010, senior running back Everette Benjamin rushed for a 1,330 yards, the third-highest total in the NEC. He averaged 120.9 yards per game. As a team Central led the NEC averaging 212.5 yards per contest.
With the Blue Devils Grace spent two seasons coaching All-American running back James Mallory, who was a finalist for the 2009 Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in Division I FCS. Mallory earned numerous All-America honors and finished his career with the Blue Devils as the second all-time leading rusher and scorer. In his last two seasons he rushed for over 2,800 yards and scored 31 touchdowns.
Grace came to New Britain following a 17-year stint as the head coach at Simsbury High School. He won his 100th career game as a high school coach in 2005. Grace led his team to the state title game twice and won four consecutive league championships from 1991-94. Prior to coaching at Simsbury, he was the head coach at Glastonbury High for four seasons. Grace was also the wide receivers coach at Trinity College for six seasons and an assistant coach at the University of Miami for three years. Grace graduated from Southern Connecticut in 1967 and was a fullback for the Owls.
Grace and his wife, Patti, reside in Simsbury, CT and have three children, Don, Brian and Kara, and five grandchildren.