Jeff McInerney enters his eighth season as the head football coach at Central Connecticut State University in 2013. He has a 44-33 record over his first seven seasons in New Britain. McInerney has led the Blue Devils to a pair of Northeast Conference titles and his 44 wins are the second-highest total in school history. His .571 winning percentage ranks third in the program's history.
The 2013 season will be the second in the newly expanded Arute Field, a facility that has been kind to the Blue Devils under McInerney. Since 2006, Coach Mac and the Blue Devils are 26-8 in home games, with four undefeated seasons at home.
During the 2012 season, Rob Hollomon, as a sophomore, became the ninth different player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. It is the 12th 1,000-yard season for the CCSU program overall and the fifth in McInerney’s first seven seasons. Hollomon earned numerous accolades during the year, including a pair of national player of the week honors for his offensive and special teams play as a returner.
CCSU opened 2011 with a home victory over Southern Connecticut,
which marked the 15th consecutive home victory for the Blue
Devils. The 15-game winning streak at Arute Field is a school
record and was tied for the longest in the nation.
In 2010 Central posted a perfect 5-0 mark at home, and an 8-3 overall record. They were 7-1 in NEC play, marking the second straight season with seven conference wins. They won a share of their fourth NEC title since 2004. The 14 league wins are the second-highest two-season total in league history. In McInerney's five seasons the Blue Devils are 22-2 at home.
McInerney was named the NEC Coach of the Year in 2009. The Blue Devils won the first outright NEC title in school history and advanced to their first-ever Division I postseason game.
In 2009 the Blue Devils matched the school-record for victories with a 9-3 overall mark, including a 7-1 record in NEC action. Central clinched the title with a 14-13 win over St. Francis (PA) in the final regular season game of the season. Central's six-straight wins from Sept. 26 until Oct. 31 marked the longest win streak in its Division I history. The Blue Devils advanced to the Gridiron Classic and faced Butler on Dec. 5. They lost to the Bulldogs and finished the season with nine wins, the most in a single-season since 1973.
The Blue Devils made an appearance in the national polls for the second time in McInerney's four seasons in 2009. Running back James Mallory helped make program history by becoming the second player in school history to be a finalist for the prestigious Walter Payton Award, awarded to the top player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. Mallory finished his career in New Britain as the second-leading scorer and rusher in program history, and earned numerous All-America honors following his senior campaign.
Three years ago, the Blue Devils set more milestones under McInerney. They won the NAACP Harmony Classic, defeating North Carolina Central, 35-23, in front of an NEC record 8,322 people at New Britain's Veterans' Stadium in Willow Brook Park on Sept. 20, 2008.
McInerney has coached two NEC offensive players of the year (Mallory, 2009; Justise Hairston, 2006), 15 first team All-NEC selections, 21 second team All-NEC selections, five ECAC Player of the Week honorees and 35 NEC Player/Rookie of the Week recipients during his tenure. McInerney's student-athletes have also received 12 All-America awards, including two Academic All-America honors. Two years ago linebacker Lawton Arnold was named the NEC defensive rookie of the year.
Central Connecticut went 6-5 in 2007. The Blue Devils again ranked high in the national rushing ranks. Jo Jo Freeman guided the nation's 10th most prolific rushing offense. His 828-yard, 10-touchdown season helped him earn first team Sports Network Mid-Major All-America status.
McInerney saw many firsts in his inaugural season as the head coach at Central. An 8-3 record in 2006 marked the third straight winning season for the Blue Devils. But it was the national attention that McInerney's Blue Devils received that helped CCSU reach new heights among FCS programs.
The second week of the 2006 season brought the Blue Devils to the national stage. CCSU went to Statesboro, GA, to face six-time national champion Georgia Southern in its home opener. A 17-13 victory by the Blue Devils made national news, and a week later CCSU entered the Sports Network National Poll for the first time in school history. The Blue Devils were nationally ranked for the first time during the season and reached as high as #19 in the poll. The 8-3 record marked the second time in three seasons that CCSU posted eight wins, the second-highest single-season total in program history.
McInerney's teams have led the league in rushing offense during each of his five seasons in New Britain. The Blue Devils have also ranked in the nation's top-10 in rushing during each campaign. That includes holding the top spot in 2006. Led by Hairston, the Blue Devils paced the nation in rushing. Hairston, who set a CCSU and Northeast Conference single-season rushing mark with 1,847 yards, earned third team AP All-America honors and finished eighth in the Walter Payton Award voting. The NEC Offensive Player of the Year, Hairston also joined Nutt and Farod Muhammad as Sports Network Mid-Major All-America selections.
McInerney became the 12th head coach in the history of Central Connecticut State University football on January 13, 2006. McInerney spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Rhode Island prior to arriving at CCSU. He has also been an assistant at Tulsa, UNLV, Oregon State, Georgia Southern and Southern California.
The South Windsor High School graduate received his bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock University in 1982 and his master's degree from Troy State University in 1984. His first coaching job came at Slippery Rock as an undergraduate in 1981 and then as a graduate assistant coach in 1982.
McInerney has seen plenty of success in his coaching career, thrice being a part of a staff that won a National Championship (1984 and 1987 at Troy State; 1990 at Georgia Southern).McInerney and his wife, Leslie, have two children. Ryan is a 2009 graduate of Pittsburgh State and currently a graduate assistant at TCU. Amy is a 2013 graduate of CCSU, she was a member of the Blue Devil lacrosse program for four seasons.