Star of the week: Victory over UNH places Talley at No. 1

Kaitlin Santanna

Throughout the semester, this segment praised many athletes who make a difference for their team on the field. Little attention is paid to the men and women on the sideline, the ones in charge of coaching these players to their star abilities. In this week’s Star of the Week segment, one such coach is honored for not only the recent achievements of his players on the field but for a long and successful history coaching at Villanova Stadium.

The name Andy Talley has become synonymous with Villanova football over the last two decades. Already the most successful coach in the program’s history, this passionate and talented man established himself as one of the best coaches in the conference after Villanova’s win over New Hampshire last Saturday. With the 24-13 victory, Talley clinched his 98th conference win, making him the all-time winningest coach in the history of Colonial Athletic Association Football.

Ironically, it was the team that Talley beat to take the top spot that was home to the previous No. 1 coach in the conference. The Villanova skipper moved ahead of Bill Bowes, who recorded 97 wins with New Hampshire from 1972-1999, for the record for most wins in the CAA.

This season marks Talley’s 24th as Villanova’s head coach. In that span, he has accumulated a record of 162-100-1. As suggested by this impressive record, Talley has put together several memorable seasons. Perhaps the highlight of Talley’s Villanova career came in 1997 when he coached the Wildcats to their first ever undefeated, untied regular season in program history. Under the guidance of Talley, Villanova has appeared six times in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, four times in conference championships, two Meadowlands Cups and one national semifinal game.

Growing up literally just down the road from Villanova, Talley originally hails from Bryn Mawr and is a graduate of Haverford High School. After high school, he played four seasons at defensive back for Southern Connecticut State University, where he graduated with honors in 1967. Talley was inducted into the Southern Connecticut Hall of Fame 31 years later.

Ever since he left SCSU in 1967, Talley has been a part of a succssful program, holding an overall winning record with every team he coached. Producing a wake of success wherever he sets foot, Talley’s list of honors and successes is exhaustive and almost impossible to list.

Along with simply amassing a plethora of wins, Talley also turns his students into fantastic football players. Producing All-American players such as Tyrone Frazier, Brian Finneran and Brian Westbrook, Talley’s impact on the football world extends beyond the bounds of the stadium into the professional field through his graduates.

With the only other active member in the CAA holding a top five spot anchored at 76 wins, no conference coach looks to challenge Talley’s No. 1 position anytime soon. Although he is now the most successful coach in conference history, Talley doesn’t look to be slowing down his winning ways anytime soon.

Talley has two more chances to improve his conference-win record in 2008 with games against Towson and at Delaware in the annual ‘Battle of the Blue.’

Nearing the end of a successful season, Talley contines to bring his unique combination of passion and skill to the field in hopes of adding another accomplishment to his wall of accolades: a division championship.