This week in Villanova History August 30, 1984 … Talley named Football Coach

By Gary R. Dyer ’84

Andrew J. Talley, former head football coach at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., has been named head coach of Villanova’s new NCAA Division I-AA football program.

Talley was introduced at a business conference May 29 in the Connelly Center. Dr. Theodore Aceto, director of athletics, said, “I think we have the man, after going through 119 applications and several interviews: a fine individual and the great organizer for a young program and definitely a motivator and disciplinarian that we’re looking for in a football coach.”

A screening committee comprised of Trustee Artur Kania, Villanova alumnus and former Philadelphia Eagles General Manager Jim Murray and Aceto chose nine applicants for interviews, from which they narrowed the field to four. These four candidates were then interviewed by the Board of Trustees’ Athletic Committee: Pres. John M. Driscoll, O.S.A., the Rev. Edward J. McCarthy, O.S.A., Thomas Labrecque, Thomas Burke and Kania.

“I feel this man is the best recruiter, not just in the East, but hopefully will be in the country,” Aceto said. “I think he knows the concept of dealing with people internally, and also our alumni.”

In his five years at Division III St. Lawrence, Talley compiled a record of 28-18-1, and the team made the 1982 Division III semifinals. From 1970 to 1979 he served as an assistant coach at both Middlebury College and Brown University. Talley, who grew up in Bryn Mawr, played football at Haverford High School and Southern Connecticut State College.

“We are going to indicate to our first recruiting class that we feel they have the potential to play immediately, whereas in a lot of other programs they may not play, even though some people may tell them that,” Talley commented, while admitting that having short seasons in 1985 and 1986 would be a recruiting stumbling block.

“I would like to think that we would have the ability to get kids away from some of the 1-A schools,” Talley said.

“We want to take a good hard look at the kids on campus and try to see who could play. We’d look at those kids over a six-or-seven week period and invite the kids back to spring practice who we feel could play.”

Talley promised that there would be a five-game schedule in 1985, against Division III teams; but no commitments have been made. A six-or-seven game season would follow in 1986, with a full schedule that next year.