Andy Talley considered for Coach



Laura Monaco

Head Coach Andy Talley has been nominated for Division IAA’s 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year after winning last year’s Division IAA Football National Championship. 

For the winner of this award, Liberty Mutual will donate $50,000 to a charity of the coach’s choice. The winners will be announced in early January. 

“It’s great to be nominated for this award,” Talley said. “But the best part of being nominated is the potential donation of $50,000 to my charity, the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Initiative. I’ve been named the National Coach of the Year twice in 1997 and 2009, as well as received numerous other awards; however, what makes this award special is its recognition of not only my work on the field, but also my charity.” 

Approximately three weeks ago, Talley received notification of his nomination via e-mail. His fellow nominees include Russ Huesman of Chattanooga, Jeff Monken of Georgia Southern, Mickey Matthews of James Madison University and Jerry Moore of Appalachian State.

“When I think of a Coach of the Year nominee, it’s someone who runs their program the right way,” Talley said. “A quality program is defined by a team that exudes class and style. Having the entire team graduate is almost as important as winning on the field.” 

Talley’s nomination comes on the heels of not only the National Championship win, but also his work in the community. 

Over the seasons, his volunteer work through his foundation has enabled him to grow as a coach in maturity, wisdom and patience, he said, all of which come with experience. Talley’s long stay at the University has enhanced the community values among the team, espoused by the University as well as by himself. 

“I have definitely gained more tolerance and patience throughout the seasons,” Talley said. “Choosing to stay in the same place for 26 years has helped me to build a legacy. As more players graduate and go out into their own communities, they are spreading the ideals of the Villanova football community. Each year, we graduate 15 to 20 players that help build the Villanova football family.”

According to Talley, the community spirit and camaraderie fostered by the football team is almost as important as winning on the football field. 

“After graduation, the players remain good friends and retain the family spirit of the team,” Talley said. “By attending Villanova, our players gain a first-rate education, but through football, they form a special bond. The wins and losses tie them together as a symbol of pride.”

Among Talley’s coaching highlights are the 2009 Division IAA National Championship, his first conference championship title in 1989, as well as the University’s two Walter Payton Award winners, Brian Westbrook and Brain Finneran.

Although the team has encountered its fair share of injuries this season, Talley remains optimistic about his team’s chances in the postseason. 

With the playoffs just around the corner, Talley continues to foster the ideals that have earned him the 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year nomination, by encouraging a winning spirit on and off the field. 

“What makes my stay at Villanova rewarding, being from this area, is coaching at a school that does it right, academically and athletically,” Talley said. “The atmosphere at the University is so strong and caring, which makes it a perfect fit for the coaches as well as the players. Villanova is a great place to work.”