Seton Hill football looking to rebuild
College Football Videos
For Isaac Collins, the idea of jumpstarting a dormant football program is nothing new.
Collins, recently named Seton Hill's third coach, previously resurrected the once-proud program at Widener into a national contender. He's faced with a similar challenge in Greensburg, where NCAA Division II Seton Hill is transitioning membership into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference from the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“There are enough good (high school) players in the region to build a foundation,” Collins said. “Because we're a private school, you can reach out to places outside of the region — Ohio, Maryland, the trek everyone does to Florida and Georgia.
“There is a good blueprint here with academics and Roman Catholic roots.”
And an abundance of scholarship funding.
“How you spend that money is key,” said Collins, who led Widener in 2012 to an 11-1 record and a No. 15 ranking in the American Football Coaches' Association NCAA Division III poll.
“You've got to have the ability to go out and find athletes who are high academic guys. Our mission right away is to look for guys and evaluate them.”
Seton Hill sponsors 21 varsity sports, including 19 for conference play, and beginning with the 2013-14 season will offer the maximum number of scholarships (125) allowed by the PSAC for its athletics program, of which 35 — or one under the limit — will go to football.
Collins, a former associate head coach at Division I FCS Holy Cross, coached Widener to a three-year record of 25-8. He replaces Joel Dolinski, who led Seton Hill into the Division II national rankings and a spot in the playoffs in his first season but was fired after four straight losing seasons, including 0-11 in 2012.
“We've got some people to build around, but recruiting is certainly pivotal,” Seton Hill athletics director Chris Snyder said.
Seton Hill's returning players include quarterback Andrew Jackson and first-team Daktronics Division II All-America linebacker Tyler Zimmer.
Jackson completed 54.4 percent of his passes and finished with 2,131 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Zimmer led the Griffins with 121 tackles, including 10 sacks.
“My expectation,” Snyder said, “is for us to field a competitive football team that I see improving each week. I'm not interested in quantifying wins and losses just yet. We need to perform better and add recruits with character and the ability to excel in academic performance.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5617.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- College notebook: Seton Hill baseball team signs 4
- Daily Courier roundup: Penn State Fayette women fall to Slippery Rock
- Fox Chapel grad nabs all-conference women’s soccer honor at Allegheny
- Vulcan women perfect in PSAC
- Skills translate for Cal (Pa.) women’s coach Strom
- Campus clippings: Pitt-Greensburg’s Heinle named player of the week