Former QB Carty named next UD football coach
NEWARK – Ryan Carty, the former backup quarterback on the 2003 national championship football team, was named the University of Delaware’s next football head coach on Friday.
Carty, who spent the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Sam Houston State University in Texas under former UD head coach K.C. Keeler, replaces Danny Rocco, who was fired last month after a losing 5-6 season.
The football head coach is one of the five highest paid officials at the public-private university, with Rocco earning more than $588,000 in compensation in the 2019 tax year, according to UD’s latest tax filing. UD President Dennis Assanis is the state’s highest paid official, earning more than $1.17 million in the same year.
Football is a major revenue generator for the flagship university and the surrounding Newark community, with capacity for more than 18,000 to attend games. UD has also invested mightily into the football program in the last few years, pouring $60 million into renovations of Delaware Stadium and the building of the new Whitney Athletic Center to attract top recruits. Expectations from program boosters remain high for the team to vie for national titles each and every year, with Delaware ranking in the Top 5 for Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program revenue, according to data from FootballScoop.com.
After years of postseason success under Keeler in the early 2000s, including the 2003 national title and subsequent title game losses in 2007 and 2010, UD has struggled to establish such a run of success again under three post-Keeler coaches.
“I am thrilled to welcome Ryan Carty as the new head coach of our football program,” Assanis said in a statement Friday. “Ryan is a proud Blue Hen who is dedicated to the success of student-athletes, both on the field and in the classroom, and he will bring exceptional creativity, energy and a championship mindset to our talented team. I know all of us — students, alumni, fans and especially Ryan’s former teammates — will be looking forward to next season to cheer him and the Fightin’ Blue Hens to victory.”
Carty will be formally introduced at a Monday press conference, which will be streamed live and open to the public with RSVPs.
“We set out to find the best fit for Delaware football and we found an individual that exemplifies everything this university represents. Ryan is a winner and a champion, plain and simple. He has succeeded at every stop because he does it the right way and is committed to a culture of excellence,” UD Director of Intercollegiate Athletics & Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak said in a statement.
Well-regarded for his explosive offensives, Carty was named the 2020 FCS Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com for the abbreviated, pandemic-affected spring season that saw Sam Houston State win a national title. The Texas team is vying for consecutive titles, playing in the FCS quarterfinals this weekend having won 21 straight games dating back to last season.
Prior to his stop in Huntsville, Texas, Carty was very familiar with UD’s Colonial Athletic Association after an 11-year run on the New Hampshire coaching staff, including six years as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. There, the Wildcats qualified for the FCS playoffs in each of Carty’s six seasons as offensive coordinator, compiling an 8-6 postseason record and reaching the semifinals in 2013 and 2014. The Wildcats garnered seven or more wins every season Carty was on staff.
“I’m so humbled and excited to be involved in ushering in a new phase of one of the elite traditions in all of college football,” Carty said in a statement. “I can’t wait to begin our quest toward greatness. My vision for this program is one that will make Newark and the state of Delaware proud of our success in the classroom, our passion in the community, and our relentless pursuit of championships on the football field. My own student-athlete experience at the University of Delaware prepared me for this moment. I want to thank John Cochran, President Assanis and his wife Eleni, and Chrissi Rawak for this incredible opportunity. It’s amazing to be back home with my Blue Hen family.”