NEW BRITAIN — Central Connecticut State has filled its football head coaching vacancy — at least on a temporary basis.
Ryan McCarthy, the Blue Devils’ offensive coordinator, has been named the program’s interim head coach. University president Zulma R. Toro announced the decision in an email to students Wednesday morning.
McCarthy takes over for Pete Rossomando, who after five seasons at CCSU took the offensive line coaching job at Rutgers.
“There’s no question we wanted Ryan to be the guy,” athletic director Brian Barrio told The Herald Wednesday before he was set to meet with the football team. “He has the respect of the coaching staff and the players. That’s why you have a plan in place in these situations, because when you’re a successful program, other schools are going to want your coaches. ”
As for McCarthy’s interim tag and where he would be in line to become the full-time head coach, Barrio didn’t want to comment too extensively on the matter, although he did reiterate the success the program has had of late factored into the decision.
The Blue Devils snapped a streak of six consecutive losing seasons in 2017, which also saw the program win its first conference title since 2010, and they went 8-5 this past year.
“In order to do a full hire at the state level, there is a long process and the football coach at CCSU is not an exception,” Barrio said. “If we were to do a full search, we wouldn’t have a coach until March and that wouldn’t be feasible for the program. There was a reason why we put Ryan in place. We have a great staff and players here. Pete was here and he did a great job, but at the same time, Pete didn’t do this on his own and these coaches are all still here and we want to keep it going. There’s not a reason to blow it up.”
McCarthy has spent the last two seasons calling plays for the Blue Devils’ offense.
Under his direction, CCSU ranked third in scoring offense (29.3 points per game), fourth in total offense (362.0 yards per game) and second in rushing offense (184.4 yards per game) in the Northeast Conference in 2017. In 2018, McCarthy’s unit ranked first is scoring offense (33.8 ppg), first in total offense (432.2 ypg) and second in rushing offense (223.6 ypg).
Prior to being on CCSU’s staff, McCarthy spent 13 seasons at the University of Albany. He served as the Great Danes’ offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2013 and then their quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 2014.
In all, CCSU is excited about the future of the football team.
“I’m thrilled about Ryan and the program and the vibe from the players,” Barrio said. “We’re looking forward to continuing that sustained success.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org