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Culture, Lifestyle & Sports

UD alum tapped as new head football coach

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Delaware Athletics
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Ryan Carty played for the fighting Blue Hens through 2006, and helped lead the team to a national championship title in 2003.

A University of Delaware alum is returning to Newark to lead the Blue Hen football team.

UD taps former quarterback Ryan Carty to take over the program, replacing Danny Rocco who was fired as head coach in November.

The 38-year-old Carty comes from Sam Houston State where he is currently offensive coordinator under former UD coach K.C. Keeler. Carty played for Keeler at Delaware. He was a member of the Blue Hens’ 2003 national championship team and a co-captain in 2006.

Ryan_carty_head_shot
Sam Houston State Univ.
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Ryan Carty

UD leadership is betting one of their own can bring the program back to national prominence. The team has only reached the postseason twice since 2010, and finished 5-6 this year - their second losing record in 3 years.

“I can't wait to begin our quest towards greatness,” Carty said in a statement Friday. “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.”

Carty’s offense has helped Sam Houston to a 21-0 over the past two seasons. The Bearkats are currently 11-0 and competing in the FCS playoffs. Their offense under Carty this season ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring and total offense.

UD athletic director Chrissi Rawak calls Carty “a winner and a champion, plain and simple.”

"We set out to find the best fit for Delaware football and we found an individual that exemplifies everything this University represents," said Rawak. "He has succeeded at every stop because he does it the right way and is committed to a culture of excellence."

His selection shuts down hopes many had that former UD coach and current Sam Houston head coach K.C. Keeler would return. Keeler led the Hens to that 2003 national title, but was let go back in 2013.

Carty will be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday, but remain with Sam Houston State through the playoffs.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.