NEW BRITAIN - Ryan McCarthy isn’t going to worry about his interim tag anymore.
McCarthy was named Central Connecticut State’s full-time head football coach the school announced Wednesday.
A reception to officially make the announcement, along with a short speaking program, will be held at Kaiser Hall on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
“It makes me very proud to announce Ryan McCarthy as the head coach of CCSU football,” director of athletics Brian Barrio said in a statement. “Ryan is a respected coach and the team has flourished under his leadership this year. We look forward to the Blue Devils’ continued success under his leadership.”
The Blue Devils are currently 5-1, 1-0 in the Northeast Conference and are ranked for the first time since 2006 in McCarthy’s first season leading the program. Their only loss was against FBS-opponent Eastern Michigan.
CCSU is No. 25 in the STATS FCS Top 25 poll, which was released on Monday, and received 274 votes. The Blue Devils also received 30 votes FCS Coaches Poll and narrowly missed out on the 25th spot in that poll. CCSU is the only team from the NEC to receive votes in both polls.
“In this profession, the aspiration is to be a head coach,” McCarthy told The Herald. “I had two really good mentors in [former CCSU head coach] Pete [Rossomando] and [former Albany head coach] Bob Ford. And obviously, this wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have the support from the administration from [CCSU] President [Zulma R.] Toro and Brian, if I didn’t have the support of the players and the coaches.”
Discussions between McCarthy and the administrations, and specifically Barrio, had been ongoing for a few weeks prior to the announcement McCarthy said.
“We had talked about it,” McCarthy said. “I think he liked the way the team has been playing. We’re playing well and that obviously helps. We’re going in the right directions and we want to keep that going. It’s nice to be rewarded with the full-time job.”
McCarthy was named the Blue Devils’ interim coach on Jan. 23, just days after then head coach Pete Rossomando resigned after five seasons to take the offensive line coaching position at Rutgers.
McCarthy was the offensive coordinator under Rossomando for four seasons and held the position when CCSU won its first NEC championship since 2010 in 2017. He was also responsible for developing Jacob Dolegala, who is now a quarterback on the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster.
“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 at the time. “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.
Under McCarthy’s direction, the Blue Devils are leading the NEC in a number of key categories this season.
CCSU ranks first in the conference in total offense (437.2 yards per game), scoring offense (32.5 points per game), rushing offense (226.7 ypg), total defense (297.8 ypg), scoring defense (20.7 ppg) and run defense (86.3 ypg).
The Blue Devils are set to host NEC-opponent Bryant (2-5, 1-1) at 1p.m.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org