Bronx, NY (Dec. 8, 2005) – Tom Masella, head coach at Central Connecticut State University, was named head football coach at Fordham University, it was announced today. In Masella’s two-year tenure at Central Connecticut, he led the Blue Devils to two straight Northeast Conference (NEC) titles.

“Fordham University is an excellent academic institution in the greatest city in the world and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity,” said Masella. “I believe all the resources are here, from the administration, to the facilities and the alumni support, to build a winning program.”

In his first year as head coach at Central Connecticut, Masella put together one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history and its first winning season in 17 years. His efforts garnered the team the conference championship and Masella was named NEC Coach of the Year.

This fall, the Blue Devils finished with a 7-4 record, tying for the NEC crown with a 5-2 conference record. Eleven of Masella’s student-athletes received All-Northeast Conference accolades in 2005, including one who was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and another who received Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

“Throughout his coaching career, Tom has shown a remarkable ability in building successful football programs and molding model student-athletes,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. “We are confident that he will bring the same success to Fordham as we make our bid to regain the Patriot League championship.”

Masella has been part of four conference championships in the past five years, winning titles the past two years at Central Connecticut, in 2003 at the University of Massachusetts, and in 2001 at Louisiana Tech. As the defensive coordinator at the University of Massachusetts, Masella led the Minutemen to the Atlantic 10 championship and received a bid to the Division I-AA playoffs. In Masella’s two seasons at Massachusetts, the Minutemen compiled an 18-7 record, finishing the 2003 season as the 30th ranked team in I-AA in rushing defense. Individually, three of his defensive players were named to the All-Conference First-Team and four more players were named to the Second- and Third-Team All-Conference squads.

Masella spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech, helping turn the Bulldogs into one of the top Division I-A defensive units in the country. His 2001 defense ranked 11th in the nation in interceptions and 13th in turnovers forced, as the Bulldogs won the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship, their first season in the conference.

“We are excited that Tom has accepted our invitation to coach for the Rams,” said Frank McLaughlin, executive director of athletics at Fordham University. “He’s a proven winner, and we expect his winning ways to continue at Fordham.”

Growing up in Staten Island, N.Y., Masella played football at Tottenville High School before moving on to Wagner College, where he started and played in all 43 games of his career. During his final two seasons, Masella helped the Seahawks post a 17-3 record.

Masella has also served as the head football coach at Boston University and Fairfield University.