A fiery and passionate leader with a unique ability to motivate and inspire today’s student-athletes, Andy Coen is in his seventh year as Lehigh’s head football coach. During his time as the Mountain Hawks leader, Coen has produced 76 All-Patriot League honorees, 21 All-America selections and 112 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll choices.
Coen has guided Lehigh to back-to-back Patriot League titles, and has won league championships in three of his first six seasons in Bethlehem. In each of the last two years, Coen was named as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, finishing seventh in the 2010 voting and sixth in 2011.
Last season, Coen guided the Mountain Hawks to their best season in a decade, one that featured an 11-2 overall record, a 5-0 Patriot League record and Lehigh’s league-leading tenth football championship. The Mountain Hawks put together a ten-game winning streak that featured a fourth straight win over Lafayette and a 40-38 win at Towson in the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
Lehigh finished in the top six in both polls and captured its eighth Lambert Cup en route to being named ECAC FCS Team of the Year.
With quarterback Chris Lum leading the way, Lehigh ranked among the top five nationally in passing offense and scoring offense. Lum went on to finish second in the voting for the Walter Payton Award. On the other side of the ball, Lehigh ranked in the top 20 nationally in rush defense and total defense.
Five Mountain Hawks garnered All-America recognition, led by Lum and wide receiver Ryan Spadola. Academically, Spadola and Zach Barket were Academic All-District selections, with Barket also named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star team. Twenty-four Mountain Hawks made the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
The 2010 season saw Coen guide the Mountain Hawks to their ninth league championship and Lehigh’s first outright league title since 2001. The Mountain Hawks won ten games for the first time since 2001 and at 5-0 posted the first undefeated Patriot League season in seven years, which culminated in Lehigh’s third straight win over Lafayette, 20-13 in Easton.
Lehigh qualified for the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 2004 and went on the road to defeat Northern Iowa 14-7 for the Patriot League’s first playoff win in seven years, while finishing the season ranked 14th nationally. For his team’s success, Coen was named Patriot League Coach of the Year.
Eighteen players were named to All-Patriot League teams, while four players earned All-America honors, including offensive lineman Will Rackley ’11 who was Lehigh’s first Associated Press first team All-America since 2004 and was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round of the NFL Draft.
In the classroom Coen’s 2010 squad set a program record with 25 selections to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, including kicker Tom Randazza and linebacker Tanner Rivas, who were named to the inaugural Academic All-Patriot League team.
In 2009 Coen led the Mountain Hawks to their second consecutive 4-2 record in Patriot League play as well as a second place finish in the standings. Lehigh’s final win of the season was one for the ages as the Mountain Hawks defeated archrival Lafayette 27-21 at home in just the second-ever game between the schools that needed overtime to decide a winner. Earlier in the year Lehigh posted a 27-0 shutout win over Georgetown marking the first time since the 1979, 1980 and 1981 seasons that the Brown and White recorded a shutout in three consecutive seasons.
The 2009 Mountain Hawks led the nation in sacks with 39 and ranked 12th in America in tackles-for-loss with 83. In addition, linebacker Matt Cohen ‘10 became the first player during Coen’s tenure to earn a major award from the Patriot League as he garnered Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Cohen went onto earn All-America laurels from four different outlets while Rackley was honored by one. In all, nine Mountain Hawks were named to the All-Patriot League Teams, including five First-Teamers, while Cohen and BJ Benning ’10 were named All-Stars by the ECAC.
During the 2008 season, Coen led Lehigh to a 4-2 Patriot League mark, which included a 31-15 victory over archrival Lafayette. That victory was the 625th in the history of the Lehigh program. Coen also led the Brown and White to a 19-0 opening day victory over Drake, marking the first time since the 1998 and 1999 seasons Lehigh has registered a shutout victory in back-to-back years.
The Mountain Hawks led the Patriot League and ranked 26th nationally in sacks in 2008, and also paced the league in net punting (third nationally) and kickoff return average (13th in America). Lehigh also ranked second in scoring defense and rush defense among Patriot League institutions. Nine players earned spots on the All-Patriot League teams, including seven First-Teamers, while four student-athletes garnered All-America accolades. Off the field, 12 Mountain Hawks were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, led by Brendan Van Ackeren ’09 who also earned a spot on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Team, and the FCS Athletics Directors Academic All-Star Team.
“Coach Coen teaches the game with a great attitude and style,” All-American Tim Diamond ’08 said. “His passion for the game influences players to reach their full potential. I enjoyed playing for Coach Coen because he has great enthusiasm for the game, relates well to his players, and loves Lehigh University and its football tradition.” He added, “Coach Coen’s desire to compete at a high level is undeniable. He strives to get the best out of his players and coaches.”
In 2007, Lehigh ranked second in the Patriot League in scoring defense (21.1 ppg) and scored 30 or more points on four occasions, including a 45-0 shutout win over Georgetown – the program’s first shutout victory since 2002. Coen coached 10 All-Patriot League selections and six All-Americans; marking the first time since 2004 Lehigh produced an All-American.
Coen led the Mountain Hawks to a share of their eighth Patriot League Championship in his first-ever season as a head coach in 2006. The Mountain Hawks boasted a balanced attack on both sides of the ball, topping the Patriot League in scoring offense (27.2 ppg) and defense (20.2 ppg). The New Jersey native mentored 14 All-Patriot League selections, which included a league-best ten players named to the First-Team.
“Coach Coen is very passionate about football and has the highest expectations for his players and his team,” explains former All-American center John Reese ’07. “He sets high standards and objectives with the expectations that the team will achieve those goals and win championships. It was a pleasure to play for Coach Coen and I believe he surrounds himself with the right people. He understands what it takes to develop the talent he recruits intro tremendous athletes and students.”
Coen became the 28th head football coach in Lehigh history on January 3, 2006. That announcement marked his return to Lehigh, where he spent six seasons as an offensive line coach – including four as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Coen returned to Lehigh from the University of Pennsylvania, where he spent six years as the offensive coordinator with the Quakers. In his six seasons in Philadelphia, the Quakers captured three Ivy League titles, including a top ten national finish in 2003. At Penn, Coen’s offense annually ranked at or near the top of the Ivy League statistical charts, and the Quakers ranked in the top ten in America in scoring three times. In 2000, the Quakers set a school and Ivy League record for points in a season, eclipsing that mark in 2002.
On an individual level, the Penn offense produced the school’s all-time leading rusher (Kris Ryan, 3,181 career yards), passer (Gavin Hoffman, 7,542 career yards), and receiver (Rob Milanese, 3,405 career yards) under Coen’s tutelage. Coen coached two First-Team All-Americans while at Penn and several Quaker offensive linemen went onto sign with NFL teams. After the Quakers posted an undefeated 2003 campaign, all five starting offensive linemen garnered All-Ivy League recognition.
At Penn, Coen was responsible for recruiting several key areas in the east, including student-athletes from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Georgia.
“Andy is a terrific football coach and a terrific human being,” said Penn head coach Al Bagnoli. “He is passionate, bright, and innovative, and is a hard worker and excellent recruiter.”
In his first stop at Lehigh (1994-99), Coen was a part of three Patriot League championship teams, including the 12-1 1998 squad. That team set a school mark for the most wins in a season, while reaching the NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals.
“Since I first set foot on campus in 1999, our football team has had nothing but first-class treatment at Lehigh University. Their facilities are top notch.” commented Andy Reid, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. “Coach Coen, his football operations staff, and the entire Lehigh community has set a high standard for their student-athletes both on and off of the football field. We are proud to be affiliated with Lehigh University as the summer home of the Philadelphia Eagles."
Coen produced ten All-Patriot League offensive linemen at Lehigh, while his teams twice finished in the national top ten in passing offense (1996, 1998). In fact, the 1998 team ranked seventh nationally in total offense, averaging 447 yards per game. During Coen’s tenure as coordinator, Lehigh produced four consecutive 1,000-yard rushers, including Rabih Abdullah ’97, who remains Lehigh’s all-time leader in rushing yards (3,696). Abdullah later went on to become the first Lehigh player to win a Super Bowl as a member of the 2004 New England Patriots.
“Coach Coen was part of taking the program from mediocre to one of the top teams in the nation,” said defensive end Nick Martucci ‘99, a team captain. “His track record shows that he can be successful at programs where academics are as rigorous and important as football.”
“Coach Coen is a great fit at Lehigh,” said former quarterback Phil Stambaugh ’00, Lehigh’s all-time leading passer with 9,669 yards. “He was very instrumental in my personal success as well as our team’s success during my time in the Brown and White.”
“Coach Coen was the heart and soul of the coaching staff when I played here,” said offensive lineman and team captain Brian McDonald ’01. “He is by far the best coach I have ever played for.”
Before his original stint at Lehigh, Coen was the offensive coordinator and head baseball coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., where he spent four seasons. In 1992, the team was nationally ranked at the Division III level. Coen has also worked as a grad assistant coach at Minnesota, and a graduate assistant at James Madison.
A native of Cherry Hill, N.J., Coen earned his bachelors in history from Gettysburg College in 1986.
Coen and his wife Laura, have three children: a daughter, Molly (8), and two sons, Nolan (6) and Finn (3).
THE ANDY COEN FILE
Born: June 20, 1964
Children: Daughter, Molly (8); sons, Nolan (6) and Finn (3)
High School: Cherry Hill East (N.J.) H.S.
College: Gettysburg College ’86 (B.A., History)
Collegiate Coaching Resume
2006-present Lehigh University, Head Coach
2000-2005 University of Pennsylvania, Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line
1996-1999 Lehigh University, Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line
1994-1995 Lehigh University, Offensive Line Coach
1990-1993 Kings Point, Offensive Coordinator
1988-1989 University of Minnesota, Graduate Assistant Offensive Line Coach
1987 James Madison University, Graduate Assistant Offensive Line Coach
1986 Widener University, Assistant Offensive Line Coach