Posted: January 3, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After an extensive search, Lehigh has named Andy Coen as its new head football coach. Coen becomes the 28th head football coach in Lehigh history, replacing Pete Lembo, who recently departed for Elon University. The announcement marks Coen’s return to Lehigh, where he spent six seasons as an offensive line coach – including four as the team’s offensive coordinator.
“Andy is the kind of person who will genuinely relate to people in and around the program,” said Lehigh Dean of Athletics Joe Sterrett ’76. “He is a very emotional, inspiring, and passionate leader, and comes highly-regarded by a number of other coaches. He demonstrated during his prior service at Lehigh that he is a great institutional fit.”
Coen, 41, returns to Lehigh from the University of Pennsylvania, where he spent the past six seasons as the offensive coordinator with the Quakers. In his six seasons in Philadelphia, the Quakers captured three Ivy League titles, including a top ten 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 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. All-American offensive lineman Jeff Hatch, a former defensive lineman, was drafted by the New York Giants in the third round of the 2002 NFL draft. 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.
“We are really happy for Andy,” said Penn head coach Al Bagnoli. “He is a terrific football coach, a terrific human being, and there is no doubt he is ready to be a head coach. Andy is passionate, bright, and innovative, and he is a hard worker and an excellent recruiter. He has inherited a great program at Lehigh, and that was a job he aspired to get.”
Prior to his coaching stint in Philadelphia, Coen spent six seasons as the offensive line coach at Lehigh, including four as the Mountain Hawks’ offensive coordinator (1996-1999). In his first stop at Lehigh, Coen was a part of two 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.
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 at both Lehigh and Penn shows that he can be successful at programs where academics are as rigorous and important as football.”
“Coach Coen will be a great fit back at Lehigh,” said former quarterback Phil Stambaugh ’00. “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 three seasons. In 1992, the team was nationally ranked at the Division III level. Coen has also worked as an assistant coach at Minnesota, James Madison, and Widener.
A native of Cherry Hill, N.J., Coen earned his bachelor’s in history from Gettysburg College in 1986.
Coen and his wife Laura, have two children: a daughter, Molly (2), and a son, Nolan (three months).
THE ANDY COEN FILE
Born: June 20, 1964
Wife: The former Laura Jones
Children: Daughter, Molly (2); son, Nolan (three months)
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, Offensive Line Coach
1987 James Madison University, Offensive Line Coach
1986 Widener University, Assistant Offensive Line Coach