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The Stony Brook Seawolves football program is the collegiate football team that represents Stony Brook University at the NCAA Division I level. The program participates in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision and currently competes in the eleven-member Colonial Athletic Association. The program plays its home games at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, New York.

Stony Brook Seawolves
2019 Stony Brook Seawolves football team
Stony Brook Seawolves wordmark.svg
First season1984
Athletic directorShawn Heilbron
Head coachChuck Priore
13th season, 84–66 (.560)
StadiumKenneth P. LaValle Stadium
(Capacity: 12,300)
Year built2002
Field surfaceArtificial turf
LocationStony Brook, New York
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceColonial Athletic Association
Past conferencesNortheast (1999–2006)
Independent (2007)
Big South (2008–2012)
All-time record151–142 (.515)
Conference titles5 (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Current uniform
Stony Brook Football Uniforms.png
ColorsRed, Blue, and Gray[1]
              
Fight songFight Song, "Go, Fight, Win"[2]
MascotWolfie the Seawolf
Marching bandThe Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band[3]
NCAA FCS Playoff Appearances2011, 2012, 2017, 2018
Websitestonybrookathletics.com

Stony Brook first fielded a varsity team at the Division III level in 1984 and rose to Division II in 1996. In 1999, the Seawolves became a Division I program, joining the Northeast Conference without offering scholarships until 2006. After a year of FCS independence, Stony Brook joined the Big South Conference and fully transitioned into a sixty-three scholarship program. In the summer of 2012, the program announced its admission into the Colonial Athletic Association.

Since transitioning to Division I, the Seawolves have amassed five conference championships, including four straight from 2009 to 2012. They have participated in the Division I FCS playoffs four times and advanced to the second round in back-to-back years. In 2012, they had their best performing season, winning a program-record ten games. After struggling in their first few seasons in the CAA, the Seawolves finished 10–3 in 2017 to finish in second place in the division, and returned to the playoffs in 2018.

The program has cemented itself as a major national power in the Football Championship Subdivision with nationwide recruiting, consecutive weeks in the national polls, and its admission into the highly competitive Colonial Athletic Association in 2013.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Stony Brook first fielded varsity football in the 1983 season when its athletic teams were known as the Patriots.[4] The football team transitioned into Division I in 1999 after leaving the Eastern Football Conference. In 2002, the 8,300 seat Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium opened as the new home of Seawolves football.[5] The program joined the Northeast Conference in 1999 and participated as an associate member until 2006. It transitioned to a fully funded FCS program from 2006 until 2008 providing the maximum scholarship allowance of 63. In 2008 Stony Brook joined the Big South Conference.[6] In the summer of 2012 the program announced its admission into the Colonial Athletic Association. In 2017, the stadium was expanded to add further 2,000 seats, which along with a standing capacity of at least 2,000, gives the stadium a total capacity of 12,300.[7]

Early days (1984–1998)Edit

After a period of impressive growth at the University which saw a rise in enrollment to over 16,000 students, the athletic department started taking shape with the steady development of its collegiate programs. Football was one of them, and Stony Brook initiated competition against regional universities and fellow SUNY members schools. Stony Brook fielded varsity football for the first time in the 1983 season playing their first game against SUNY-Maritime on September 18, 1983[4] but it was in 1984 when the team started playing a predominantly Division III schedule, and stats where first recorded by the NCAA.[8] By 1985, Stony Brook, for the first time did not schedule club teams as part of their season. By 1988, the football program joined it first ever conference with its inclusion into the Liberty Football, an affiliation which lasted until 1991. While in Liberty Football, it competed on a yearly basis against Hofstra, Pace, Brooklyn, Fordham and other programs across the New York metropolitan area. At the end of the 1991 season, Stony Brook announced its admission into the Freedom Football conference as it continued to develop into a stronger Division III program. While part of Freedom Football, Stony Brook had winning seasons every year. In 1995, Stony Brook departed from the Freedom Football conference and initiated a transition to Division I in all sports. In 1997 it joined Division II's Eastern Football Conference for a period of two years, having back-to-back losing seasons. By 1999, the transition was completed and Stony Brook joined the Division I Northeast Conference as a non-scholarship program.

Joining the Northeast Conference and Division I (1999–2007)Edit

Stony Brook entered Division I football in 1999, participating in the Northeast Conference until 2006. Continued growth of the program was assured with the construction of the Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The Seawolves had a hard time on the field struggling over the span of three seasons with sub .500 records. The 2002 season coincided with the opening season of the stadium and the Seawolves posted their best winning season under the NEC banner with an 8–2 overall record, a 5–2 record against the NEC with a total of over 27,000 fans attending their opening season. However, the Seawolves weren't able to replicate their inaugural year's success and fell on hard times the following two seasons winning only nine of twenty games. The 2005 season was the last season under Sam Kornhauser,rewarded with the program's first NEC co-championship after a 6–4, 5–2 NEC season.

The desire to offer scholarship football climaxed in 2005[9] and the decision was taken among administrators to transition the Seawolves to full funding status.[10] The 2006 year would mark the beginning of a new era in Stony Brook football. Scholarships were offered in football for the first time, part of an ambitious plan to transition the program to full scholarship funding. Chuck Priore took over the reins of the program[11][12] and with the support of the department awarded the equivalent of 27 scholarships to 38 player for the initial season.[13] This same year efforts to market Stony Brook Seawolves football to a bigger audience intensified and for the first time the Seawolves were to be fully broadcast over the airwaves on the campus radio station, 90.1 WUSB FM, and through a parallel online stream at WUSB.FM.[14] A Sunday night talk show with Chuck Priore was initiated on the radio[15] followed by weekly letters "From the Coaches Corner" released in the athletic website. The season also witnessed a much tougher schedule than the previous years with Hofstra,[16] #1 New Hampshire,[17] and #9 Massachusetts,[18] and Georgetown all scheduled to play. As a result, the four initial games of the season were lost[19][20][21][22] but the Seawolves came back to win four straight in conference play before losing their title hopes to Central Connecticut to end the season 5–6, 5–2 in the Northeast.[23]

The Seawolves departed from the Northeast Conference despite signing a contract extension through 2010,[24] largely due to the NEC imposed limit of 30 scholarships and the desire to increment scholarship allowance to 63, the maximum allowed by the NCAA.[25] The program participated in 2007 as an independent taking advantage of independence to increase scholarships offerings and to schedule higher-caliber unconventional teams like #20 Richmond,[26] #6 Youngstown State,[27] #14 Hofstra,[28] #24 Elon,[29] and Maine[30] while also scheduling previous conference rivals Central Connecticut,[31] Albany,[32] Monmouth,[33] and Bryant.[34] The Seawolves also played against Patriot League members Bucknell[35] and Georgetown.[36] The 2007 season ended with 6–5 record and the announcement of Stony Brook joining the Big South Conference with full sixty-three scholarship funding.

Joining the Big South Conference (2008–2010)Edit

Stony Brook joined the Big South in 2008 after a year of independence. The 2008 season opened in winning fashion with a 42–26 victory against Colgate but the Seawolves struggled, losing the next four out-of-conference matchups against Elon, Maine, Brown, and Hofstra. The Seawolves then dropped their first Big South matchup against Liberty with a 33–0 result. The Seawolves went on to win four of their last five games to finish their inaugural season with a 5–6 record, 3–2 in the Big South. Mike & Mike of ESPN radio and ESPN listeners coined the name The Battle for the Butter for the game between Maine and Stony Brook in 2008.[37]

The 2009 season showed a much improved team and stronger schedule with games against cross-island rival Hofstra, UMass and North Dakota in which they lost, but went on to win five out of their six conference games and capped the season with a 36–33 upset over the Liberty Flames to share the conference title.[38]

In the offseason, cross-island rival Hofstra announced the immediate folding of their football program.[39] For Stony Brook, that meant the addition of multiple transfers from Hofstra eligible to play immediately.[40][41] As a result, the Seawolves came out stronger than ever in their 2010 campaign. Continuing to increase the strength-of-schedule, the Seawolves played their first ever game against a Division I FBS school at South Florida. While the Seawolves led for the entire first quarter, they lost 59–14 in front of an audience of over 40,000.[42] As the last game of the season approached, the Seawolves found themselves undefeated in conference play but fell 54–28 to the Liberty Flames at Lynchburg, sharing the Big South title for a second year straight, this time in a three-way tie with Coastal Carolina and Liberty.[43] Stony Brook did not win the Big South's automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs, since Coastal Carolina allowed the fewest points in their conference schedule of the three teams. Midway through the season, the program announced it was receiving its largest donation ever – a $4.3 million Strength & Conditioning facility from former Stony Brook athlete Glenn Dubin.[44]

The 2011 season featured the addition of top recruit Fernando Diaz who transferred from the Division I FBS program at the University of Pittsburgh together with returning running-duo Miguel Maysonet and Brock Jackolski and renewed expectations. The program continued the efforts of increasing the strength of schedule adding games against Division I FBS Buffalo and UTEP and a record six games at home. In the preseason, The Seawolves were ranked among the top 15 programs at the Division I FCS level in the "Phil Steele's College Football Review" ahead of their conference rivals, Liberty, which were ranked in the 31st position.[45]

National prominence and playoffs (2011–2012)Edit

Stony Brook opened the 2011 season with another FBS matchup, losing to UTEP 31–24 in overtime after allowing 21 unanswered points to the Miners.[46] The Seawolves then played another FBS team, Buffalo, and were blown out 35–7.[47] In their home opener, Stony Brook lost to Brown 21–20 after giving up the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter to fall to 0–3.[48] However, the Seawolves turned it around and began the longest winning streak in program history. They defeated Lafayette 37–20 in the conference opener,[49] and would score at least 40 points in each game for the rest of the regular season. This included a program and Big South conference record in a 76–28 victory over Gardner-Webb.[50] In the final game of the regular season, marketed as the Big South Championship Game, Stony Brook defeated Liberty 41–31 to earn the Big South's automatic bid for the NCAA Division I Football Championship.[51] The Seawolves ended the regular season on an eight-game winning streak to finish 6–0 in conference play and win the conference title again.

In the first round of the 2011 FCS Playoffs, Stony Brook paired up against in-state rivals Albany, coming back from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Great Danes 31–28 in front of a then-record-setting crowd of 8,286.[52] The Seawolves advanced to the second round, facing top-seeded Sam Houston State. Despite leading for much of the game, the Seawolves lost 34–27 on a last-minute touchdown to end their season at 9–4 (6–0).[53]

Before the 2012 season, the Seawolves added several FBS transfers, including Iowa's Marcus Coker, Maryland's Adrian Coxson, and Minnesota's Leston Simpson.[54][55][56] In addition, the Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center opened in the early summer.[57] In the season opener, the Seawolves defeated Central Connecticut 49–17 at home.[58] The Seawolves set a new points record by beating Division II Pace 77–7, beginning the season 2–0. The next week, Stony Brook faced an FBS opponent in Syracuse, but lost 28–17 despite leading for most of the first half.[59] The Seawolves followed up with a Homecoming matchup, setting a new home attendance record at 10,278 in a 32–31 comeback win over Colgate.[60]

Stony Brook made history in Week 5 by defeating Army 23–3. It was the program's first victory against an FBS opponent.[61] The Seawolves opened Big South play on a high note beating Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, and Presbyterian, and VMI. Riding a seven-game winning streak, Stony Brook was ranked No. 6 in the Sports Network Poll, the highest in school history. The Seawolves would lose the final game of the regular season 28–14 to Liberty; while they still won a share of the Big South title, the automatic bid was given to Coastal Carolina. Stony Brook was granted an at-large bid to the FCS Playoffs for the team's second consecutive appearance.[62]

The Seawolves earned a first-round home matchup against Villanova, winning 20–10.[63] Moving on to the second round, Stony Brook travelled to Bozeman to face the third-seeded Montana State, where they lost, 16–10, to end their season at 10–3 (5–1). The team's ten wins were the most in program history.[64] Stony Brook graduated running back Miguel Maysonet, the Big South and the school's all-time leader in rushing yards (4,725) and rushing touchdowns (48).[65]

Joining the Colonial Athletic Association and struggling to adjust (2013–2016)Edit

In mid July 2012, rumors surfaced in the media of Stony Brook being a target for CAA Football.[66] In early August, the CAA confirmed that Stony Brook, along with in-state rival Albany, will be joining CAA Football for the 2013 season.[67][68]

It was announced early in 2013 that Stony Brook scheduled matches against FBS opponents Boston College and Buffalo, but Boston College pulled out.[69][70] Stony Brook beat Rhode Island 24–0 in their first CAA game, and opened their home season on September 28 with a loss against Towson. Stony Brook faced their SUNY rival Albany on November 23, the last week of the regular season, winning 24–3 in the first Empire Clash matchup with both teams in the CAA. The Seawolves finished 5–6 in their first CAA season.

The 2014 season began with losses to non-conference opponents Bryant and FBS UConn, and Stony Brook's record stood at 1–4 by the end of September. A three-game winning streak brought them back to .500, but they would lose three of their final four games, including the season finale at Albany, to end the season with a 5–7 record.

Stony Brook began their 2015 season with a match against FBS Toledo, but the game was suspended and cancelled due to severe thunderstorms. While they won their first two games, including an upset against No. 13 New Hampshire, the Seawolves would go on to lose five in a row, all to conference opponents. Stony Brook won the final three games of the season but still ended with a record of 5–5, including a 3–5 record in CAA play.

In 2016, Stony Brook won their season opener against No. 19 North Dakota before losing the next game to FBS Temple. In Week 3, Stony Brook upset No. 2 ranked Richmond, pulling off a 42–14 victory at home. The surprise win helped the Seawolves earn a No. 20 ranking in the FCS STATS poll the next week, the team's first ranking since 2013. However, they were upset at home the next week by Sacred Heart, losing 38–10. Stony Brook would win their next three games to improve to 5–2 and an undefeated 4–0 in conference. Their season nosedived from there, as the Seawolves lost the final four games of the season to finish 5–6 (4–4). Stony Brook did not have a single winning season in any of their first four years in the CAA.

Back to the playoffs (2017–present)Edit

Before the 2017 season started, Stony Brook was predicted to finish 8th out of 12 in the CAA. While they lost the season opener at No. 19 FBS-ranked South Florida, Stony Brook ended the season with a 10–3 record, going 7–1 in CAA play to finish in second place behind James Madison. Their lone conference loss came at home against Delaware. In the regular season finale, Stony Brook won 20–19 at Maine on a Hail Mary which was caught in the end zone as time expired in the fourth quarter; the pass was ranked No. 1 on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays. Stony Brook received an at-large bid to the FCS Playoffs, beating Lehigh 59–29 in the first round before losing to James Madison in the second round by a score of 26–7. The season was the Seawolves' most successful since 2012 as they won more than five games for the first time since joining the CAA. Stony Brook finished the regular season ranked No. 10 in the FCS STATS poll, the team's highest since a No. 6 ranking in 2012.

Stony Brook began their 2018 season with a 38–0 road loss against FBS opponent Air Force. The team would rebound, winning their next four games including a 29–27 comeback victory against Villanova after trailing 21–0 in the second quarter. The team was upset on the road by Towson but beat New Hampshire and Rhode Island; the Seawolves' 52–14 victory in the latter game was played in front of a crowd of 12,701, the most attended home game in Stony Brook history. A major upset bid against No. 3 James Madison fell short 13–10, but Stony Brook came out of the bye week by toppling first-place Delaware 17–3. In the final game of the season, Stony Brook was massively upset on the road, losing 25–23 to last-place Albany in a rivalry game that was decided on a last-second field goal. Regardless, Stony Brook still earned an at-large berth to the FCS Playoffs after finishing 7–4 (5–3), where they lost 28–14 to Southeast Missouri State in the first round.

Conference affiliationsEdit

Stony Brook began play as a Division III program in 1984, transitioned to Division II in 1996, and finally ascended to Division I in 1999.[71]

ChampionshipsEdit

The Seawolves won their first Division I Conference Championship in the 2005 season while playing in the Northeast Conference with an end of the season record of 6–4 (5–2). In 2009, the Seawolves were named co-conference champions of the Big South Conference after finishing 6–5 (5–0) but did not earn a bid to the FCS Playoffs.[72] In 2010, Stony Brook repeated as co-champions of the Big South after a 6–5 (5–1) season, but did not receive a bid to the FCS Playoffs after losing their season finale to the Liberty Flames 54–28. The Seawolves won their third consecutive Big South title, and first outright, in 2011, finishing with a 9–4 (6–0) record and earning their first trip to the FCS Playoffs after beating Liberty 41–31 in the Big South Championship.[73] In 2012, the Seawolves won their fourth consecutive Big South championship, amassing a 10–3 (5–1) record.[74]

Conference ChampionshipsEdit

Year Coach Conference Conference record
2005 Sam Kornhauser Northeast Conference 5–2*
2009 Chuck Priore Big South Conference 5–1*
2010 5–1*
2011 6–0
2012 5–1*
Total conference championships 5

"*" Co-Champions

PostseasonEdit

NCAA Division I Football Championship (FCS) PlayoffsEdit

The Seawolves have appeared in the NCAA Division I Football Championship (FCS) Playoffs four times. Their combined record is 3–4.

Year Round Opponent Result
2011 First Round
Second Round
Albany
Sam Houston State
W 31–28
L 27–34
2012 First Round
Second Round
Villanova
Montana State
W 20–10
L 10–16
2017 First Round
Second Round
Lehigh
James Madison
W 59–29
L 7–26
2018 First Round Southeast Missouri State L 14–28

Head coachesEdit

Stony Brook has been led by the following head coaches.[71]

Coach Tenure Record Pct.
Sam Kornhauser 1984–2005 105–110 0.488
Chuck Priore 2006–present 84–66 0.560

Notable playersEdit

Name Years Round Position Team
Will Tye 2015–2017 TE New York Giants
Victor Ochi 2016 LB New York Jets
Timon Parris 2018– OT Washington Redskins

RivalriesEdit

  • Albany

Albany, Stony Brook's in-state rival, first played the Seawolves in 1995 when both programs were at the Division II level. The two teams played each other annually from 1995 to 2007 before meeting again in the first round of the FCS Playoffs in 2011, where Stony Brook won 31–28. The rivalry was renewed beginning in 2013 after both Stony Brook and Albany joined the CAA; from then on, the rivalry was known as the Empire Clash.[75] Beginning in 2015, the winner is award the Golden Apple trophy.[76] Each team alternates hosting the game each season, which is traditionally the last game of the CAA conference schedule for both teams.

Season-by-Season resultsEdit

* Stony Brook Seawolves football under Sam Kornhauser (1984-2005)
* Stony Brook Seawolves football under Chuck Priore (2006-Current)

Year Overall Record Conference Conference Record Head Coach Standing Championship (Playoffs) Attendance (Average)
1984 4–5 Independent Sam Kornhauser
1985 6–4 Independent Sam Kornhauser
1986 5–4 Independent Sam Kornhauser
1987 4–5 Independent Sam Kornhauser
1988 5–4 Liberty Football 4–2 Sam Kornhauser
1989 3–7 Liberty Football 1–4 Sam Kornhauser
1990 1–8 Liberty Football 1–4 Sam Kornhauser
1991 6–4 Liberty Football 2–3 Sam Kornhauser
1992 5–5 Freedom Football 2–3 Sam Kornhauser
1993 6–3 Freedom Football 3–2 Sam Kornhauser
1994 7–4 Freedom Football 4–2 Sam Kornhauser ECAC Bowl
1995 7–3 Freedom Football 3–2 Sam Kornhauser
1996 6–4 Independent Sam Kornhauser
1997 4–6 Eastern Football 4–4 Sam Kornhauser
1998 3–7 Eastern Football 3–5 Sam Kornhauser 4,445 (889) [77]
1999 5–5 Northeast 4–3 Sam Kornhauser 4th 6,621 (1,324) [78]
2000 2–8 Northeast 1–7 Sam Kornhauser 8th 3,360 (672) [79]
2001 3–6 Northeast 3–5 Sam Kornhauser T–5th 5,714 (1,143) [80]
2002 8–2 Northeast 5–2 Sam Kornhauser T–2nd 27,378 (5,475)
2003 6–4 Northeast 4–3 Sam Kornhauser T–3rd 23,066 (4,613) [81]
2004 3–7 Northeast 2–5 Sam Kornhauser 7th 16,884 (3,377)
2005 6–4 Northeast 5–2 Sam Kornhauser T–1st Champions 21,263 (3,544)
2006 5–6 Northeast 3–2 Chuck Priore 2nd 17,343 (4,336)
2007 6–5 Independent 0–0 Chuck Priore 23,007 (4,601)
2008 5–6 Big South 3–2 Chuck Priore 2nd 19,531 (3,255)[82]
2009 6–5 Big South 5–1 Chuck Priore T–1st Champions 18,578 (4,644)[83]
2010 6–5 Big South 5–1 Chuck Priore 1st Champions 24,541 (4,908)[84]
2011 9–4 Big South 6–0 Chuck Priore T–1st Champions

(2nd Round)

39,009 (5,573) [85]
2012 10–3 Big South 5–1 Chuck Priore T–1st Champions
(2nd Round)
40,783 (5,826)
2013 5–6 CAA 3–5 Chuck Priore T–8th 33,802 (6,760)
2014 5–7 CAA 4–4 Chuck Priore T–5th 42,629 (7,105)
2015 5–5 CAA 3–5 Chuck Priore T–7th 43,607 (7,268)
2016 5–6 CAA 4–4 Chuck Priore T–6th 41,719 (6,953)
2017 10–3 CAA 7–1 Chuck Priore 2nd (2nd Round) 47,356 (7,892)
2018 7–5 CAA 5–3 Chuck Priore T–3rd (1st Round) 39,068 (7,813)

FacilitiesEdit

Kenneth P. LaValle StadiumEdit

 
Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center

Built in 2002, LaValle Stadium is the on-campus home of the Stony Brook Seawolves football team. LaValle Stadium has a seating capacity of 12,300. It was constructed with a cost of approximately $22 million and it is the largest outdoor facility in Suffolk County. It was named after the New York state senator who was instrumental in getting the funding for the stadium. The stadium is also shared with the school soccer and lacrosse teams. In October 2012, it was reported that the University has allocated $5.7 million for the addition of at least 2,000 seats to LaValle Stadium, which would bring the capacity up to 10,300.[86] The expansion was completed in the summer of 2017. A further standing capacity of at least 2,000 gives the stadium a total capacity of 12,300.

Dubin Family Athletic Performance CenterEdit

In February 2011 it was announced that a new strength and conditioning center will be erected in the north side of the Stony Brook indoor Sports Complex. It will be a 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) facility set to be completed during the fall 2011. In Spring 2012, the facility was inaugurated. The facility will provide the Seawolves with a world-class fitness facility. The facility will be named after the Glenn Dubin who donated over $4.3 million for the construction of the project, the largest athletic donation in the SUNY system. Dubin is an alumnus of Stony Brook who graduated in 1978.

Future non-conference opponentsEdit

2019 2020 2021
@Utah State TBD @Oregon
Fordham @Fordham Fordham

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stony Brook University Brand". Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  2. ^ http://www.goseawolves.org/spirit/ston-10-songs.html
  3. ^ http://www.goseawolves.org/spirit/ston-10-band.html
  4. ^ a b The Statesman, Volume XXVII, Number I. "Big Red Machine Ready To Roll" (PDF). The Statesman, pg 32. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Stony Brook Opens Seawolves Stadium With 34–9 Thrilling Victory Over St. John's". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
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  7. ^ "Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium". stonybrookathletics.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
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  36. ^ "Seawolves Open Season By Topping Hoyas, 35–28". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  37. ^ "It's not just a game — it's the Battle for the Butter". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
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