|Old Dominion athletics photo
Allegheny has announced the hiring of Rich Nagy, a veteran coach with more than 30 years of experience at the Division I and III levels, as its 35th head football coach.
"We are very excited to welcome Rich Nagy, a focused, insightful leader who is dedicated to the Division III model and the mission of Allegheny College," said Allegheny president James H. Mullen, Jr. "I have been so impressed by his vision for our football program and his commitment to competitive excellence throughout the search process."
Nagy replaces B.J. Hammer, who was hired as head coach at Bowdoin in mid-January. Hammer assumed a program that was 1-29 in the three years prior to his arrival. Under Hammer, the Gators improved from 1-9 to 3-7 before posting a 6-4 record in 2018.
Nagy, who served as an assistant coach and eventually held the title of associate head coach for the Gators in the 1990s, returns to Meadville after most recently serving as the defensive coordinator at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia. This past season, the Monarchs defeated No. 10/13 Virginia Tech at S.B. Ballard Stadium, 49-35, for the first win over a power-five opponent since restarting the program in 2009.
"Rich Nagy prides himself on being a mentor and investing in the young men that he recruits both on and off the field," said interim athletic director Bill Ross. "I am confident that when prospective students, their families, our Allegheny community and our alumni see Rich's passion for Allegheny and his love for the sport of football, they will join in the excitement I have as he is introduced as Allegheny's next head football coach."
At ODU, Nagy's defenses featured a first-team All-Conference USA selection in each of the past three seasons, including the last two by defensive end Oshane Ximines. In 2018, Ximines broke his own ODU single-season record with 12 sacks, fifth most in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and had 18.5 tackles for loss, tied for 10th in FBS. He added 58 tackles, 14 QB hurries and two pass breakups, and finished tied for sixth with four forced fumbles. His performance earned him invitations to the Reese's Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine.
Throughout the entire 2017 season until the postseason, ODU led Conference USA in sacks, and finished fourth in the league with 31. From the time Nagy took over the defense, the Monarchs' points allowed and rushing yards allowed fell, while their sack and interception numbers rose.
Nagy joined ODU after spending three years at Western Michigan, including the 2012 season as the defensive coordinator.
"I am looking forward to building upon the tradition and history of Allegheny College football," said Nagy. "This is a special place with special people, and we look forward to attracting scholar-athletes who want to excel in all areas.
"We will recruit and develop student-athletes to reach their full potential as people, students and athletes. This will allow them to receive their degree from Allegheny College and win North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championships. They will combine their experiences as an athlete with their growth and experiences as a student and person to become not only leaders in their chosen profession, but in their communities."
Nagy, a native of Fairfield, Connecticut, arrived at WMU from Murray State, where he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Racers from December 2005 through the 2008 season. His Murray State defense allowed just 328.4 yards per game in his last season and linebacker Nate Williams was named to both the Walter Camp and Associated Press All-America first teams, was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, voted all-Ohio Valley Conference's (OVC) first team and selected the OVC Defensive Player of the Year.
Prior to Murray State, Nagy spent five seasons (2001-2005) at the University of Maine as defensive coordinator, linebackers and secondary coach. During his tenure with the Black Bears, they ranked among the top four teams in defense in four of his five seasons; captured back-to-back Atlantic 10 co-championships and advanced to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoff quarterfinals in both 2001 and 2002; recorded a school record 11 victories in 2002; posted the first two playoff wins in school history; tallied the first victory over an FBS opponent, downing Mississippi State, 9-7, in 2004; and Black Bear players received All-Atlantic 10 honors 21 times. In 2002, Maine led the Atlantic 10 in defense, allowing just 267.6 yards per game and 15.4 points per outing, with both ranking ninth in the country. American Football Monthly named Nagy the FCS Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2002.
A standout running back at Trinity (Conn.) from 1983 through 1987 and most valuable player in 1986, Nagy began his coaching career as a part-time secondary coach at Trinity following graduation. In 1988 he served as a graduate assistant coach at Allegheny working with the inside linebackers, before moving on to Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. in 1989 as a graduate assistant working with the outside linebackers. Union advanced to the 1989 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the Division III championship game, one year before Allegheny appeared in -- and won -- the 1990 contest.
Nagy spent the next two seasons as outside linebackers coach and assisted with the special teams units at Maine. In the spring of 1992, he began a five-year tenure at Allegheny as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach, and was promoted to associate head coach in his final year. During that time, the Gators captured three NCAC titles and made three Division III playoff appearances, compiling an overall winning percentage of .868 (46-7).
In February 1997, Nagy moved to the University of South Dakota as special teams coordinator and secondary coach for one season before returning east to start a three-year stint at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y. He served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach during the 1998 season, secondary coach and recruiting coordinator the following two years before moving back to Maine in the spring of 2001.
Nagy and his wife, Erika, are the parents of two daughters, Jordan and Erin.