Spotlight Kevin Callahan

Spotlight on Coach Kevin Callahan

Monmouth University’s Head Football Coach, Kevin Callahan, has developed a foundation of excellence on the field and throughout life.

“I came here to start a football program. As we continued to build the program and evolve, the job kept changing. There were always new challenges and approaches to doing things,” said Callahan.

Callahan has been the only head coach since the football program began. This past season, he led his team to an 8-3 record, a second Big South Championship appearance. They placed ninth overall among Division I Football Championship Subdivision head coaches with 152 victories.

“There is a sense of ownership with the program because I have been with it from the beginning. The support that football gets is outstanding. I really like the people at Monmouth University, so it’s made it easy to stay here,” said Callahan.

A native of Elmira, NY, Callahan earned a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Rochester in 1977, while being a student athlete on the football team.

Before becoming head coach at Monmouth, he spent three years at University of Albany as a graduate assistant, one year at Syracuse as an offensive assistant, two years at Wagner College as defensive coordinator, and eight and a half years as a defensive coordinator for Colgate University.

“This was a great experience and great point in my coaching career. I had the opportunity to work for a great man in Fred Dunlap and with some very fine people. I have been to a number of different places and was able to learn a lot at each stage. I was able to take something away from each place I coached and bring it all together to what I am doing here,” he said.

It is rare for a Division I coach to be at the same institution for 27 years, but for Callahan, Monmouth is home.

Each week at 7 a.m. in the Magill Commons Dining Hall, you may find him greeting his players with countless smiles as they grab their breakfast. Following breakfast, if he is not in the athletic office, you can find him in the weight room or the field encouraging his players to make the best of themselves.

 When Callahan is in the office, he takes initiative on checking up on his players, recruiting prospects, reviewing film, and hiring coaches that will make an immediate positive impact on his players.

During his free time, you can spot him supporting other athletic events and organizing community service events for his team. Each year, the team visits schools in Monmouth County for events such as Super Bowl parties and Read Across America.

“When you have a team of over 100 players, there is always something going on. I find myself almost every day dealing with something directly related to the players on my team,” said Callahan.

Whether it is an academic, housing, financial, or wellness issue, there is always something that Callahan needs to take care of.

“He has always been very bright about what we are doing. He lets me work, and go about my business. He trusts me and I trust him. It has been an easy relationship because of that,” said Andy Bobik, Defensive Coordinator. Bobik and Callahan have been working together for 30 years at Monmouth and Colgate University.

Callahan also meets with his players twice a year individually to receive their feedback on where they see the program going from a team point of view. Junior kicker and an accounting student, Kyle Butts, believes Callahan’s methods are effective.

“He treats each of his players with the upmost respect. He cares about each individual and wants us all to succeed,” said Butts.

Offensive Coordinator and Tight End Coach Jeff Gallo learns from Callahan as a coach and how he sets the standards for his coaching staff. Gallo, a former player of Monmouth, received first-team All-Northeast Conference Honors as an offensive lineman and second-team Don Hansen All-American Honors during his senior year.

“He is a great teacher and genuinely cares about his players. His ability to lead, but also care about you individually is his greatest asset,” said Gallo.

As a member of Football Championship Subdivision football, Monmouth is only allowed to give 63 scholarships. When it comes to recruiting, Callahan and his staff take the time investigating prospects of athletic ability and character.

“We really try to get to know the people as well as we can. We are looking for good people who understand the value of education and are good football players. Our philosophy is to find out the entire package and use that information to make sure we are getting the people that are the right fit for Monmouth,” said Callahan.

The football program expects another successful season in 2019 as they prepare for their first game against Western Michigan University on Saturday, Aug. 31. Following that game, the Hawks will play Presbyterian College on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. at Kessler Stadium.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University