Norwich Coach Yesalonia accepts new university position

March 8, 2005

McIntyre named interim coach

Coach YesaloniaNorwich head football coach Mike Yesalonia has announced that, effective immediately, he is stepping down to take a job as Director of New Markets/Athletic Recruiting at the University. Offensive coordinator Shawn McIntyre, a 1998 graduate of Norwich, has been named interim coach until a replacement for Yesalonia is hired.

A 1982 graduate of Norwich, Yesalonia was hired as the 27th head coach in the history of the team in January of 1997. Yesalonia took over a program that had not won a game the previous year and had just one win in the previous two years. Yesalonia's team won two games in the first season, and posted a seven-win season just three years later, the team's best record in 16 years. After back-to-back 4-6 seasons in 2001 and 2002, the Cadets had a memorable 2003 season as they recorded a 6-4 mark in the regular season and a 4-2 mark in the Freedom Football Conference. The team advanced to the post-season for the first time in almost 20 years, playing in the ECAC Northwest Bowl. In 2004, Norwich went 7-4 and 3-3 in the Empire 8 Conference, the first season in the league. The Cadets were once again rewarded with a Bowl bid, this time to the ECAC Northeast Championship Bowl against Alfred University.

S. McIntyre, A. Mariano, M. Yesalonia
Left to right: Shawn McIntyre, Tony Mariano (Athletic Director), and Mike Yesalonia

"Mike Yesalonia has had a tremendous impact on the success of the Norwich Football program since his arrival," said Norwich Athletic Director Tony Mariano. "He has brought a level of competitiveness that has enabled Norwich to accept two consecutive Bowl bids, the school's first post-season appearances since 1984."

Yesalonia said that he decided to step down so that he can spend more time with his family. "I'm turning in my coach's hat for a dad and husband title," Yesalonia said. "Coaching is a seven day a week job. Last year, I only saw one of my son's football games. A dad should be there on the sidelines for his kids."

Yesalonia is looking forward to his new duties. As Director of New Markets/Director of Athletic Recruiting, he will be responsible for developing communication plans and campaigns in new markets, developing recruiting goals and overseeing the recruiting for 18 sports, and creating and executing communication recruiting plans for all varsity and club sports. "Norwich is a great sell, and I think it's important to go out there and share that with people," Yesalonia said.

"Mike will be in charge of all aspects of athletic recruiting for all varsity and club sports," said Karen McGrath, Dean of Enrollment Management at Norwich. "As we move towards enrollment objectives of the University's strategic plan NU2019, the role athletics will play will grow as we are looking for scholar/athlete students. Mike will be a valuable asset to the admissions team as he has shown his commitment to and belief in Norwich University as an excellent opportunity for prospective students."

McIntyre said that he is looking forward to his new role in helping the Cadet team. "I'm excited and honored that the University and [Athletic Director] Mariano have given me the opportunity to step in as interim coach," said McIntyre. "I think I'm ready for the challenge. I think right now the most important thing is to help the team through this transition and make sure we land a strong recruiting class."