SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After seven years at the helm of a revitalized Union College football program, Jeff Behrman has stepped down as head coach to take the head coaching position at his alma mater, John Carroll University, it was announced on Monday.
“We are grateful for the positive impact that Jeff has had on our College, our football program, and the many student-athletes who have been a part of the team since 2016,” said Union Director of Athletics Jim McLaughlin ’93. “Thanks to Jeff’s leadership, the football program has made great strides on the field in recent seasons and is once again a perennial contender in the Liberty League and the region. Just as importantly, he also developed high-character student-athletes who succeeded in the classroom and in the community as well.”
Behrman took over a team that went 0-10 in the year before his arrival and rebuilt the program into one of the top teams in the region and the country, guiding Union to a 42-20 overall record in six seasons. Under his watch, 87 players earned All-Liberty League recognition, including one Offensive Player of the Year and two Rookies of the Year. In addition, 16 Dutchmen earned All-Region honors and three received All-America laurels, including 2022 AFCA and D3football.com All-American Tim Driscoll.
“The last seven years at Union College have been a positive and transformative experience for me and my family,” said Behrman. “It has been a blessing to create and celebrate so many memories, and I am grateful for the countless relationships that have been built during my time in Schenectady that I hope to continue into the future.”
After a pair of seven-win seasons in 2017 and 2018, the Dutchmen boasted one of the best seasons in school history in 2019, posting the 10th undefeated regular season ever at Union and just the fourth 10-0 regular-season record. The team won its first 11 games of the year, including the program’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2005, and finished the year ranked 12th in the D3football.com national poll and 15th in the AFCA national rankings. Following that season, Behrman was recognized as the AFCA Region I Coach of the Year and the ECAC Division III Coach of the Year, in addition to leading the Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year. Individually, Ike Irabor was named a D3football.com All-American, five players earned D3football.com All-Region recognition, and a program-record 21 players were named to the All-Liberty League teams.
Behrman’s 42 victories are third-most by a coach in the long history of Union football, while his .677 winning percentage also is third-best among all coaches with at least five years on the sidelines. His average of seven wins per season is the second-highest for a Union coach all-time, trailing only Union Hall of Famer Al Bagnoli.
“The opportunity to be back ‘home’ in northeast Ohio and be near my family is important to me,” Behrman added. “My wife Karen, son Brock and I cannot thank the Union community enough for welcoming us into your family back in 2016. Your unconditional support has been much appreciated over the years. The future of Union College football is bright because of the character and integrity of the men that take the field on Saturdays, and I look forward to its continued success.”
“Jeff certainly has left the Union football program in a better place and we thank him for his work with our student-athletes on and off the field,” continued McLaughlin. “We look forward to finding the next leader of our football team and are confident that the team will continue to move forward under new leadership next season.”
A national search for the next head coach of the Union football team will begin immediately.