Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed December 16, 1997
Contact: Chris Humm, Sports Information Director

Mark Whipple resigns to become U-Mass. head football coach

Mark Whipple, head football coach at Brown for four seasons, has resigned to become head coach at the University of Massachusetts.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Brown University head football coach Mark Whipple, whose imaginative offensive attack has rewritten the Brown record book, resigned as head coach of the Bears to become the new head coach at the University of Massachusetts. The formal announcement will be made at a 4:00 p.m. press conference on Tuesday, 12/16, in Amherst, Mass.

Whipple compiled a 23-17 record in four years at Brown without having a losing season. In four years, Whipple's football teams won more games than the previous eight years combined. His career record now stands at 71-34, including six years at the University of New Haven.

His 1997 team compiled a 6-4 overall record, setting an Ivy League and Brown record for total offense (474.3 yards per game), and Brown records for first downs in one season (233), average passing yards (317.9 yards per game), and total offense for a single game (629 yards vs. Yale).

Individually, his quarterbacks and wide receivers also broke virtually every Brown record for a game, season and career. Junior wide receiver Sean Morey '99 became the first Brown player and first wide receiver to be named Ivy League Player of the Year (1997), leading the nation in receiving yards per game (143.4 yards/game) while shattering the Ivy League record for single season receiving yards. In 1996, quarterback Jason McCullough '97 set new Brown records for passing for a game, season and career. Sophomore quarterback James Perry '00 eclipsed virtually all of McCullough's records in 1997.

A 1979 graduate of Brown where he was a standout quarterback, Whipple came to Brown from the University of New Haven following six successful seasons as head coach and offensive coordinator of the Chargers. He made NCAA Division II playoff appearances in 1992 and 1993, leading all divisions in scoring (50.5 points per game) and total offense (587.7 yards per game) in 1992. His 1993 team was named Sports Illustrated's "Best Offense In College Football" after averaging 52.5 points a game and 557.6 yards a game in total offense.