Bloomsburg introduces Paul Darragh as head coach; was interim coach in 2013
"It is with great pleasure to be naming Paul Darragh as the head football coach at Bloomsburg University," director of athletics Mike McFarland said. "We put a lot of time and effort into the search process and I thank everyone on the search committee for their work. Everyone who provided feedback whether they were search committee members, student-athletes or community members came back with the same answer: That Paul Darragh is the right individual to lead our football program."
Darragh served as the Huskies' defensive coordinator for 16 seasons and took the role of interim head coach following the retirement of longtime head coach Danny Hale in February. He responded by posting the best record of any first-year coach in Bloomsburg football history, winning the first eight games of the year while leading the Huskies to their first victory in the PSAC Championship Game since 1985. The Huskies also earned a berth in the Division II playoffs for the second year in a row.
Following the completion of the regular season Darragh was named PSAC Eastern Division Coach of the Year. The Huskies set the school record for points scored in a season with 474 and ranked among the national leaders in rushing offense (313.5 yards per game) and rushing defensive (89.1 yards per game allowed).
"When you have the type of coaches and players that we have it makes it that much more enjoyable and an honor to continue to lead this program," Darragh said.
"We're focused now on recruiting and moving forward. I'd like to also mention the 11 seniors that we had -- they had a great run with 39 wins and three different playoff appearances. They're going to be tough to replace. We had a great year and I'm very proud of our team and our coaches. I'm honored to have the opportunity to lead the program and we're on the road right now to find players to help us continue this success."
Under Darragh's leadership the Huskies' defense ranked in the top-half of the PSAC in total defense seven times, including back-to-back second place finishes in 2000 and '01 and a second place in '09. The Huskies have also ranked among the best in the PSAC in run defense finishing first or second five times, including second in two of the past four seasons.
The 2009 Huskies finished third nationally in scoring defense (13.36 per game), pacing the PSAC. BU also led the conference in sacks, ranking 14th nationally (3.09 per game). In 2010, the Huskies were eighth in Division II in rushing defense (85.38 yards per game). Overall under Darragh's guidance, the Bloomsburg defense finished in the top 15 in Division II six times since the 2000 season.
Darragh has also coached 58 first team All-PSAC performers, seven All-Americans and two PSAC East Defensive Players of the Year in Anthony Smith (2009) and Mike Varanavage ('10) and the 2013 PSAC East Offensive Player of the Year in Franklyn Quiteh.
Prior to Bloomsburg, Darragh worked for two years at Indiana (Pa.) as the linebackers coach. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Temple from 1987-89. From there, Darragh coached the linebackers at Northeastern and Gannon before being promoted to defensive coordinator at Gannon.
He moved from Gannon to the defensive coordinator post at William Paterson University before joining the IUP staff. A three-year starter and captain for Temple, he graduated in 1985 after earning All-East honors as an inside linebacker.