Colby College Football

Coaching Staff

Jack Cosgrove
Head Coach

Jack Cosgrove, the winningest coach in University of Maine football history, is bringing his passion and skills to Colby College as the new head football coach, the College announced Dec. 29.

Cosgrove, head coach for the Black Bears for 23 years, took over at Colby on January 8.

"Jack’s extensive experience, energy, and proven success make him the right person to lead Colby football into a new era," said Jake Olkkola, Colby's Harold Alfond Director of Athletics, who led the search.

A national search yielded an impressive candidate pool, Olkkola said. Cosgrove’s years of victories on the field—and in recruiting and developing the best student athletes—made him the top choice for a program that is poised for success.

Cosgrove is the 41st head coach since the Colby football program started in 1892, but only the seventh since 1967. Since stepping aside from the Black Bears in November 2015, Cosgrove has been the senior associate director of athletics at University of Maine.

“It’s with great excitement and anticipation that I accept this position,” Cosgrove said. “I would like to thank Colby and its leadership for providing me with this great opportunity. To say I'm excited would be an understatement.”

Cosgrove's tenure in Orono included 129 career wins, the most in University of Maine football history, five NCAA postseason appearances, and 20 All-American selections. The Black Bears won a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title in 2013 and Atlantic 10 championships in 2001 and 2002.

While Cosgrove's teams had success on the field, he also recruited and guided students to academic success. The Black Bears had numerous CAA All-Academic honors and two CAA Student-Athlete of the Year selections.

"Jack’s experience and leadership will be invaluable to the entire athletic department and Colby community,” said head women’s lacrosse coach Karen Henning, who served on the search committee and has led her team to multiple NESCAC championships.

Cosgrove comes to Mayflower Hill at a time of great momentum and progress for athletics.  Colby has long supported a healthy and active community—more than a third of its students are varsity athletes and about 90 percent participate in fitness activities and club sports. A new, 350,000-square foot athletics complex is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2020. An outdoor competition center, including three new fields and a baseball-softball complex, was finished and opened officially in September. Colby teams led by top coaches have had impressive showings in the past two years, with dominant success by teams including women’s lacrosse, men’s rugby and women’s rugby (recently ranked 7th in the nation).

Two of the football team captains, Shane Normandeau ’19 and Sebastien Philemon ’19, served on the advisory search committee. “We are extremely excited to have Coach Cosgrove as our next head coach,” they wrote in an email. “The minute we met him, we knew he was somebody we wanted to learn from and be coached by. We are excited for this coming year and for the future of the Colby football program."

Cosgrove, a native of Sharon, Mass., started his Maine football career as a quarterback for the University in 1974, throwing for 2,836 career yards before graduating in 1978. He was a graduate assistant coach for the team while earning his master's degree in educational administration in 1981.

After four years coaching high school football in Stoughton, Mass., Cosgrove returned to the college level as an offensive assistant at Boston College. He headed north to Orono as an offensive assistant in 1987, and never left, taking over the Black Bear program in 1993.

Cosgrove and his wife, Marilyn, have four children: Jeri, 25, twins Matthew and Carly, 22, and Sydni, 20.

“I look forward to working with the faculty, administrators, coaches, and staff as Colby pursues excellence in football,” Cosgrove said. “Most importantly, I can't wait to meet and start working with the student athletes and young men who represent the Colby football program.”

Cosgrove File

New head coach at Colby College – Jan. 8, 2017

23 seasons as head coach at UMaine

129 career wins, most in UMaine football history

3 NCAA playoff victories

20 All-Americans coached

3 NFL Draft picks

3 Buck Buchanan Award finalists (FCS Defensive Player of the Year)

2013 Maine Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

George C. Carens Award for lifetime contributions to New England football

2013, 2008, 2001 Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year finalist

2013 — CAA Coach of the Year & American Football Coaches Association FCS Region 1 Co-Coach of the Year, Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Bowl/Championship Division Head Coach of the Year,

2013 & 2011 New England Football Writers FCS Coach of the Year

2001 & 1996 — Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year

Tom Dexter
Assistant Coach | Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Secondary

Tom Dexter, who enters his 29th season on Colby's football coaching staff, was honored with the Gridiron Club of Boston's Division II/III Assistant Coach of the Year honor in 2009. Dexter was honored by the Gridiron Club at the Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night in Boston. Dexter is the senior member of the Colby football coaching staff and is the defensive coordinator. He also coaches the defensive backs and has had seven All-NESCAC players in the past eight years.

A 1987 graduated of SUNY-Cortland, Dexter played quarterback and defensive back while in college. In 1988 he earned his master's degree from Cortland while serving as a defensive line coach there. Dexter then went to Cornell University for one year where he was the defensive secondary coach and defensive coordinator of the freshman football team.

At Colby, Dexter served for 15 years as head baseball coach and now serves as an assistant baseball coach.

Tom has four children: Hannah, Sam, Jake, and Lydia.

Dave Dunn
Assistant Coach | Offensive Coordinator

Dave Dunn, a head coach at Catholic University of America and Becker College, is the new offensive coordinator for the Colby College football team for the 2017-18 academic year.
Dunn has experience on nearly every level of college and high school football. He will also be the position coach for Colby's quarterbacks.

"Coach Dunn brings a great deal of experience to Colby," Colby head coach Jonathan Michaeles said. "We are thrilled to have his expertise on the offensive side of the ball. He is a proven leader who will continue to develop our offense and the quarterback position."

Dunn was at Division I Marshall University last year as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. He also worked with the Thundering Herd's special teams.

Dunn spent 10 years at Catholic as head coach and helped the Cardinals win a share of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference title and capture the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship in 2008.

Dunn had offenses ranked in the top 15 in the country and had award-winning quarterbacks. He had one quarterback earn the 2011 Melberger Award as the top player in Division III. In his final year at Catholic in 2015, he had a quarterback earn All-American honors.

Before his coaching stint at Catholic, Dunn started the program at Becker and recruited more than 100 players for the team's first year of competition in 2005.

Dunn's other collegiate coaching experience came at Florida Atlantic University, Harvard University, Indiana State University, and University of San Diego.

Dunn was running backs coach and special team coordinator for Florida Atlantic in 2003 and 2004. Dunn helped the Owls make the 2003 NCAA Division I-AA semifinals. Dunn was the defensive line coach for Harvard in its Ivy League championship season of 1997 and also coached with the Crimson in 1998. He worked with linebackers for Indiana State in 1992 and was a defensive line coach at San Diego in 1990.

"Dave has coached at all levels and has strong recruiting ties throughout the country," Michaeles said. "He will be a great addition to our staff."

Dunn, a University of San Diego graduate, also had success at the high school level. He was the head coach at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami and led the team to back-to-back district championships in 1999 and 2000. Dunn led Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Fla., to consecutive Florida state playoff berths in 2001 and 2002. He also coached at Masuk High School in Connecticut from 1993 to 1996.

Matt Dugan
Assistant Coach | Offensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator

Matt Dugan, with coaching experience at Springfield College and Maine Maritime Academy, is in his third year as an assistant coach in the 2017-18 academic year and his second year leading the offensive line. Dugan also takes over as the squad's recruiting coordinator.

He was running backs coach in his first year, coaching Jabari Hurdle-Price to All-NESCAC First Team honors. Dugan was the junior varsity head coach and a graduate assistant offensive line coach at Springfield from January 2013 to January 2015.

Dugan earned his master's degree in physical education and his bachelor's degree in sport management from Springfield. Before starting his master's degree, Dugan spent one season as an assistant at Maine Maritime in the 2012 season. He was a positional coach for running backs and long snappers.

Dugan played four years of football at Springfield, starting on the offensive line his final two years. He earned the Male Athlete Unsung Hero Award and the Solem-Dunn-Osur Brotherhood Award during his time with the Pride.

Sean Conerly
Assistant Coach | Linebackers/Co-Special Teams Coordinator

Sean Conerly returns for his third year as linebackers coach and co-special teams coordinator for the Mules in the 2017-18 academic year.

He has worked for both Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Union College. Conerly, a New Orleans native, was defensive line coach, special teams coordinator, director of video and football operations, and an admissions associate for RPI. Conerly had three Liberty League All-conference players in his two years coaching the defensive line with the Engineers. As coach of the special teams, he had a first team All-American kicker.

Conerly earned a bacherlor's degree in applied mathematics (economics minor) from Union College in 2010 and a master's in business administration from Union Graduate College in 2012.

As an assistant defensive line coach he helped the Dutchmen earn a co-championship in the Liberty League, and he was promoted to defensive hybrids coach for Union's 2012 season.

Jason Brooks
Assistant Coach | Defensive Line

Jason Brooks, with coaching experience in the NFL and NCAA Division I Florida International University, is the new defensive line coach for the Colby College football team.

Brooks worked with the Baltimore Ravens as an offensive assistant and offensive quality control from May 2009 to February 2013.  He worked with the wide receivers and running backs coaches during his time with the Ravens. Brooks was part of the 2012 Super Bowl champion team when the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers.

Last summer, Brooks, a scouting assistant for the Miami Dolphins in 2007-2008, worked with Dolphins tight ends on a Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship.

“We are thrilled to have Jason on our staff. He has a diverse background with experience at many levels of football, as well having coached both offense and defense,” Colby head coach Jonathan Michaeles said. “He is a good fit for Colby and will do a great job coaching and recruiting.”

Brooks left the Ravens for Florida International as the defensive backs coach for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He also had some special-team duties during his time with FIU. Brooks switched over to offense and coached the tight ends for the 2015 and 2016 seasons; one of his players earned all-conference honors both seasons.

A 2006 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Brooks was a student assistant coach for the Blue Raiders, working with running backs and special teams for the 2006 season.

He had his first coaching job at the NCAA Division III level at Norwich University as the wide receivers coach from July 2008 to May 2009.

Brooks’ late father, Clarence, coached 24 years in the NFL and 17 years in college. He was the defensive line coach for the Ravens (2005-2016), Dolphins (2000-2004), Cleveland Browns (1999), and Chicago Bears (1993-1998). Clarence Brooks, who died in Sept. 2016, also was an assistant coach for the University of Arizona, Syracuse University, and University of Massachusetts.