Gattuso Honored as UAlbany Heads to Idaho for Quarterfinals

UAlbany head football coach Greg Gattuso leads his team onto the field.
AFCA Region 1 FCS Coach of the Year Greg Gattuso will lead UAlbany against Idaho on Saturday, Dec. 9 in the FCS Quarterfinals. (Photo by Brent Warzocha/UAlbany Athletics)

By Michael Parker

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 7, 2023) — As the UAlbany football team prepares to take on Idaho in the NCAA FCS Quarterfinals on Saturday, head coach Greg Gattuso was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region 1 coach of the Year on Wednesday.

Winners are selected by active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions. It’s the first time Gattuso has earned the accolade.

Gattuso coached the Great Danes to a 9-3 overall record in the regular season, going 9-1 against FCS opponents. Under Gattuso, the program recorded its first ever Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) regular season championship after finishing with a 7-1 conference record.

Led by record-breaking linebacker Dylan Kelly, the UAlbany defense was ranked the best in the CAA, allowing just 17.2 points per game, and the defensive front led the nation as the best run stopping corps in the FCS. On Tuesday, Kelly was named a finalist for the 2023 Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the national defensive player of the year in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). With 145 tackles during the regular season, Kelly broke the single-season record for the Great Danes and finished second overall in the FCS.

UAlbany earned the No. 5 overall seed in the FCS Playoffs as well as a first-round bye. It is the highest a UAlbany football team has ever been ranked. The Great Danes defeated CAA foe and co-champions Richmond 41-13 on Dec. 5 in the second round.

Up next, the Great Danes take on No. 4 Idaho in Moscow, Idaho on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 10 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN+. Supporters can also listen to the game on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio (FM).

The AFCA will announce the 2023 National Coach of the Year winners in the FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA on Tuesday, Jan. 9th. The Regional winners in each division are finalists for National Coach of the Year.