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AFM Magazine


The names you should know
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Mike Cleary, Larry Kehres, Bernie Kish

Jason Dannelly
Owner/General Manager for Dannelly Media

Why You Should Know Him: When football and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics are mentioned in the same sentence, the name Jason Dannelly usually comes up next. Owner and General Manager of Dannelly Media, Jason Dannelly is considered the source when it comes to NAIA football – whether it be an update of top teams, this year’s up-and-coming coaches, the nation’s best players, or the history and tradition of NAIA football.

Dannelly publishes the Preseason NAIA Preview along with updates from July to December of profiles, anecdotes and stats of NAIA teams, coaches and players. His web site – – has this mission- “to give fans of small college football a place where their voices are heard. Football at the NAIA level is football the way it should be. It’s football the way Lombardi, Bryant and Rockne wanted to see it played. It’s pure guts being poured on the field, every down played like it’s their last. Guys with less talent but more heart. The way football is supposed to be played.”

A linebacker at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, Dannelly also got into both sports information and radio announcing while an undergrad and then started working for Waitt Media in Grand Island. He found there was really no place to go to find information about NAIA schools so he started his own web site, chat room, and magazine. His work has helped spread the word about NAIA football and its 96 institutions nationwide. Awareness has grown: now, more than ever before, there are a number of NAIA alums in pro football camps across the country.

You can reach Jason Dannelly at

Gene DeFilippo
Director of Athletics for Boston College

Why You Should Know Him: As Director of Athletics for Boston College, Gene DeFilippo played a major role in the school's decision to leave the Big East Conference and join the Atlantic Coast Conference. After being a charter member of the Big East, the Eagles made the decision to join the ACC, starting in the 2005-2006 season. In addition to being AD at BC, he is also incoming president of NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics), the nation’s Division I-A Athletics Directors’ organization, and a member of both the Honors Court and the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

He feels athletic administrators today face a number of pressures. “Balancing athletics and academics is a major issue at most institutions,” said DeFilippo. “Most alums want us to emulate Harvard during the week and then be Alabama on weekends. We are proud of our football graduation rate of 100% (based on the incoming football class of 1998-99) and the balance our student-athletes perform between academics and sports. “Another issue facing every athletic director today is balancing the budget. With the costs of travel, tuition and salaries, it's an on-going problem every athletic administrator faces. Also, if you want to keep up with the other members of your conference, facility upgrade and management is a constant issue.

“We also must put our coaches in a position to be successful. While the process of hiring a coach is often difficult, it’s important that there’s a right fit and comfort level. Many coaches are falsely accused of taking a job for only money but most often it’s a decision made based on the desire to win. We have to give them every opportunity to do that.”

Chuck Martin
Head Coach, Grand Valley State

Why You Should Know Him: Following a legendary coach is not everyone's cup of tea. Just ask Ray Perkins when he was asked to follow Bear Bryant at Alabama or Phil Bengston who followed in the footsteps of Green Bay’s Vince Lombardi. It’s not quite the same for Chuck Martin, Grand Valley State’s new head football coach, but it's close. Martin succeeds Brian Kelly who guided GVSU to back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships and three straight title game appearances (2001-2002-2003). In fact, the Lakers are one of the most successful programs in the country over the last 12 years. In the 1990’s, GVSU was 80-31-2 (.717) and they have a 62-14 mark (.805) over the last five years.

The 35-year old Martin had been defensive coordinator for the Lakers and an instrumental part of those championships. Grand Valley State ranked among the top ten nationally in four defensive categories in 2003, including a national best rushing defense of 64.9 yards per game. In addition, GVSU led the nation in turnovers forced (43) and finished third in scoring defense (13.3ppg).

As the sixth head football coach in Laker history, Martin doesn’t feel any pressure as the head man. “I’ve been with Coach Kelly (now the head coach at Central Michigan) for four years and learned under one of the best coaches in Division II history,” said Martin. “I’m better prepared by learning under Coach Kelly and we’ll run generally the same offense and defense. The preparation, work ethic, and an unselfish attitude on the part of both the players and coaches is a integral part of Grand Valley State football. I'm excited about our recruits, our lettermen returning and the upcoming season...we’re a blue collar football team ready to go.”


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