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Mark Whipple Formally Introduced As New UMass Head Coach

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Tuesday the second Mark Whipple era at UMass began with the formal announcement that the Minutemen have hired the former NFL assistant as their new head coach.

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

Mark Whipple, the leader of the UMass football team between 1998-2003, is returning to UMass and was formally introduced as the team's head coach on Wednesday at a press conference in the Mullins Center.

"Sometimes you need to go away to find out where your home is. And I found it. Thank you," an emotional Whipple said. "This is a family. This is what it's all about."

The University of Massachusetts certainly has something to smile about with the return of Whipple. He is a familiar face that has a proven track record of being a winner as a head coach, something that UMass lacked the last two seasons under former head coach Charley Molnar. His return brings optimism to a fan base that hopes that this program can finally get on the right track towards succeeding in the FBS.

During Whipple's seven years as head coach of the Minutemen, he was a three-time conference champion and won the NCAA Division I-AA (now the Football Championship Subdivision) Championship in 1998; his first season in Amherst, Mass.. His success in his first stint with UMass was a major contribution to why the Minutemen were able to make the jump from FCS to FBS two years ago, so it's fitting that he is the man to lead them now.

"We will win championships at UMass." Whipple said. "We're here to get jewelry. That's what it's about." Whipple understands and knows that it's a process, but it was made clear that winning is a top priority for him.

Whipple takes command of the football program following the departure of Charley Molnar, who was fired after a 2-22 record in his two years as head coach. Expect to see a different UMass team in 2014, and possibly the man who will eventually lead this program to a championship.