As Villanova’s football head coach Andy Talley enters his 32nd and final season running the Main Line program, he’s not terribly interested in making it about him. That’s why there won’t be a retirement cake at midfield when the season ends — just the team’s normal celebration of the seniors who will graduate and move on to the next steps in their lives.
That shouldn’t stop Villanova alums from making an effort to honor the coach who brought the Wildcats back from the dead in 1985. With no players and pretty substandard facilities, he built a new football program from the ground-up, and while Talley’s Wildcats were a few years removed from the continuity of gridiron players that produced NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long, he made an effort to reach back to the former Wildcats who came before and pull them into the family.
Coach Talley left an indelible mark on the program he helmed for over three decades. He refused to take shortcuts — he played with the guys he could recruit without relying on an abundance of mercenary transfers from I-A schools, and his players would graduate on time. He also refused to accept mediocrity, he fielded his first team in 1985 and won his first conference title in 1989. The program posted 25 winning seasons over the past 31 years, has been a regular contender for the conference title and achieved the pinnacle of success in 2009, when they knocked off Montana to win the schools’ first national title in football.
He built a program that Villanovans can be proud of.
This October 22nd, thousands of Villanova alumni will return to campus for homecoming festivities. On that day, the football team will take on the Albany Great Danes at 3:30pm in a stadium that can seat up to 12,500 people. All of those seats should be full.
Introducing #12500forTalley. At VU Hoops, we plan to poke, prod, and pester you until you relent and spend $20 for a ticket and a few hours of your afternoon to make turn Coach Talley’s final Homecoming at Villanova a warm showing of appreciation for all of the work and toil he’s put in for the sake of our school.