Head Coach, Saginaw Valley State University
Head Coach Randy Awrey (pronounced ORE-ee) begins his seventh season at Saginaw Valley State University and during the past six seasons has molded the Cardinals into a winner both on and off the field. Awrey enters 2005 with a 52-18 overall record (.743) and a 47-12 record (.797) in GLIAC games, giving him the best league winning percentage of any coach in the program's 29-year history. The 2004 season did not yield the Cardinals a playoff berth, snapping a four-year run, but the team finished 7-3 overall and in the GLIAC including a second consecutive regular season win over then #1 Grand Valley State. The Cardinals placed fourth in the conference and have finished no lower than fourth for the past five seasons. In fact, the Cardinals winning percentage of .800 over the past five years ranks among the best Division II programs in the nation.
Randy Awrey concluded 25 seasons coaching football - including his 15th as a head coach - in 2004. Coach Awrey reached a career milestone during the 2004 season and with a win at Ferris State in the season finale earning his 100th victory at the collegiate level. Awrey has 52 wins at SVSU, claimed 35 wins at Lakeland College and won 13 games at Kentucky Wesleyan. Awrey has also coached two All-Americans during his tenure with several other players currently playing professional football, including recent NFL draft pick Todd Herremans of the Philadelphia Eagles.
In his fifth campaign in 2003 at SVSU, the Cardinals were ranked number one in Division II at the end of the regular season and established a school-record with 12 wins. In addition, the Cardinals set a new attendance record for a season and produced several All-Regional athletes including current NFL Europe standouts Glenn Martinez and Ruvell Martin.
A graduate of Northern Michigan, Awrey is a native of Iron Mountain, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He earned two Bachelor of Science degrees from NMU * a criminal justice degree in 1978 and teaching certification (physical education) in 1981. He also completed a master's degree in educational administration from NMU in 1986.
Awrey spent five seasons at Lakeland College in Wisconsin, compiling a 35-14 record; his .720 winning percentage is the highest in school history. The Muskies won back-to-back conference titles. Lakeland led the NCAA in passing with 357 yards per game during its 10-0 season in 1997. Awrey was a three-time conference "Coach of the Year" selection while at Lakeland.
Awrey's coaching résumé includes four years at Kentucky Wesleyan College, posting the school's first winning season and best record since 1928 with a 7-3 mark in 1993. The Panthers also boasted a nationally-ranked passing attack.
Prior to coaching at KWC, Awrey served as the defensive coordinator at St. Lawrence University (N.Y.), guiding the Saints' defense to the top of the ECAC's defensive standings in each of his four years. As a head track coach at St. Lawrence, Awrey earned ECAC and New York State "Coach of the Year," winning conference titles all four years. He led the Saints to NCAA Div. III national runner-up finishes in 1986 and 1987, followed by sixth and third place finishes in 1988 and 1989, respectively.
Awrey was a four-year starter at Northern Michigan, playing defensive back as a freshman before moving to running back. He was named "Most Valuable Player" in the 1975 national championship game when the Wildcats claimed the national title. Awrey also led the team to two additional playoff berths. He was inducted into the NMU Hall of Fame in 1998.
A multi-sport athlete and an All-American football player as a prep, Awrey also lettered in basketball, baseball, and still holds many school sprint records. He also participated in winter ski jumping and the "Ski-ters" summer water ski show. He has served as a physical education instructor at five universities, along with a one-year stint at Ishpeming, Mich., Westwood High School.
Awrey and his wife, Connie, have been married for 28 years and have four children - Jennifer, Bob, Tony and Nick. Bob and Tony are both current wideouts on the SVSU football team.
Articles By Randy Awrey:
An Interview With SVSU Coach Randy Awrey
Biography and photograph courtesy of Saginaw Valley State University.