|Previous College:||Keene State '93|
Head Coach Mark Nofri will be entering his 3rd season at the helm of SHU football in 2014, with a career recrord of 12-12. Nofri led the Pioneers to one of the greatest seasons in program history in 2013, including the first-ever FCS Playoff appearance in program history.
After serving as Sacred Heart's interim coach in 2012, Coach Nofri took over as permanent Head Coach in 2013 and led the Pioneers to a 10-2 regular season and the 2013 Northeast Conference Championship. On the strength of a regular season win over Duquesne, the Pioneers earned the league's automatic postseason berth and Sacred Heart took on Fordham in its first-ever FCS Championship appearance, on November 30, 2013. THe Pioneers gave the highly-touted Rams all they could handle, before succumbing late, 37-27, to finish the season at 10-3.
After a 2-9 record in the 2012 season, Nofri led the Pioneers to the greatest turnaround in the country and was named the 2013 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year. Under Nofri's tutiledge, the Pioneers won three other major NEC awards, including running back Keshaudas Spence as offensive Player of the Year, defensive tackle Troy Moore as Defensive Player of the Year, and quarterback R.J Noel named NEC Rookie of the Year. Sacred Heart also had seven other players make either the NEC first or second teams.
Besides the conference honors, Nofri had three players honored nationally. Troy Moore, Keshaudas Spence, and senior cornerback J.D. Roussel were all named All-Americans following the Pioneers' incredible 2013 season.
Nofri is the longest tenured coach in Sacred Heart football history, beginning his 21st season as a Pioneer in 2014.
Nofri began his coaching career at Hamilton College before coming to Sacred Heart in 1994 as a part of Gary Reho's coaching staff. He graduated from Keene State in 1993 and earned his Master's of Education from Sacred Heart.
During his first five seasons at Sacred Heart, Nofri coached the defensive backs. The Whitesboro, NY native’s football background includes a coaching stint at Hamilton College where he worked with the defensive backs. His playing career included stints at Dean College and Canisius.
During his tenure at SHU, Nofri helped guide the Pioneers to an undefeated season in 2001 (11-0) and the Northeast Conference Championship. The Pioneers long-time linebackers coach, he has produced several All-Conference and All-American linebackers including Jayson Jarrett '01, Kayode Mayowa '02, Craig Capurso '02, Jon Corto '06, Chris Mandas '11 and Justin Sexton. Mayowa was the 2002 Ernie Davis Award winner while Corto played four seasons in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills.
Nofri took over as the interim head coach for the 2012 season and the Pioneers finished 2-9 and were 1-7 in the Northeast Conference. He replaced Paul Gorham who was at Sacred Heart for eight seasons, from 2004 through 2011.
Nofri and his wife, Julie, live in Naugatuck with their sons Mark and Mathew.