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Saint Francis Announces Resignation of Head Coach
Saint Francis University Director of Athletics Bob Krimmel announced on Monday afternoon that head football coach Dave Opfar has submitted his letter of resignation after eight seasons on the sidelines in Loretto.
Opfar helped guide a Red Flash program that had lost 23 consecutive games when he took over at the start of the 2002 season. Opfar, who leaves with a career record of 17-68, coached 28 all-Northeast Conference football players, including 10 over the last two years, during his eight seasons at the helm of the Red Flash.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Dave Opfar over the past five years,” Krimmel said. “Dave always wanted what was best for the student-athletes and for Saint Francis University. The class with which he represented our university and himself, during some very difficult times, set a standard for all of us in collegiate athletics. I wish Dave every success in his future career opportunities.”
A search for Opfar’s replacement will begin immediately. Krimmel stated that assistant coach Chris Villarrial will serve as the team’s interim head coach until a replacement for Opfar is named.
“The Saint Francis University community is grateful for Dave Opfar’s contributions,” said Dr. Frank Montecalvo, Vice President for Student-Development at Saint Francis. “His leadership has shaped not only our student-athletes, but has enhanced the well-being of our entire student community.”
During Opfar’s tenure, Saint Francis moved from the Pine Bowl to DeGol Field, and saw the addition of locker rooms and a first-class weight room facility at DeGol Field House. He coached the Northeast Conference’s Offensive Player-of-the-Year (Anthony Doria) in 2005, and the league’s Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year in 2007 (Scott Lewis).
Also in 2005, Michael Caputo was a Sports Network Mid-Major and Independent All-American, an accomplishment that current linebacker Scott Lewis repeated last season.
“This has been a great experience, and I want to thank everyone at Saint Francis University for this opportunity,” Opfar said. “I had tremendous support from all across campus, and I developed great relationships. I will take good memories away. I feel like we are leaving the program in better shape than when we arrived. I just wish that we could have had more success in terms of wins and losses.”
Opfar coached several student-athletes to record-breaking performances at Saint Francis. Just a few of the records broken: Todd Harris (2003-06) became the school’s all-time leading rusher (3,414), Anthony Doria (2003-06) became the school’s all-time leader in passing (8,544) and passing touchdowns (61), Michael Caputo (2003-06) became the SFU and Northeast Conference all-time leader in receptions (245), and Scott Lewis, who will be a senior next year, broke the school’s single-season (142) and all-time records (386) for tackles.
Former Red Flash football player Luke Palko was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, and was a finalist for the prestigious Draddy Trophy (now The William V. Campbell Trophy), which is often referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”
After a winless season in 2008, the Red Flash went 2-9 this season against the toughest schedule in school annals.
All-Northeast Conference Players Under Dave Opfar
2002: Brad Larson (First Team OL); Daunte Neal (First Team D; Michael Hall (Second Team R. 2003: Brad Larson (First Team OL). 2004: Marcus Haines (First Team D; Ricky Taylor (Second Team R. 2005: Anthony Doria (Offensive Player-of-the-Year and First Team Q; Todd Harris (First Team R Michael Caputo (First Team WR); Luke Palko (Second Team WR); Bill Holter (Second Team OL); Ivin Hicks (Second Team D; Adam Sciulli (Second Team PK). 2006: Todd Harris (First Team R; Michael Caputo (First Team WR); Derek Uperesa (Second Team OL). 2007: Scott Lewis (Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year and First Team L; Antoine Rivera (Second Team WR). 2008: Cody Kekipi (First Team OL); Scott Lewis (First Team L; Omar Winston (Second Team WR); Matthew Parker (Second Team L; Bobby Fuller (Second Team P). 2009: Cody Kekipi (First Team OL); Russel Fisher (First Team DL); Antoine Rivera (Second Team WR); Scott Lewis (Second Team L; Matthew Parker (Second Team L.
By Saint Francis University Athletic Communications