"Football is my life," said Dan Mulrooney '07, Head Football Coach at Anna Maria College. "For me, it is God. Family. Football."
This fall, Dan will begin his third season as the Head Coach of Anna Maria College. He joined the Anna Maria community following three years serving as a Defensive Coordinator at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in Worcester, MA.
Dan's love affair with football began at age five when he played in his hometown of Prospect, CT. It continued during his time at Holy Cross High School where he was a two-time All-State Athlete and part of the 2016 Varsity Football's State Championship.
Dan grew up idolizing his older brother, Patrick '03. He remembers Patrick looking for high school choices as a Prospect resident. "You only had three choices, and Holy Cross was one of them," said Dan. "My parents enrolled Patrick at Holy Cross and they fell in love with the community. He was the captain of the football team while he was there. I would go to all of the games. My dream was to be like him."
Dan started at Holy Cross after his brother graduated and enjoyed many athletic successes. In his first year, he enjoyed an undefeated season with the freshmen team. He graduated to the varsity team in his sophomore year and went to the State Title Game. In his junior year, he went to State Semifinals. All of the hard work for him culminated in his senior year when he and his team took home Holy Cross's first state title against Stratford. He remembers that win as "a great moment" in his life.
"Holy Cross is different," said Dan. "Holy Cross is special. There is a reason why you wear a shirt and tie and do community service. You do it to become your best self. I was blessed to be a part of this school."
Dan attended Boston College (B.A., Communications) and was a full scholarship student–athlete for the football program. He played Safety at Boston College and was a part of four bowl games and two ACC Championships games.
He played for two years at Stony Brook University while earning his Master's Degree in Liberal Arts/Sports Nutrition. There, he was a leader in tackles in 2011 and was named Team Defensive Newcomer of the Year. At Stony Brook he won Two–Big South Titles and helped lead the team to multiple NCAA playoff berths.
During his first season at Anna Maria College, Dan's team, composed of mostly freshmen, achieved a record high of eight All – Conference Players recognized by the ECFC. The Homecoming Victory over Alfred State was his first win as a Head Coach. In 2017, Dan was recognized by the AFCA as one of the top 35 coaches under 35.
According to the Anna Maria website, "Over his three years coordinating the defense at WPI the team grew immensely. Their defense became one of the top defenses in the Liberty League conference and in 2015 WPI had its best season in 23 years. In 2016, WPI reached new heights by having its first back to back winning season since 1995. They participated in an ECAC bowl game for only the third time in 126 years."
"I am so passionate about coaching young people," said Dan. "It's something I love to do. I am a coach because of the coaches who affected my life in a positive way. My Head Coach was Mike Phelan '89. My Defensive Coordinator was Mike Giampetruzzi '95. They taught me values. They are awesome."