The following is a republished press release and not an article written by The Cortland Voice…to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected].
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CORTLAND, N.Y. — SUNY Cortland head coach Dan MacNeill has been chosen as the Division III Football National Coach of the Year by the website HERO Sports.
The site, previously known as BennettRank prior to this July, honored MacNeill for leading the Red Dragons to an 8-2 regular-season record. Cortland was a new member of the Empire 8 this fall and was the conference's co-champion and NCAA automatic bid recipient with a 6-2 mark.
The Red Dragons defeated Salisbury in the NCAA tournament opening round before losing at Linfield in the second round to finish the year 9-3. Cortland also defeated Ithaca College during the regular season for the Red Dragons' sixth straight victory over the Bombers in the annual Cortaca Jug rivalry game.
MacNeill and his assistant coaches were chosen as the Empire 8 Coaching Staff of the Year, and MacNeill was also selected as the D3football.com East Region Coach of the Year. MacNeill was previously chosen as the New Jersey Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2012.
Here's what HERO Sports had to say about MacNeill:
Cortland remained a pleasant surprise throughout the regular season, what with its exciting victories, late-game rallies and all-around play.
In his 19th season, Coach MacNeill led his team through Hell and high water and guided the Red Dragons to their first playoff appearance since 2012, just one year removed from a tough 5-5 season.
Cortland went 8-2 overall and finished as Empire 8 co-champions, sharing the trophy with St. John Fisher. A win over St. John Fisher earned the Red Dragons the automatic playoff bid.
The Red Dragons started the season with a "Hail Mary" victory over Heidelberg, and notched back-to-back overtime wins against Utica and Hartwick. A loss against Buffalo State Oct. 10 temporarily set the team back, but MacNeill rallied his troopers for a 3-1 finish.
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