By Christian Klimaszewski
In October 2018, Long Island University announced that the LIU Post and the LIU Brooklyn athletic teams were merging, becoming ONE LIU and a Division I sports program. Some of the LIU Post athletic programs would be discontinued, but not the football program. The football program will remain on the Brookville campus.
The football team ended its fall 2018 season with a Northeast-10 Championship, a 10-1 record, and a first-round loss to Slippery Rock. With the program changing from Division II to Division I and a move to the Northeast Conference, head coach Bryan Collins and his staff have now been busy getting ready for their inaugural Division I season. They have signed more than 31 recruits. This is the biggest recruiting class the LIU program has had, regardless of level of play. Coach Collins and his staff recruited players in nine different states this year including Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and Maryland.
“The competition is elevated now. With where LIU is located, it makes it very attractive place to come to for the next four, five years,” Collins said. “We wanted to become a more national brand than a regional brand.”
The football team will have 15 starting seniors graduating this May, including Chris Coles, Jake Carlock, Malik Pierre and Mike Richardson, who were all three-year starters. “I believe every single position has been filled with this recruiting class,” Collins said. He and his staff changed their recruiting tactics for the Division I level. “Many of the players we recruited are receiving academic scholarships. I think it’s important nationally that we recruit that kind of player that the university projects as increasing our national brand,” Collins added.
In the past four years, the football team has had three starting transfer quarterbacks: Jeff Kidd (2015-2016), Yianni Gavalas (2017), Chris Laviano (2018), and for 2019, according to Collins, junior transfer quarterback Clay Bethard from Iowa Western College has the potential to start.
The team has recruited two quarterbacks including Camden Orth from Florida and Luke Sprague from Pennsylvania. “We’re very happy with our incoming quarterbacks. It’s going to be a very good competition this season,” Collins said.
This article was originally published in the Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post, www.liupostpioneer.com, and is republished here by Blank Slate Media with the permission of the Pioneer.