DURHAM, N.H.-For the first time since the University of New Hampshire football team became a Division I-AA program back in 1978, the Wildcats have added Division I-A football teams to the next two schedules. The announcement was made today by UNH Athletic Director Marty Scarano. On August 29, 2002, UNH will travel to Kent, Ohio to play the Golden Flashes of Kent State University. Then, on Aug. 28 of the 2003 season, UNH will visit Mount Pleasant, Mich. for a contest at Central Michigan University.
"We are excited about the opportunity to play these two teams from the Mid American Conference (MAC)," said UNH head coach Sean McDonnell. "Adding Kent State and Central Michigan to our 2002 and 2003 schedules gives our players a chance to compete at a higher level for the next two years."
Kent State plays its football games in Dix Stadium, which has a capacity of 30,520 fans. The team is coached by Dean Pees, who is in his fourth year and owns a record of 4-31 at the University. UNH and Kent State have met three times on the football field in previous years and the Wildcats presently hold a 3-0 advantage in that series. The last time the two teams met was back on Nov. 15, 1952 and UNH won that meeting in Durham by a 23-21 margin. UNH also was victorious in 1951 at Kent State (7-0). The Wildcats won the initial meeting of the series in 1950 here in the Granite State (13-7).
Central Michigan is led by second-year head coach Mike DeBord, who went 2-9 in his first season with the Chippewas football program. So far this season his team is 0-1. Central Michigan plays its home games at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, which seats 30,199. This will mark the first meeting between UNH and Central Michigan.
UNH has played several Division I-AA teams that at one time competed, or are now competing, at the top Division 1 level, including Villanova, William & Mary, Connecticut, Marshall and several Ivy League opponents.
The UNH football team is presently 2-0 on the season and ranked 21st in the nation in both Division I-AA polls. The squad returns to action on Sept. 22 when the 'Cats battle Dartmouth in Hanover for the bragging rights to the Granite Bowl Award. Game time is 12 p.m. and the contest will be carried live on WMUR-TV (Channel 9) and on the UNH Sports Network.