November 18, 2013

Joe Trainer Released From Final Year of Contract

KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island football Head Coach Joe Trainer has been released from the final year of his contract, Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn announced today.

"I would like to thank Joe Trainer and his staff for their hard work and commitment to the URI football program," Bjorn said. "Although these decisions are never easy, I felt it is the right time to make a coaching change."

Trainer spent six seasons with the Rams, including five years as head coach. He came to Rhode Island as the defensive coordinator for Darren Rizzi in 2008. Trainer departed to take the same position at Bowling Green but returned three months later as URI's head coach when Rizzi joined the Miami Dolphins staff.

Over five seasons as head coach, Trainer posted an overall record of 12-44, including an 8-32 mark in CAA Football action. He also was the CAA Football Coach of the Year when Rhode Island won five games in 2010, the program's highest win total in 12 years. In 2010-11, the Rams had four wins over ranked teams, including a 17-14 victory over No. 3 Villanova, the defending national champion at the time.

"I have enjoyed my six years here at the University of Rhode Island," Trainer said. "I am
thankful for the opportunity to have worked with so many quality people."

Trainer had a significant impact on the University community. He organized an annual bone marrow registration drive in conjunction with the Rhode Island Blood Center and Be the Match. Over five years, more than 1,100 potential donors have been added to the National Marrow Donor Program.

More impressively, the football drives have produced 10 exact matches for patients in need of a marrow transplant. Three of the matches were from the football program, as brothers Matt and John Greenhalgh both completed donations, as did assistant coach Ryan Mattison.

This season, Trainer worked with Team IMPACT! to adopt 13-year-old Evan Huddon as an official member of the team. Huddon – a Warwick, R.I. native who was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth – had his own locker in the team's locker room and was with the team at practices and games throughout the season.

Trainer had 44 players receive CAA Football All-Academic honors. Twice under Trainer's watch, the Rams had a program-record 12 academic all-conference selections in a single season. Matt Rae was a three-time Capital One NCAA Division I Academic All-District First-Team selection, as well as one of 12 national finalists for the FCS Athletic Directors Association postgraduate scholarship in 2011. Fellow lineman Kyle Elliott was a two-time academic all-district first-team selection.

A national search for Rhode Island's next football coach will commence immediately.

No further comment from the athletics department regarding the search will be made until a new head coach has been appointed. 

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