Joe Trainer
Joe Trainer
Position: Head Coach
Experience: 5th year
Education: B.A. Dickinson '90 M.A. Temple '92 M.S. Villanova '04
2005 Millersville 5-6
2006 Millersville 5-6
2007 Millersville 3-8
2009 Rhode Island 1-10
2010 Rhode Island 5-6
2011 Rhode Island 3-8
2012 Rhode Island 0-11
2013 Rhode Island 0-0
Career   22-55


Trainer At Rhode Island - By The Numbers

44 - Academic All-Conference Players
18 - All-Conference Players
5 - New England All-Stars
1 - All-American

Entering his fifth season as the head coach at Rhode Island, Joe Trainer is in his sixth season overall with the Rams. After serving as the defensive coordinator for Darren Rizzi in 2008, Trainer became the 19th head coach in Rhode Island history the following year.

Trainer brings back a young roster with plenty of experience. After taking its lumps in 2012, Rhode Island returns 14 starters for 2013, including eight on the defensive side of the ball. In 2012, Trainer had three players earn all-conference honors, as senior wide receiver Brandon Johnson-Farrell, junior cornerback Jamaal Bess and sophomore linebacker Andrew Bose all garnered third-team recognition. Johnson-Farrell also earned a spot on the Division I FCS All-New England Football Team. The Rams had continued success in the classroom in 2012, as the team tied a program-best with 12 players on the CAA Football All-Academic Team.  

A veteran of more than 20 years of college football coaching experience, Trainer has molded the Rams into a that works just as hard off the field as it does on the field. He places a strong emphasis on academics and community service. Since 2009, 44 of Trainer's players have earned Academic All-CAA honors.

In 2011, defensive lineman Matt Rae and offensive lineman Kyle Elliott both were named Capitol One NCAA Division I Academic All-District First Team members, an honor Elliott repeated in 2012. It was the third consecutive honor for Rae, who also was one of 58 players from the Football Championship Subdivision who were named to the Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. Rae was one of 12 national finalists for the 11th Annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association postgraduate scholarship.

The Rams placed five players on the 2011 All-CAA Football Team.
Seniors Anthony Baskerville, Jason Foster and Willie McGinnis were each voted to the second team by the league's coaches, while senior Kyle Bogumil and junior Doug Johnson were named to the third team. Baskerville also was one of just 28 players named to the Division I FCS All-New England Football Team. Foster went on to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, and is now with the Oakland Raiders. McGinnis is a starter for the Arena Football League's Pittsburgh Power.

During the 2010 campaign, Trainer led the Rams to five wins - their most since 2001. In addition, Trainer guided the Rams to wins over three top 25 teams, including 2009 national champion Villanova. Following the year, seven URI players were named to the All-CAA Football Team, while Trainer was named the league's Coach of the Year.

Among Rhody's seven all-conference selections, defensive end Victor Adesanya and kick returner Travis Hurd were each selected All-CAA First Team. In addition, Trainer's defense unit ranked third against the run in CAA Football, limiting opponents to just 126.4 yards per game and gained a league-best 13 fumbles. On the offensive side of the ball, the Rams featured CAA Football's fifth-best rushing attack (146.4). The 2010 season also saw Rhody defeat in-state rival Brown 27-24 in overtime as the Rams re-claimed the Governor's Cup Trophy. Senior Matt Hansen went on to sign with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, where he ended the 2011 season on the team's practice squad. 

In his first season as head coach, Trainer and his staff laid the ground work for future success. In 2009, he oversaw a defensive unit that ranked second in the CAA in turnover margin and gained a league-best 15 fumbles and picked off 11 passes. Offensively, the Rhody made tremendous strides down the stretch as it averaged 352.3 total yards of offense per game in its final three contests. Following the year, Rhody had three individuals earn CAA all-conference honors, including linebacker Rob Damon, who also earned Sports Network All-America accolades.

Upon his arrival at the University of Rhode Island campus on 
February 27, 2009 Trainer promised Rhody football fans that he would make his players accountable in every phase of the game and not cut corners.

"I cannot tell you how honored and humbled I am to be the head coach at the University of Rhode Island," Trainer said at his introductory press conference. "It is truly an honor that I am going to embrace and I am going to make everyone associated with this program proud of the way we conduct ourselves from the head coach all the way down to the team manager.

"Coming back here in a different capacity as a head coach I believe we are going to do great things on the field and above all else we are going to do it the right way," Trainer explained. "We are not going to cut corners and we are going to make our kids accountable in every phase."

In the community, Trainer has played an instrumental role in the team's involvement with the National Marrow Society. Since his first season as head coach in 2009, Trainer and the Rhody Football team have played host to an annual Bone Marrow Drive. The event, which takes place every spring on the URI campus, has not only raised awareness on the importance of donating Bone Marrow, but it has also seen the addition of more than 1,100 individuals to the national registery. Prior to the Third Annual Rhody Football Bone Marrow Drive, junior center and Rhode Island native Matt Greenhalgh donated his bone marrow to an individual in need in an effort to save his life. A second URI student-athlete, rower Grace Rignanese, donated marrow in January of 2012 to save the life of an 18-year-old girl. Like Greenhalgh, Rignanese was discovered as a match through the football team's drive. During the 2012 season, sophomore John Greenhalgh and assistant coach Ryan Mattison each donated marrow to save the lives of strangers. in all, nine University community members have been marrow matches found through the football team's annual effort.

Trainer returned to Rhode Island after he joined the coaching staff at Bowling Green in December 2008 where he served as the Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator under two-time Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Coach of the Year Dave Clawson.

During the 2008 season, Trainer was Rhode Island's defensive coordinator. His unit forced URI opponents into 11 fumbles, which ranked in the top five of CAA Football. His defensive scheme also allowed linebacker Matt Hansen to finish second in the league in total tackles with 111, as he went on to earn All-CAA Football Second Team and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-New England honors.

Prior to his stint at Rhode Island, Trainer spent three seasons as head coach of Millersville University, a member of the powerhouse Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), from 2005-2007. Before heading to Millersville, Trainer spent eight seasons at CAA-rival Villanova, starting out as linebackers coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2005. During his tenure at Villanova, Trainer helped the Wildcats to two conference championships, two NCAA Playoff appearances (1997 and 2004) - including the national semifinals - two Lambert Cups, two wins over I-A schools (Rutgers and Temple), and five top 20 rankings in the final poll. Additionally, the Wildcats were nationally ranked for a league-record 35 consecutive weeks and posted a then school-record 12 wins in 1997.

Trainer's defensive scheme put the Wildcats as No. 1 in the Atlantic 10 in total defense in 2003 and 2004. Villanova finished seventh amongst NCAA Division I-AA schools in scoring defense (16.2 ppg) and 14th nationally in total defense (302 ypg allowed) in 2003. The following year in 2004, Trainer's defense yielded less than 300 yards per game and was second in the A-10 in scoring defense (22.5 ppg). Trainer was also instrumental in helping Brian Hulea earn First Team Atlantic 10 honors in 2003 and 2004.

Trainer spent the 1995 and 1996 season at the University of New Haven, where he worked as both linebackers coach and defensive coordinator. In his two seasons at New Haven, Trainer helped the Chargers win 17 games and earn a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Under his tutelage New Haven finished ranked in the Top 20 in both seasons and his defense also established school records for fewest points allowed, points per game allowed, and turnover margin. Off the field, Trainer served as the academic coordinator.

The Roslyn, Pa., native began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Temple University in 1990. Two years later, Trainer took over as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Frostburg State University, where he also developed and oversaw the teams in-season strength and conditioning program. Following the 1992 season, he joined the coaching staff at Colgate University. While in Hamilton, he coached the outside linebackers and punt and kickoff teams.

Trainer received his undergraduate degree in English from Dickinson College in 1990. He then went on to earn his masters degree from Temple University in 1992 and his M.S. in counseling and human relations from Villanova in 2004. Trainer and his wife Moreen are the proud parents of Liam (11), Dillon (9) and Keira (7). The Trainers reside in Saunderstown.

Updated June 14, 2013