Dan Mulrooney announces departure

(Paxton, MA) – January 31, 2022 – Anna Maria College announced today that AMCATS Assistant Coach and Offensive Coordinator Steve Croce will take over as the new Head Football Coach. Coach Dan Mulrooney is departing to lead the football program at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. 

Coach Croce joined the AMCATS in 2016 as an original member of Coach Mulrooney’s staff. His experience spans more than 30 years including head and offensive coaching roles at Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham, CT; Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, CT; Pomperaug Regional High School in Southbury, CT; Post University in Waterbury, CT; and Cheshire High School in Cheshire, CT. Croce has also been a full-time firefighter for the City of Waterbury, Conn. for 30 years. 

“I am excited that Coach Croce has accepted this opportunity to become the next head coach of Anna Maria football,” said Joe Brady ’96, Anna Maria’s Director of Athletics. “Steve has been on campus right from the beginning with Dan and has been in integral part of building a championship culture. He is a tireless recruiter, and I am confident he will continue to build upon the success we experienced in 2021. I look forward to watching our football program further mature under Steve’s leadership.”

Coaches Mulrooney and Croce were both recently recognized as 2021 Head Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year, respectively, by the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) following the AMCATS first ever championship season and first appearance in the NCAA Division III football tournament. The AMCATS went 7-3 overall and 5-1 in conference play including the best start in history, 5-1. The seven wins set a new program record for most wins in a season. The bond between Croce and Mulrooney runs deep. While assistant at Holy Cross High School in the mid-2000s, Croce coached then-student running back Mulrooney where they won a state title. 

“I would like to thank Dan for all that he has done for Anna Maria football and this College. His commitment and work ethic for the AMCAT football program is unmatched,” added Brady. “He built a championship caliber program that is well positioned for the future. Dan will be truly missed on our campus and the sideline, but the opportunity to lead the Lock Haven program is very much well deserved. We wish him and his family well in his next chapter.”

“Coach Mulrooney has been a champion on and off the field. He made sure our College’s ideals around leadership, learning and service became core values of the game and for our student-athlete experience. On behalf of the entire Anna Maria College community, I want to express our gratitude and best wishes to Dan and his family as they move on. We will miss you,” said Mary Lou Retelle, President of Anna Maria College. “I also want to thank Coach Croce for accepting as Anna Maria’s next head football coach. Steve has been an integral part of the program’s turnaround and is a pillar of respect among the players. He’s a spirited ambassador for the program and we welcome him to the head coaching role.” 

“I am truly honored to assume the Head Coaching duties for this amazing team,” said new Head Coach Steve Croce. Dan and the entire coaching staff built a close-knit football family at Anna Maria College. Here, teamwork, hard work and respect for each other, for education, the game and the fans are the ingredients for success. I will continue to expand on our winning formula as we move forward. Dan has been part of my life since I coached him as a boy along with my children. Together, we dedicated ourselves to excellence and we won everywhere we went. I wish him the very best.”

“It has been an honor of a lifetime to be able to serve as the Head Football Coach at Anna Maria College.  Thank you to President Retelle and the administration for giving me the opportunity and resources to lead and positively impact a great group of student-athletes,” said Coach Dan Mulrooney.  “Most importantly, thank you to our players and coaches.  The past four seasons, you created a culture of high expectations and accountability based on the foundational core values of Family, Toughness and Passion.  Your legacy can never be disputed or questioned.  You competed with class, honor, distinction both on the field and in the classroom.  We accomplished goals and realized championship dreams most thought impossible.  For this, I am eternally grateful.  Our Anna Maria College football experience was unforgettable, and the relationships made will forever be a part of me and my family.”

About Anna Maria College

Located just outside of Worcester in Paxton, Massachusetts, Anna Maria College is a 75-year-old private, co-educational institution inspired by the ideals of the Sisters of Saint Anne. We prepare our students to become ethical leaders by combining a values-based, service focused education with strong functional knowledge and the skills necessary to address the rapidly changing needs of their world. Anna Maria delivers undergraduate and graduate degrees along with certificate programs on campus and online. For more information, visit www.annamaria.edu.