Dan Curran enters his fourth season as head football coach at Merrimack in 2016.
Curran has led the program to several marquee victories over the past three seasons, including the program’s first victory over a Division I opponent when it defeated reigning Northeast Conference champion and Division I FCS Tournament participant Wagner, as well as multiple wins over conference rival Bentley, two victories against conference power LIU Post, and the team's first-ever road win at the University of New Haven.
In addition to the success on the field, the team has made its presence felt off the field, as well. Under Curran’s guidance, the program was named the Community Service Award winner at the 2014 LEAD Awards for its work with team IMPACT, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics and Lawrence Literacy Night. The football team continues to rank among Merrimack's most active programs in terms of community service hours each academic year.
Merrimack enjoyed another successful season in Year 3 of Curran's tenure. After being picked eighth to finish eighth in the league preseason coaches' poll, the Warriors responded by finishing in third place with a 6-3 conference record, just missing out on a spot in the NE-10 Championship Game.
The six conference wins were the most in a single season since the 2009 campaign that saw the Warriors win their most recent league title.
After a couple heartbreaking losses earlier in the season, the team rallied by winning six out of their next seven games, highlighted by a four-game winning streak to close out the regular season. The 2015 season marked plenty of firsts for the program, highlighted by the first win in program history down on the blue turf of conference power New Haven. They also notched their first win against perennial contender AIC in over a decade. The 2015 season also marked the first time in program history that the team defeated New Haven, AIC and Southern Connecticut all in the same year -- all of which were on the road. Other highlights from the 2015 campaign included a 41-10 win over conference rival Bentley, as well as a resounding 41-16 victory against Saint Anselm in front of a huge Homecoming Weekend crowd.
Several of Curran's student-athletes were recognized following the 2015 season: Class of 2016 alum Ben Polci was named an All-America Honorable Mention selection, while three total Warriors earned CCA All-Super Region I distinction. Six more were named NE-10 All-Conference selections, and Class of 2016 graduate Jere Brown would also be named the NE-10 Offensive Player of the Year and earn a spot on the New England Football Writers All-New England Team, as well.
In Curran’s second season, the Warriors came out of the gate fast, starting the year 2-0 in conference play. Unfortunately, injuries set in and decimated the offensive line and quarterback positions. But despite those injuries, the Warriors still managed to post several marquee victories, including wins over conference champion and NCAA Tournament participant LIU Post, conference rival Bentley, and Southern Connecticut State on Senior Day. The Warriors finished in seventh place in the conference standings and boasted four all-conference performers, as well.
After spending the previous three seasons as offensive coordinator, Curran needed little adjustment time between positions, as his first year as head coach saw Merrimack post its best season in five years in 2013.
With the foundation for one of the top offensive units in the country already in place during his run as offensive coordinator, Curran's Warriors did not wait long to show the rest of the region - and country - that they would be a force to be reckoned with, as the first-year head coach led Merrimack to one of its most impressive victories in school history in a 42-41 upset win at Division I Wagner College to open the year.
That victory set the tone for one of Merrimack's best seasons in five years, as the Warriors recorded seven wins for the first time since 2009 and were in the thick of the Northeast-10 Conference race all the way down to the final weekend. Overall, Curran's first campaign as head coach ended with a 7-4 record that included a 5-4 mark in league play, as the Warriors finished in fourth place in the ultra-competitive NE-10.
Along the way, Merrimack picked up marquee road victories at the likes of LIU Post and Assumption, as well as a thrilling Homecoming Weekend win against rival Bentley before capping off 2013 by posting the program's 100th victory in school history against Southern Connecticut on NE-10 Championship Weekend.
With Curran at the helm in 2013, three Warriors earned All-America status, one earned Academic All-District, four earned All-Super Region, and a league-high 10 different student-athletes were named to the NE-10 All-Conference Team. Senior Joe Clancy became the first 4,000-yard passer in league history in addition to throwing 48 touchdowns, a mark that ranked second in the country. He was also named a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II’s equivalent of the Heisman trophy), and wrapped up his career with an invitational to the prestigious Medal of Honor All-Star Game.
As a team in 2013, Merrimack once again boasted the top offense in the Northeast-10 Conference and one of the best offenses in the country, averaging 489.4 yards of total offense per game and 39.1 points per game.
Curran became the fifth head coach of the Merrimack College football program in February of 2013 after spending the last three seasons as the Warriors’ offensive coordinator, replacing John Perry, who had spent the five previous seasons as head coach.
Curran’s prolific offense led the Northeast-10 Conference in total offense in each of his three seasons as the team's offensive coordinator and also led the country in passing offense in 2012 with nearly 400 yards per contest and ranked second nationally in total offense (525+ yards/game) and scoring offense (41+ ppg).
Under Curran’s tutelage, the Warriors received the two major NE-10 offensive awards in 2013, Clancy being named Offensive Player of the Year and Isaiah Voegeli ('13) being named Most Valuable Player after finishing his career as arguably the top wideout in school history.
Curran also gave Merrimack alums Isaiah Voegeli ('13), Shawn Loiseau ('12), Tony Johnson ('12) and James Suozzo ('11) guidance in their attempts to make the professional ranks as each player received a National Football League training camp offer following their senior seasons. Loiseau, in particular, has enjoyed sustained success in the NFL both with the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans over the past three seasons. In addition, Joe Clancy ('14) competed in the Arena Football League (AFL) with the Los Angeles Kiss last year and is under contract for this season, as well.
Curran came to Merrimack after playing eight years of professional football which included time spent with the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints of the National Football League as well as the New Orleans Voodoo and Georgia Force of the Arena Football League.
As a player in the Arena Football League, Curran earned First Team All-League Honors and was named to the All-Ironman Team after leading the league in rushing and becoming just the third player in league history at the time to rush for over 20 touchdowns in a season.
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Curran earned Atlantic-10 honors after rushing for over 1,000 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns in his senior season playing for head coach Sean McDonnell and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly. The former Chelmsford High graduate was the Boston Globe Player of the Year and received USA Today All America honorable mention in addition to being named the sixth-best player in New England by Super Prep Magazine after leading Chelmsford to a Super Bowl victory and its fourth consecutive Merrimack Valley Conference title.
Curran currently resides in Chelmsford, Massachussets, with his wife, Megan, and their three children, Ty, Kaley and McKayla.