COACH KEITH EMERY HAD A STRONG FEELING that his team would have a successful year
in 2015, and he was right. The football Golden Bears won their first 10 contests to complete the first
perfect regular season in program history while ending the year nationally-ranked for the first time.
Western New England captured its second New England Football Conference (NEFC) title in five years
with a thrilling 28-21 victory over Salve Regina in the title game and
participated in the NCAA Division III Championship for the second
time as well, falling to Johns Hopkins in a first-round contest.
With a 10-1 record, the Golden Bears tied the school record
for wins in a season (previously set in 2011) and compiled a
program-best 12-game winning streak over two seasons.
The final three weeks
provided drama, excitement, and numerous big
plays that won’t soon be
Western New England
prevailed over its toughest
opponents who were all
still in contention for the
NEFC title: Endicott ( 19-13),
Coast Guard (51-0), and
Salve Regina (28-21). In the
Salve game, the Golden
Bears jumped to a 21-0 halftime advantage only to see the Seahawks
tie the contest early in the fourth quarter.
Senior defensive rover Mike Stasiewicz intercepted the first
pass of his career late in the fourth quarter, which led to the winning
touchdown on a four-yard run by graduate student quarterback
Tyler Ward with nine seconds remaining for one of the biggest
victories in any sport at Western New England.
“The difference was being able to dig down deep for something
extra,” said Emery. “It takes a little more to win a championship.
Our guys stayed up, stayed confident despite giving up 21 points in
Players earned numerous awards, including 15 players named
the second half. Their trust in each other showed in that they kept
Western New England was ranked first among New England
Division III schools all season and finished 22nd in the final American
Football Coaches Association Division III Poll after reaching as high
as 19th for three weeks during the year.
to the All-NEFC Team and 20 who were named to the league’s
Emery was selected the NEFC, Gridiron Club of Greater Boston
Division III, and ECAC Division III North Coach of the Year in 2015. He
has guided his team to a 53-21 record (71.6%) the past seven seasons.
Coach Keith Emery addresses the team.