Please register now for the Member Special Away Game Bus Trips:

One discounted price for riding to Monmouth, Richmond and Villanova. Game tickets NOT included.

This is open to MEMBERS ONLY at this time. If seats remain, we will at a later date, open the Special to non-members, and possibly offer single game bus trips.

Please see the flyer with details, under the “Bus Trips” tab at the top of this page.

Reservations can be made here:

https://securepayment.link/bluehentdclub/bus-reservations/

Go Hens!

Much excitement surrounds the 2024 Fightn’ Blue Hen Football season, the final year in the CAA. Conference USA participation will occur on July 1st, 2025 with a whole new group of FBS opponents in 2025!

The Club board and members are planning for an interesting group of speakers at our weekly luncheons. For now, here is what you need to know:

Membership2024 membership remains open. For all of those that have already paid the renewal dues, thank you! If not, please head to our secure payments page: https://securepayment.link/bluehentdclub/

Note: if you are unsure if you have already paid your dues, please email: russcrook32@gmail.com

Advance Lunch Payments“Pay for 10, get 11 lunches” is now open. Again, head to our payments page and scroll towards the bottom. https://securepayment.link/bluehentdclub/

Away Game Bus Trips Details will be announced soon. Look for game day trips to Monmouth, Richmond and our last trip to Villanova. An email will go out as soon as details are finalized.

Senior Awards Banquet The date has been set! On Friday evening February 7, 2025, we will honor our senior players. Please mark your calendars!

GO HENS!

The Blue Hen Touchdown Club honored our outstanding departing players. Pictured above is Taylor Memorial Award recipient, and Co-Defensive MVP, Chase McGowan. Also pictured is Assistant Coach Running Backs, Andrew Pierce, Presenter, Chip Taylor, and Bob Lundquist, former team captain and prior Taylor Memorial recipient.

Full report on the evening here:
https://bluehens.com/news/2024/2/4/football-seniors-honored-at-blue-hen-touchdown-club-banquet

Full photo gallery, courtesy of Mark Campbell here:
https://www.henshots.com/Football/2023/TD-Club-Banquet-2-2-24

Pictured below, Head Coach, Ryan Carty, Senior Associate AD, Jerry Oravitz, Athletic Director, Chrissi Rawak, and Jackson Taylor. Jackson was Co-Defensive MVP, as well as recipient of the Newark Elks Outstanding Scholar Athlete Award.

The Blue Hen Touchdown Club will be honoring our senior players, trainers and managers on Friday, February 2,2023. We will be recognizing a group of Blue Hens that brought 17 wins to us over the last two seasons.

On that evening, we will also hear from Director of Athletics, Chrissi Rawak and Head Football Coach, Ryan Carty.

Further information can be found here: https://bluehentdclub.com/events/

Please register and pay to attend here: https://securepayment.link/bluehentdclub/banquet-reservations/


Chrissi Rawak

Coach Carty

It was a thriller in the Tub on Saturday, as the Hens battled back to down Lafayette.

Next up is Saturday night at 9:00 EST vs. the Montana Grizzlies. For those of us not traveling to Missoula, we can watch on ESPN+ and listen in on WDSD 94.7 FM.

Blue Hen Touchdown Club MVP’s for Lafayette:

Offense – #4 QB Nick Minicucci

Defense – #12 DL Chase McGowan

Special Teams – #37 Alex Schmoke

Watch for details on the Senior Awards Banquet to be held Friday, February 2nd, 2024!


Offensive MVP Nick Minicucci


Defensive MVP Chase McGowan


Special Teams MVP Alex Schmoke

Photo Credits: Bill Bretzger, Delawareonline.com

Our final BHTC lunch was this past Friday. We had a lineup of speakers representing football, both basketball squads, and our MVP’s for the Campbell game. Next up for the Club will be the Senior Awards Banquet on Friday, February 2, 2024. Watch here for a full report of our meeting, to be updated soon!


Running Backs Coach, Andrew Pierce


Asst. Women’s Basketball Coach, Sam Pierce


Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Martin Ingelsby


Offensive MVP, #54 OL Fintan Brose


Defensive MVP, #4 DB Khalil Dawsey


Special Teams MVP, #91 PK Nate Reed

Above, Defensive MVP Khalil Dawsey’s 100 Yd INT

UD’s 8th win at Campbell, leads to this week’s Villanova game, with everything on the line.

Campbell MVP’s:
Offense #54 Fintan Brose
Defense #4 Khalil Dawsey
Spec. Teams #91 Nate Reed

This week’s meeting (Friday, 11/17/2023) includes:
Andrew Pierce, Running Back Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
Sarah Jenkins, Women’s Basketball Coach
Martin Ingelsby, Men’s Basketball Coach

– BHTC vote for 2023 MVP’s
– BHTC vote for officers
– Final Red Ticket Drawing for MANY high quality items.
Lunch served at 11:15, program at Noon!


Full report on last week’s meeting, thanks to Mark Werrell:

After explaining what happened on the three big pass plays against the Hens in the Elon game, corner backs coach Corico Wright promised that “next time you’ll be very proud” of the defense. Certainly, we were proud as the Blue Hens came up with two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a key fourth down stop versus Campbell.
Schematically, Delaware was able to, as Coach Wright stated, force their talented quarterback into a corner limiting his running ability and passing accuracy. Obviously, the game plan worked!
I’m sure that Corico did not want to have another “very stern” film session as they did after the Elon loss. Let’s hope that the film session after Campbell was, as coach quipped, “light and fluffy”!

Both Ben Deluca, head men’s lacrosse coach and Greg Mamula, head baseball coach, gave us updates on their teams. As Deluca seeks a national championship for the laxmen, he has brought in 14 freshmen and two transfers (Colgate and Fairfield) to do battle in the spring of 2024. Additionally, he has 12 verbal commitments from high school players for the 2024-25 year.
Ben commented that lacrosse is evolving into a nation-wide sport and is in fact the fastest growing sport in the country (even more than pickleball?). He is trying to schedule teams from the Big-10 and the Ivy League but most schools do not want to schedule the Hens because they know they could lose. He did, however, schedule Michigan at home, Penn at a yet to be determined place and Syracuse at a neutral site. I guess the “good old boy” network is breaking down a bit.
When interviewed for the UD job, he was sold with his first conversation with AD Chrissy Rawak and her vision of the direction of UD athletics. It also didn’t hurt that his wife is a former Blue Hen All-American lacrosse goalie!
Baseball coach Greg Mamula gave us information about the baseball stadium which is getting new turf and new wall padding. Additionally, due to a generous donor, UD was able to acquire TrackMan which measures everything that happens to a baseball (speed of pitches, speed of ball leaving the bat, rotation of pitches, etc.). This information can not only be used for internal analytics to help the team but the data goes directly to Major League Baseball. Recruits ask about this capability almost without exception.
Additionally, the team will now have visible pitch clocks that have sped up the game, a factor that Greg likes because he likes an up tempo game.
Delaware has 36 players on the roster including 10 from the First State. One of those local players is Tyler August who received scholarship offers from “everybody”. The son of former UD player Brian August, Tyler throws a 98mph fastball and will certainly be drafted into MLB when he is eligible. Greg is expecting big things from this young man!


Coach Ben DeLuca, Men’s Lacrosse


Coach Greg Mamula, Baseball Coach

Photos: Courtesy of Mark Campbel and Howdy Giles

Pictured above, All-American Defensive Back, NFL Veteran, George Schmitt

We had fun at last week’s lunch meeting, but not so much just a day later. Watch for an update here for a full meeting report where we heard from two UD Athletic Hall of Fame Members, along with MVP’s for Towson, Braden Brose and Tyron Herring.

Coach Terence Archer
Coach Archer, the assistant head coach and coach of the wide receivers described the Elon football team as well coached having some very good wins to their credit. Unfortunately, the Phoenix had another good win, against Delaware, this past Saturday.
Archer, who coached with Ryan Carty at Sam Houston, State told the club that it was a no brainer for him to follow Carty to Delaware. Having graduated from Monmouth University, Archer grew up in Abington, PA which is in Montogomery County just north of Philly. He was happy to come back east to not only coach football but to be nearer to family.
When asked the obligatory question about who would be starting at QB against Elon, Archer smiled and stated that the decision was above his pay grade.

George Schmitt
After his All-American career at Delaware, George was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. He characterized the Cardinals at that time as very strict levying fines for certain behaviors and activities such as $3,000 for dating a cheerleader. George stated however that that fine was “well worth it”!
Having made the team but rooming with a starting player and a rotational player, he had no buddies to go out with. Finally, the Cardinals picked up some players from waivers, who were not going to have much playing time, and he formed crew to go out on the town. Due to some injuries, however, Schmidt had to play against the likes of NFL legends Dan Fouts and Charlie Joiner of the San Diego Chargers. George quipped that he realized “this ain’t Colgate”. Unfortunately, a back injury and subsequent fusion surgery ended his pro career prematurely.
Currently, George works for the Tsionas Development Corp in Newark and one of his daughters is married to the current assistant men’s lacrosse coach at UD, Trey Wilkes. Recently, he has had several opportunities to speak with UD President Dennis Assanis and, though no details were given, Delaware football is on the move. You can derive from that statement what you wish!

Bob Hooper
In a touching and revealing talk, long-time BHTC member and UD Hall of Famer for his contributions as a QB in the early to mid-1950’s, Bob Hooper told us the story of Lenny Williams. Williams was the first black football player at UD. It was a time when blacks were not allowed on Main Street after dusk being told to go back to the other side of the train tracks by the police.
Although the players looked out for Lenny, segregation was rampant. The team was told at an end of the year celebration at the Deer Park that the “black guy had to leave” otherwise the police would be called. Well, the entire team left.
Lenny couldn’t believe it when Bob invited him to his Aunt’s house for lunch after a trip into Wilmington. It just wasn’t done in those days. Described by Bob as a spectacular guy who graduated from UD and law school, Lenny Williams eventually became a judge in Wilmington. In fact, in the government center on King Street you will see on the side of one of the buildings, the Leonard J. Williams Justice Center.
Lenny (the team’s center) once said Bob (the team’s QB) was never a problem because he (Bob) spent four years with his hands up my a**!
With pride and awe, Bob is happy to have his Hall of Fame plaque on the same wall as Lenny’s who was posthumously inducted in 2021.
Thank you, Bob Hooper for a great story!

We meet this Thursday and hear from:

Corico Wright, Assistant Coach/Cornerbacks / Defensive Pass Game Coordinator
Baseball Coach, Greg Mamula
AND
Men’s Lacrosse Coach, Ben DeLuca

Bob Carpenter Club, doors open at 11:00, food at 11:15, program starts at Noon
Register on our secure website.



Hall of Fame Member, Bob Hooper

Bob Hooper’s HOF Plaque

Defensive MVP for Towson, Tyron Herring

Photos, Courtesy of Howdy Giles

The Fightn’ Blue Hens stepped on the Tiger’s neck from the start, after an outstanding Club meeting last Thursday. Full meeting report below in this post!

We meet again this Friday, November 3rd in the Bob Carpenter Club. Doors open at 11:00, lunch at 11:15, program at noon.

Speakers: Asst. Head Coach Terence Archer and UD Hall of Fame and All-American Defensive Back, George Schmitt

Defensive Line Coach Sam Daniels

Offensive MVP for Hampton, Phil Lutz

Sports Journalist, Dan Steenkamer

Field Hockey Head Coach, Rolf van de Kerkhof
Sam Daniels
We will need to score more points than Towson does, stated UD defensive line coach, Sam Daniels. Well, it appears the Blue Hens achieved this goal as the Tigers were dominated by Delaware 51-13! The defense stood strong led up front by the three down linemen in Delaware’s 3-2-6 scheme where Daniels said Delaware rotates nine players. Those nine players continue to improve from last year and throughout this season because they are more successful getting off the blocks of the opposing offensive linemen in the run game.
When asked about recruiting, Coach Daniles emphasized that, apart from the obvious talent observed on film, the current staff recruits kids who share the team’s core values. Before a high school recruit or transfer is invited for a visit to campus, players are vetted by Coach Carty and the appropriate position coach along with recommendations from third parties.
We are not only having success on the field this year but also attracting talented and solid young men into the program.

Dan Steenkamer, Writer, Hero Sports. Managing Sports Editor,
UD Review. On-air personality, WVUD Sports

At the Blue Hen Touchdown Club, we celebrate Dan’s success in his career because he is a UD Student but also graduate of St.Elizabeth’s High School in Wilmington. A Delaware fan since childhood, Dan has developed into an expert on FCS football particularly in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.
Dan provided news about UD as related to FCS, the CAA, and the NCAA.
1. Dan predicted the FCS playoff committee rankings would place Delaware between 6 and 10 in the nation. UD did even better at number 5 as the ranking was published later in the day!
2. The four-game limitation to be able to redshirt a player will not include playoff games.
3. The CAA is having preliminary discussions with Merrimack and Sacred Heart who are leaving the NEC after this year.
Dan reports that UD officials have expressed their
disappointment about the inclusion of teams into the CAA
over the past few years.
4. Delaware is definitely looking to make a move into the FBS world of college football with the MAC as a possible
destination.

Rolf van de Kerkhof
An elite coach, Rolf has coached his teams, during his 13 years at UD, to a National Championship, nine CAA tournament championships and six CAA regular season titles. He and his staff have also been named CAA coach of the year three times, twice as NFHCA regional coach of the year and once as NFHCA Division I coach of the year.
So when your team has a rare down year for Delaware Field Hockey in 2023, Coach van de Kerkhof remains positive and tells his players the true definition of a champion is when you give your very, very best and don’t worry about what others say. 2023 brought injuries to two of his best players either for the entire season or most of it necessitating the playing of young players (3-4 first year student-athletes) who may not have been quite ready to play consistently at this level.
Coach pointed out that perennial powers like Princeton and Connecticut also had down years. He told us that his players never threw in the towel, continued to show emotion, and worked hard all year.
We are looking forward to those guiding principles and a
developing talented team to get back to the top next year. And so is Coach Rolf!

We had a great meeting last week, with OL Coach, Chris Rogers, MVP Chase McGowan and UD Hall of Fame inductee, Gino Gradkowski. Photos here, and a full report:

Coach Chris Rogers
As an all-league player at Iowa Central Community College and a starter at Sam Houston State University, Chris Rogers turned his playing expertise on the offensive line into a rising coaching career. From coaching in high school to the community college level, Coach Roger’s career burst through as the tight ends coach and then the offensive line coach at SHSU before joining Ryan Carty’s staff at Delaware in December 2021.
Asked about his gameplan as the OL coach and run game coordinator, Chris simply said having his guys block as many defenders as possible allowing #21 (Marcus Yarns) to beat the last guy. It is conceivable that the blocking scheme may be a bit more complicated but Coach stated that if you have good players who play fast and execute well you will win. The key to his line’s success this year though has been the mutual love shown from coach to players and players to coach. Through these feelings a level of trust has been established and the players have bought into the offense’s concepts.
Because of their busy schedules, the BHTC headline coach usually leaves after speaking to continue to prepare for Saturday’s game. However, Coach Rogers took the time to listen to the next speaker, a former great Delaware offensive lineman for whom Coach Rogers said he wished had remaining eligibility, Gino Gradkowski.

Gino Gradkowski
A fourth-round draft choice of the Baltimore Ravens out of Delaware who owns a Super Bowl ring, Gino expressed his admiration of the job that Coach Rogers is doing with the OL and the overall excitement that Coach Carty’s staff has brought back to Delaware football. He stated that the staff makes football alums feel very much at home. It also seemed appropriate to Gino that Patrick Shupp, a starting guard, won the BHTC Offensive MVP award on the day that he was speaking to the club. As to playing in the NFL, Gino thought it was crazy that he was drafted so high (or at all) but gave credit to his OL coach at Delaware, Damian Wroblewski, who is now at James Madison and his own passion for the game and for wanting to be a pro. On an interesting note in a league that does not have a plethora of players from Delaware, Gino played with a Delaware graduate on each of the four stops in the NFL, Joe Flacco, Mike “Pops” Adams, Zach Kerr, and Paul Worrilow. A very humble man who feels his induction into the Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame this year is undeserved rather saved his comments for Jerry Oravitz, our Senior Associate AD for Football, who he feels should be inducted due to his dedication to the University and to UD Football. Well, Gino we agree with your sentiments about Jerry but know that your induction into the Hall is truly well-deserved. But your induction into the Hall is so appropriate, not only your football accomplishments, but your accomplishments in life!

Hampton MVP’s:

Offensive MVP #80 Phil Lutz

Defensive MVP, #44 Dillon Trainer

Special Teams MVP, #17 Jourdan Townsend

Next Meeting: Thursday, 10/26/2023. Bob Carpenter Club. Doors open at 11:00, food served at 11:15. Program at Noon.

Speakers:

Assistant Coach/Defensive Line, Sam Daniels

Special Guests: Sports Journalist and WVUD broadcaster, Dan Steenkamer.
AND UD Field Hockey Coach, Rolf van de Kerkhof


Offensive Line Coach, Chris Rogers

Gino Gradkowski

Chase McGowan Receiving His MVP Award for NC A&T

Credits: Mark Campbell, photos and Mark Werrell, report