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Thellen Named Male Athlete of the Year

(Darren Thellen was named the UMass Male Athlete of the Year/Andy Heller for the Maroon Musket)

Darren Thellen, the face of UMass’ upgrade to FBS football, has been named the university’s Male Athlete of the Year.


Thellen started all 12 games on the season and served as one of the team leaders for the squad in its first-ever year at the FBS level. Thellen set the tone for the Minutemen throughout the year and earned All-MAC Second Team from the Mid-American Conference and Third Team All-MAC by Phil Steele Magazine as a result of his strong play in the secondary. Thellen finished the year with 79 tackles – the second-most on the squad – and tallied three interceptions to help the Brockton, Mass., native finish his career as the program’s all-time leader in interception return yardage (256) on 10 picks.

Thellen’s senior campaign started off with a bang against the University of Connecticut. In a losing effort, Thellen tipped a thrown-away pass to Tom Brandt for an interception. ESPN took notice:

The Brockton native was recently invited to the New York Giants’ minicamp.

Not for nothing: Thellen was also named team MVP by the Maroon Musket.

While Thellen brought home the Athlete of the Year Award, the enture football senior class collectively took home the Inspirational Male Athletes of the Year.

Again, from

Despite being unable to qualify for the NCAA Playoffs or CAA Championship as juniors and not eligible to participate for the Football Bow Subdivision (FBS) postseason in 2012 as seniors, the UMass football senior class played with heart, passion and desire while at the same time they worked to build a strong foundation for the FBS era. Honoring the class with the Inspirational Male Athletes of the Year award symbolized the senior class’ dedication to working within the highest ideals of the University and its choice to stay at the University despite not being able to play in the postseason for two years.

Follow Bob on twitter: @BobMcGovernJr


  1. Jason says:

    Buy one at regular price get one free, give out free tickets to local football programs, anything to put butts in seats.

    UMASS needs to aggressively market and promote the program this coming season or we’ll struggle maintaining our status because of our inability to maintain average attendance numbers.

  2. Mr.C says:

    Give every high school team in the state of Massachusetts the opportunity to come to one game as a team. They take a school bus to the stadium and get a brief tour, get to spend a few minutes on the field an hour before the game, and sit near the goal line.

    If it isn’t a breakeven proposition with free tickets (given food purchases, etc.) , then find the breakeven price and offer discount tickets to the HS team.

    Also, a good opportunity for future recruiting and the university to prospective students.

    This could be done on a limited basis in 2013, picking just the games that are more likely to be competitive. Could be less positive at non-competitive games.

  3. boris says:

    every pop warner league in the state needs an email w/ pricing –
    major discounts for their league must be shown..

    1. Andy says:

      When you say “major discount”, that needs to MAJOR in all caps. I don’t see how even a $5.00 ticket can be bad if it gets someone introduced to UMass football and occupies a seat. Get them hooked on the brand for cheap. I’m not suggesting they be seated at the 50 yard line, but as we all know there’s plenty of space there that sat empty where the “groups” could sit and still have a good view of the game.

      1. SJGMoney says:

        All the seats in the endzone should be filled with kids. The only time they were, and it was only one end, was the first game against Indiana when we had a good student turnout (and then the game got ugly and the students disappeared) and on band day when the other end zone was full of band members. For TV purposes it looks a hell of a lot better to see extra points and FGs kicked into a crowd.

  4. Umike says:

    “Just win, baby”

    1. Andy says:

      “Just win baby” is one way to sell tickets, but that’s a long-term plan. Bob (I’m guessing) is looking for an immediate plan to get more butts in the seats. There are still alumni who have NO IDEA that the football team plays FBS football at Gillette Stadium. If selling seats based on victories alone is the only plan it’s going to be another low attendance season. I’m with Bob here, wanting to see some plan of action to reach out with promos, youth groups etc.

      1. Umike says:

        In all honesty, I wrote to Johnny last year after the Ohio game. I asked him why not give away 20k free tickets. just give them to every pop warner team in the state. At every Big Y for who ever wants them. We have 68k (I assume we only are allotted a certain amount) to play with here, just get buts in the seats. Those buts will buy food/drinks/swag and guess what, they might come back. But he said no, :( , not the way to do it, and in a way I agree. But at the same time, we are not 11-1 and can’t draw fans, we were 1-11.

        1. Andy says:

          Maybe “free” is a stretch, but how about a family 4-pack for $50.00? That’s about half price as-is.

          1. Umike says:

            The marketing is poor for sure, but there is no reason why every sports radio station in the state doesn’t have tickets to give away at all promotions they do.

            The team should walk out with local pop warner teams during coin tosses. This will get the kids excited, parents will bring them, food/drinks/swag will be purchased and I’m sure any parent would be excited to see their kid on Gillette Stadium (including just themselves).

  5. Bob says:

    Can someone tell me what the plan is for selling more tickets this year? Is there one?

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