The 2017 Alfred State football team opened up camp this past weekend and head coach Jarod Dodson has a mix of familiar faces and newcomers on his coaching staff.
Graham Johnsen returns for his second year on the sideline at Alfred State. This season Johnsen will serve as the offensive coordinator. Prior to Alfred State, Johnsen was the head coach at Mansfield and has previously spent time coaching at Wittenberg (OH), St. Francis (PA), Nicholls State University (LA), Fairfield University (CT), Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, and St. Lawrence.
Johnsen earned his bachelor's degree in sport administration from the University of Southern Mississippi where he was a member of the Golden Eagles football team as a punter. Playing under head coach Jeff Bower, Johnsen was a member of two Conference USA championship teams and finished the 1997 season with a 41-7 victory over Pittsburgh in the Liberty Bowl. After Southern Miss, Johnsen was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Tennessee under former Volunteer head coach Phillip Fulmer. He earned his Masters of Art degree in sport management from the University of Tennessee in 2001.
David Mears begins his 15th year coaching at Alfred State and will serve as the assistant offensive line coach and community relations coordinator.
Mears holds an associate of science degree in medical lab technology and an associate of applied science degree in individual studies from Alfred State. He also has a bachelor of science degree in sport management from the University of America and a master's degree in sport management.
Mears has played and coached with the Hornell Dragons and the Southern Tier Diesel. He also spent time coaching at Wellsville High School. He also has been a clinician at the Mike Wauffle and NY Giants youth football camps.
Mears was a member of the United State Army from 1983-89. He was a morse code intercept operator in Fort Devens, MA and Kunia, HI and a field artillery direction specialist in Fort Sill, OK and Fort Ord, CA.
Christopher Rollin returns for his second year at Alfred State. He will coach the linebackers and peform the the director of football operations as well.
Last season, Rollin organized and executed plans for all five road trips for Alfred State, he assisted with recruiting visits, helped the coaching staff in film break down, assisted with the defensive backs during practice, and helped run the offensive scout team.
Last spring he was the football equipment intern at Eastern Michigan University to complete his degree in sport management with a minor in marketing from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH).
Nick Taylor joined the football coaching staff this summer and will serve as the program's defensive coordinator. Taylor has been coaching collegiately since 2001.
Taylor most recently was the defensive coordinator and academic accountability coordinator at Briar Cliff University (Sioux City, IA). He also has coached at Bethany College (Lindsborg, KS), Eureka College (Eureka, IL), and Morningside College (Sioux City, IA). He also spent a season before heading to Briar Cliff as the offensive line coach of the Salina Bombers, an indoor football team.
Collegiately, Taylor played at Sterling College (Sterling, KS). In 1999, the center was selected to play in the All-American Bowl. Taylor earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Sterling and later his master's degree in sports science with an emphasis in sport coaching from the United States Sports Academy.
Rhys Williams is entering his first season on the Alfred State football staff and will serve as an offensive line and video coordinator.
He comes to Alfred State from Christopher Newport University (Newport News, VA) where he served as a quality control assistant coach. This past summer he also worked th Performance Select Football Camps in Virginia and North Carolina. Williams has also worked with the football and track & field programs at Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake, FL.
Williams graduated with a bachelor of science degree in physical education on the sport and fitness studies track with a focus on coaching. He also completed a minor in communication arts for leadership from Florida International University (Miami, FL). While there he worked with FIU student media, where he won the Pacesetter Award, the highest honor for employees. Williams is currently working online through Ohio University towards his masters of coaching education.
Tom Cudney brings years of playing and coaching experience to the Pioneer coaching staff. He will coach the wide receivers and oversee the kickoff return game.
Cudney began his professional playing career after signing a multi-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL) in 1980 at the age of 22. He later joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers who acquired his Canadian Football League (CFL) playing rights in a three player transaction with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. As a journeyman professional football player Cudney also had a stint with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL in 1981 and later made stops with the Tampa Bay Bandits and the Denver Gold in the United States Football League (USFL) in 1983.
After nine years of playing at both the amateur and professional levels, Cudney embarked upon a successful 30 plus year coaching career. His coaching contributions were made manifest with teams such as Claremont McKenna, The University of Buffalo, and Bloomsburg University in the NCAA, Lambuth University and Webber International University in the NAIA, Western University and Mount Allison University in the CIS. He has also coached high school programs in Florida, Vero Beach and Sebastian River, and in Canada, Westminster and St. Thomas Aquinas.
In 2014 while coaching the receivers with the London Beefeaters (OFC/CJFL) Cudney produced the top four receivers in the eight team, Ontario Football Conference. Since 2015, he has coached with the College Gridiron Showcase. To date 165 players from the College Gridiron Showcase have either been drafted or signed to UDFA contracts in the NFL or CFL. In 2018 he will be coaching for his 4th consecutive year with the CGS.
Scott Seeley joined the coaching staff this summer and will work primarily with the quarterbacks.
Seeley, a former quarterback at Livonia High School and at the University of Albany, has a creative writing degree from Hofstra University.
Seeley has been an active high school coach that has locally at Genesee Valley Central Schools and at Wellsville High School. He has coached football, basketball, and baseball.
The 2017 Pioneers open up the season on August 31 when they travel to New London, CT to take on the Coast Guard Academy.