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Pete Shinnick Aims To Establish A Championship Culture At Towson

Towson is a program that has experienced making a run to the FCS National Championship as the Tigers faced North Dakota State in 2014 in Frisco, TX. The Tigers have only made one playoff appearance (2018) since that season. The program has not won a CAA conference championship since back-to-back titles in 2011-2012. Director of Athletics Steve Eigenbrot wanted a leader with a vision and a proven winner, which is why Pete Shinnick emerged as the top candidate to lead Towson football into the future. 

Shinnick is 159-67 (.704 winning percentage) over 20 seasons that includes stops at Azusa Pacific, UNC Pembroke, and West Florida. He led West Florida to their first NCAA Division II National Championship in 2019, in which the Argonauts defeated three number one seeds and four straight undefeated teams to complete one of the most remarkable postseason runs in Division II history. He has also been named the Division II National Coach of the Year twice, including leading West Florida to the Division II National Championship in 2017 in only the second year of competition for the program. 

In his opening press conference, Shinnick talked about the potential of Towson to reach the pinnacle of FCS football once again. He spoke with Zach McKinnell from The Bluebloods about what the first steps will be in establishing a championship culture at Towson moving forward.

“It’s really day by day, just getting everybody to be on the same page, getting everybody to buy in and getting every guy to understand what his role is and how he can help this program be the best that it can be,” said new Towson head coach Pete Shinnick. “That’s part of what every day is about moving forward. I think we got a really good group coming back.” 

The Baltimore area is one of massive importance to new head coach Pete Shinnick. He was born there in 1965 and watched his father, Don Shinnick, play 13 seasons with the Baltimore Colts. His father played in the legendary Super Bowl III matchup against the New York Jets and won Super Bowl XI with the Oakland Raiders later in his career. Towson’s football stadium is named after Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas, which makes this opportunity even more special for Shinnick. 

“That’s really been one of the funner parts of this process when I’ve had a little time to just sit back and reflect a little bit. To be in the place where you were born, to play in Johnny Unitas Stadium, and to have the opportunity to run into a lot of people who watched my dad play or their parents were fans of my dad just makes it all come together.” 

Shinnick has started building his coaching staff for the Tigers for the 2023 season. Darian Dulin (DC/DB), Alex Krutsch (ST/OLB), and Britt Myers (RC/ILB) are notable new staff additions that also served on Shinnick’s staff at West Florida. Shinnick spoke about the recruiting strategy for the new staff and trying to balance creating pipelines in multiple areas of the country. 

“We do want to recruit a 3-3.5 hour radius really well, but there are a lot of people recruiting that area as well… If a guy wants to be here and wants to be a part of our program, we’re going to do our due diligence in trying to find that guy and try to identify that guy to make sure he understands that Towson could be a great fit for him. We’re going to try to find the right fit for us. We do have ties to other states and we’re going to continue to try to bring the student athlete and best representative of this program and bring him to this campus and have him be apart of our program. So we’ll spend a lot of time in this area, but I think there’s also opportunities for some other guys as well.”

The 2023 season will open on Saturday, September 2 against the University of Maryland before the CAA conference opener against Monmouth on September 9 at Unitas Stadium. 

You can listen to the full interview with Towson head coach Pete Shinnick on all podcast streaming platforms or watch on our YouTube channel below. 

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