Andy Coen resigns as football coach after Alzheimer’s diagnosis


Head coach Andy Coen raises one of the Patriot League Championship trophies during Lehigh’s celebrations following victory over Bucknell, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Goodman Stadium. Coen was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year at the end of the season. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Football coach Andy Coen has resigned from his role after receiving a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, according to a Lehigh Sports release. 

Coen served as the Mountain Hawks’ coach for 13 seasons, starting the role in 2006. He has compiled a record of 85-64 at Lehigh and has won five Patriot League Championships. He was also named Patriot League Coach of the Year twice in his career. 

Coen produced 135 All-Patriot League selections, 25 All-American selections and 236 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll student-athletes. He was also a three-time finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the top head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision

His most recent championship titles were in 2016 and 2017.

In 2017, Coen’s last championship, the Mountain Hawks recovered after a 0-5 start to go 5-1 in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks defeated the Lafayette Leopards 38-31 to capture the Patriot League crown.

In what would be his final season as head coach, Coen’s team went 3-8 (2-4 Patriot). The team’s season ended with a 34-3 victory at Lafayette in the 154th meeting of The Rivalry. 

In an interview with Lehigh Sports Coen said, “I am in the early stages and it is best for me to eliminate stress and concentrate on my health and well-being.  It is an opportunity for me to spend more time with my family.  Coaching is a 24/7 job and does not allow a lot of time for family.  My wife, Laura, and my children, Molly, Nolan and Finn have supported me throughout my career and are my biggest fans.  This is a very difficult decision for all of us, but it is what is best at this time.”

Check back for more updates on this developing story.

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