One of the longest tenured assistant coaches on the UMass Dartmouth staff, Steve Faniel is entering his eighth season as the defensive coordinator. He will also serve as the Corsairs’ secondary coach for the second straight season.
Prior to joining the UMass Dartmouth staff, Faniel coached the defensive line for three seasons at his alma mater, Westfield State.
In 2013, the Corsairs featured an opportunistic defense that led the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference in defensive touchdowns (5), while ranking second in fumble recoveries (10). Faniel’s charges caused at least one turnover in all nine games, including a season-high six against Western Connecticut. First-year DaVon Fuller established an UMass Dartmouth single-game record for interceptions, picking off four Worcester State passes to lift the Corsairs to a dramatic victory. Fuller received national and regional honors for his record-breaking performance, garnering D3Football.com Team of the Week accolades and the prestigious Boston Globe Golden Helmet.
During his time on the UMass Dartmouth sideline, Faniel has tutored two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Northeast All-Stars and 12 All-Conference recipients. Rich Braley, the single-season (122) and career leader in total tackles (348), represented the Corsairs on the ECAC Northeast teams in 2007, while John Cordasco, the career leader in tackles for a loss (33.5), was the most recent All-ECAC member in 2011. This past fall, Joe Teixeira and Derek Tarpey were voted to the inaugural All-MASCAC, first-team as linebacker selections.
The Wareham, Mass. product received All-South Coast Conference honors as a center and defensive lineman before attending Westfield State. Faniel, a four-year starter, helped the Owls compile an overall record of 30-11 between 2001 and 2004. Westfield State set a new program standard for single-season wins (10) en route to capturing the 2001 New England Football Conference Championship and earning the program’s lone trip to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. The Owls also reached the 2002 ECAC Division III Northwest Championship Bowl against Cortland State after falling to NCAA-bound UMass Dartmouth in the conference championship game. The two-time All-NEFC honoree helped Westfield State led the nation in total defense in 2001 and 2002.
The 2005 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies is currently a physics teacher at Wareham High School.