New Hampshire football coach Sean McDonnell retires after 23 seasons

DURHAM, N.H. -- New Hampshire football coach Sean McDonnell announced his retirement Wednesday after leading the Wildcats for 23 years.

"It's time for a new face, new ideas and a new way of doing things around here," McDonnell said in a statement. "I can't begin to say thank you enough for the opportunities the University of New Hampshire has given to me: as a student, as an assistant coach and then as its head football coach. This has been the honor of a lifetime."

McDonnell's 157 career wins rank second in UNH history behind the 175 by Bill Bowes, his former head coach and a National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Famer.

The Wildcats had a 14-year run of NCAA playoff berths and 14 playoff victories from 2004 to '17, including three conference championships.

McDonnell was a defensive back for the Wildcats from 1975 to '78 and served eight seasons as an assistant coach at UNH, including five as offensive coordinator.