The University of Delaware introduced Ryan Carty as the football program’s new head coach earlier this month. He played quarterback for the Blue Hens between 2002-2006. Carty returns to Delaware after spending the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator at Sam Houston State and 11 seasons in various roles at the University of New Hampshire.
“As sincerely as I can say it, I’m so excited, humbled, and thankful to be blessed with an opportunity to come back home,” Carty said. “This Blue Hen family matters to me. When I walked into the stadium today, it transported me right back to being recruited here.”
Carty takes over for the Blue Hens following a below .500 regular season (5-6). Delaware had a record of 7-1 and competed in the FCS playoffs in the spring, but the fall season was considered a disappointment and concluded with the departure of head coach Danny Rocco.
Carty and Sam Houston State went on a 21-game winning streak over nine months, which concluded with the Bearkats winning the FCS National Championship in the spring. Carty was also named Football Scoop’s FCS Offensive Coordinator of the Year.
In his press conference, Carty said that he runs multiple offenses that are constantly evolving. He also mentioned that creativity and innovation are important, along with staying at the forefront of trends. The former SHSU offensive coordinator will continue to call plays on offense.
The former Blue Hen quarterback met the players at the University of Delaware for the first time on Dec. 12. Following the coaching change, several standout players entered the transfer portal.
However, Carty has made progress keeping some players in Delaware, including quarterback Nolan Henderson, who announced that he would return for his sixth season.
Henderson started all eight games during the spring and was named first-team All-CAA. He only played in four games during the fall due to an injury. According to Delaware Online, Carty was the first coach to offer Henderson a scholarship while he was coaching at UNH. Henderson is a Delaware native who was the first in-state quarterback recruit since 2002.
Carty was a respected quarterback, who was named a team captain his senior year, but never had the opportunity to start. He backed up Andy Hall during Delaware’s National Championship run in 2003 and spent his final season behind current New York Jets and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco.
During his press conference, Carty mentioned that there wasn’t a transfer portal at that time. Although, he did turn down some Division II opportunities to remain at Delaware. Shortly after his playing career, Carty was hired by Chip Kelly during his final year at New Hampshire.
Carty remained at UNH and worked his way to being named the offensive coordinator. He remained in the position for six years before reuniting with K.C. Keeler at Sam Houston State in 2018. Keeler was the head coach at the University of Delaware when Carty played.
“I’m very excited to be back in the CAA. I’ve spent my career in it besides the last four years. I know it very well. Watching tape it seems to be a similar style of play. There are a couple of different coaches in right now, and that’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to compete,” Carty said.
Carty has started to assemble his coaching staff for next season and picked up several players on National Signing Day. He’ll also continue to work on retaining players from the transfer portal. It’ll certainly be a lot of work, but as he said on Dec. 13, it’s for his dream job.
“We’re going to play an exciting brand of football, that’s who we are. I believe in attacking, playing downhill, having fun, being creative, and being innovative. But our foundation is going to be built on the willingness to outwork and out tough people. That’s what wins.”