Head football coach Chris Villarrial is now the all-time winningest coach in the program’s history with 46 victories after his team defeated Delaware State, 35-21, in its final game of the 2019 season.
Villarrial passed former Red Flash head football coach and athletics director Art Martynuska, who earned 45 wins from 1969-79 and 1981. He was named the 25th head coach in SFU history on Dec. 20, 2009, and enters his 11th season in 2020.
“Taking over a program that wasn’t known for winning was very challenging,” said Villarrial. “People doubted us and said the program was down for too long.
“I just believed in my work ethic and believed that surrounding myself with good people, coaches and players would be the way we turned it around.”
The process was slow going when the 11-year NFL veteran took over as head coach in 2010 after a year as an assistant with the program. In his first two seasons as head coach, his teams posted a combined overall record of 3-19.
The building blocks, however, were being established.
In 2016, Villarrial led his team to the program’s first-ever Northeast Conference championship. Several members of this year’s senior class were members of that unit, including senior offensive lineman Christian Eubanks.
Winning the championship under Coach V meant a lot to all the players,” said Eubanks. “It meant the world to me. I had never won a championship on any team before, so it was an amazing feeling to see all of our hard work pay off.
“It was also a great sense of pride for me to win under Coach V. He was the only coach to take a gamble on me and offer me a scholarship, so it felt great to pay him back for everything he invested into me.”
The Flash finished 6-6 last season.
“To follow in the footsteps of Art Martynuska, a guy who believed in this program and it players is truly an honor,” said Villarrial.