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Berry College Football
Berry College Football

Head Coach Tony Kunczewski

 

Tony Kunczewski was named the first head football coach in Berry College history on April 16, 2012.

The 2015 season was the most successful in Kunczewski's (pronounced kun-CHESS-kee) Berry career, improving the Vikings to a 7-3 record and placing a conference-best 35 student-athletes on the SAA Academic Honor Roll. Two Vikings also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District and 17 earned SAA All-Conference honors including Kevin Grier's Newcomer of the Year designation.

In 2014, Kunczewski led the Vikings to their first-ever football victory in Berry College history with a 29-23 overtime win against Washington University in St. Louis on Mountain Day Weekend. He also won two more games than in the previous season, improving the start-up team one game at a time.

In a short time, Kunczewski has laid the groundwork for building a successful intercollegiate football program at Berry. He has hired an impressive coaching staff, recruited more than 100 student-athletes and has become a positive focal point for Vikings' football on campus and in the community.

Kunczewski was the defensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coach at LaGrange for seven seasons, helping develop all aspects of the start-up program from its inception. He helped build its football program from scratch and reach the NCAA Division III playoffs in just its third season. The program began intercollegiate competition in 2006 and in 2008 finished with a 9-2 overall record, recorded the largest single-season improvement in NCAA Division III football history and reached the national playoffs in the third fastest amount of time from start-up in Division III history.

That season, Kunczewski's defense ranked 18th nationally in total defense, fifth in pass defense, 15th in sacks and sixth in tackles for loss, leading the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in total defense, pass defense and sacks. In 2011, LaGrange was ranked 44th nationally in total defense.

In six seasons with the Panthers, Kunczewski has coached nine all-conference defensive selections, including the league's Defensive Player of the Year, and had four players selected to play in the Tazon de Estrellas All-Star game in Mexico.

Away from the field, Kunczewski supervised the efforts of LaGrange's players in the Communities in Schools program, sending student-athletes into local elementary schools to help students with reading skills.

Prior to joining LaGrange, Kunczewski served as an assistant coach at both Bowdoin College in Maine and Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, both of which are members of NCAA Division III.

He was at Bowdoin during the 2004-05 academic year as the defensive backs coach. One of his safeties was honored twice as the conference defensive player of the week.

Kunczewski served at Allegheny from 2001-2004, coaching outside linebackers his first season and inside linebackers the next two years. He was also the co-special teams coordinator and the strength and conditioning coach at Allegheny, while heading up recruiting in the talent-rich areas of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan.

In 2003, Kunczewski helped coach an Allegheny squad that became just the second team in NCAA Division III history to rally its way to the national playoffs after starting the season 0-3.

Kunczewski began his collegiate coaching career as the outside linebacker coach at Allegheny during the 2001-02 academic year. That season, Allegheny's defense ranked 10th nationally against the run.

As a student-athlete, Kunczewski was a two-time first-team All-Conference player at Grove City College, in Grove City, Penn. A four-year letterwinner at Grove City, Kunczewski earned All-Presidents Athletic Conference honors as a strong safety as a junior in 1998 and as an outside linebacker the following year, when he led the team with 101 tackles. He earned honorable mention All-PAC honors as a cornerback in 1997.

Kunczewski was voted by his Grove City teammates as a team captain in his senior year and was the team's Defensive MVP.

Grove City won a pair of PAC championships during Kunczewski's playing career, making the postseason in 1997.

Along with his athletic honors, Kunczewski was also recognized for his academic abilities, earning a spot on the PAC Academic Honor Roll.

The Harrison City, Penn., native earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Grove City in 2000, and a master's degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania in 2004.

Kunczewski and his wife Nicole live in Rome with their daughter Jocelyn and two sons, Sammy and Nathan.