Love for football hasn’t escaped former UNH QB Andy Vailas at annual CHaD game

  • New Hampshire native Andy Vailas was a quarterback for UNH Coach Sean McDonnell from 2010 to 2014. The Wildcats reached the FCS semifinals in 2013 and 2014. AP file

  • New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell congratulates quarterback Andy Vailas in an NCAA college football game against Maine, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Orono, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert Bukaty—AP

  • New Hampshire quarterback Andy Vailas (14) uses a block by teammate Harold Spears (89) on Towson defensive end Frank Beltre (27) on his way to a 73-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of a NCAA college football game at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Josh Gibney) Josh Gibney—AP

Monitor staff
Published: 7/3/2017 11:51:57 PM

MANCHESTER – It has been a few years since Andy Vailas played a part in Sean McDonnell’s dual-quarterback offense for the University of New Hampshire football team, but the Granite State native hasn’t let the game stray out of his life.

A co-founder of his family’s business, Vailas now works as the director of business development for Member Medical in Manchester. He’s also been involved with the CHaD East-West All-Star Football Game as an assistant coach since his senior year at UNH. His brother Jim, another alumnus of the McDonnell’s Division I FCS program in Durham from 2009-13, has also coached in the annual CHaD game.

At UNH, Jim received the Todd Walker Teammate Award his senior season in 2013. These days, Jim stays involved at UNH as a coach for the school’s summer football camp.

“My brother and I love doing it because we’re not high school coaches but we love to coach,” Andy said after Sunday’s CHaD game at Manchester Memorial High School. “It’s just nice working with all of these good kids. We do a good job of not only getting good athletes but also kids that we know will give back to the game.”

The sixth playing of the annual CHaD game stretched over the weekend beginning on Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. Thunderstorms forced Friday’s game to be suspended. This year’s game generated more than $246,000 for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth.

It was the fourth CHaD game for the Vailas brothers, who both served as assistants for the East team under Head Coach Craig Kozens of Laconia. Andy was an offensive assistant in the booth while Jim worked field level on the sideline.

East was defeated by West, 25-14, and dropped to 2-4 in the game all time.

Andy and Jim both graduated from Bishop Guertin High School. Andy took a post-graduate year Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and quarterbacked New Hampshire in the 2008 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.

At UNH, the brothers played on some of McDonnell’s most successful teams in recent years. The Wildcats have qualified for the FCS playoffs each year going back to 2004. They reached the semifinals in 2013 and 2014 as Andy shared quarterback duties with Sean Goldrich.

Since graduating in 2014, Andy has done a little bit of coaching around the Manchester area. He also participated in a tryout with Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 when former UNH offensive coordinator Chip Kelly was leading that franchise.

The CHaD game is preceded by a week of practices and Vailas says that is the most coaching he does each year. While he isn’t interested in being a head coach, Andy said his involvement in coaching could go beyond just the annual CHaD game in the future.

“I don’t think I’d want to be a head coach,” Andy said. “They have a lot of headaches and I tip my hat to those guys. I’d love to coach quarterbacks, maybe an (offensive coordinator) eventually. We’ll get our business going first and then get into coaching. I like just staying involved.”

(Nick Stoico can be reached at 369-3339, or on Twitter

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