Press Release-St. John Fisher
The St. John Fisher College football team has named George Penree its defensive coordinator. Penree, a 2003 Fisher graduate, comes back to his alma mater after coaching the past five seasons at Empire 8 Conference rival Utica College.
As a member of the Cardinals football team in the early 2000s, Penree played four years as an offensive lineman. Fisher improved in each and every season, culminating with a 6-4 record during his senior campaign. He stayed on as a coach following graduation, helping the Cardinals go 8-3 in 2003; a team that advanced to the postseason and won the ECAC Northwest Bowl. It was the first time in program history that the Cardinals earned a postseason berth.
Penree’s next stop was spent in more than seasons as an assistant coach at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH. While at Heidelberg, Penree added to his bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from Fisher by earning his master’s degree in education.
His final stop prior to joining the Pioneers’ program, Penree was the special team’s coordinator and defensive backs coach at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.
It was a no-brainer for Penree to become a part of the Utica football program in the winter of 2007, as he was a Utica product, born and raised in the area. Not only did Penree have the connection with his hometown, but Blaise Faggiano took the reins of the Pioneers program that year after several seasons as the Fisher defensive coordinator.
In his five seasons on the sidelines for the Pioneers, the teams had a .500 or better record three times, with the 2010 squad’s 5-5 mark was the first .500 record in program history. Penree helped Utica become a threat in the Empire 8, especially this past year when Utica controlled its own destiny with three games left to capture the Conference’s crown. The Pioneers went on to finish 4-3 in the E8 and a four-way tie for third place with a 6-4 record overall.
Penree led an offensive line corps that recorded 1,246 yards rushing, 3,404 yards passing and 46 total touchdowns scored this past season. In addition, the Utica offense average over 34 points per game and scored on 38 out of 47 trips to the red-zone, including 30 touchdowns.
He also helped guide the UC offense to 243 first downs, 4,650 total yards of offense, and a 50% third down conversion rate. His coaching helped UC outscore its opponents 342-285 over the course of ten games.
Penree takes over a defense that ranked 17th in the country in total defense (280.18) last year, which led the Empire 8 Conference as well. Fisher ranked in the top 35 of four other defensive categories, including pass defense (161.91), scoring defense (15.91), pass efficiency defense (106.91) and tackles for a loss (7.73).
Penree will reside in the Rochester area with his wife Sherry.