Former Viking Athlete Named Head Coach At Erie

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, June 26, 2000

Hudson Valley Community College Athletic Hall of Famer Dennis Greene was recently named head coach of Erie Community College's football team. Greene, an Angola native, will serve as the top man on Erie's program, which will take to the field for the first time in the fall of 2001.

"This is truly an honor for me to be chosen as Erie Community College's first head football coach," Green said. "What a dream come true, to be able to start a program in my own hometown. Words cannot describe how I feel."

Greene was an NJCAA All-American running back for Hudson Valley in 1973. After wearing the Vikings' green and white he moved on to Indiana University and then to the ranks of professional football. In 1975 Green played for the World Football League's Philadelphia Bell and in 1976 he played for the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Greene joins Erie after five seasons as the running backs and special teams coach for the University of Buffalo. Prior to that he served as offensive coordinator at Alfred University from 1991 to 1994. His coaching career has also included stops at the University of Pennsylvania and Niagara University.

"Dennis Greene is the right candidate for this position," said Touchdown 2001 committee chairperson and Buffalo Bills general manager John Butler. Greene was chosen after the committee spent three weeks interviewing. "Dennis has the college coaching experience that you need to develop a new program. He's a good football man, but more importantly, he understands the importance of education and has a proven record in recruiting and retaining student-athletes."

Greene, who ran track in addition to playing football for the Vikings, graduated from Hudson Valley in 1973. He was inducted into the college's Hall of Fame in 1979.

Greene rushed for 1,030 yards in 1972, which was a longtime Hudson Valley record. Among the other records Greene has held: most rushing touchdowns in a season (14), most rushing touchdowns in a career (24), most rushing touchdowns in a game (three, which he did three times), most average yards per gain for a career (5.8) and most points scored in a season (158).

Greene and fellow Hudson Valley Hall of Fame running back Morris Collins were dubbed "The Gold Dust Twins" by Hudson Valley's coaching staff. They roamed the backfield together, which prompted a newspaper writer to ask, "What's it like having Greene and Collins back there at the same time?" One of the coaches responded, "It's like having gold in your pocket." Greene said the golden nickname stuck with him throughout his entire sophomore season with the Vikings.

"It means a lot to me to be coaching at the junior college level," Greene said. "Hudson Valley was a big part of my experience; my time there helped shape me. And I can't wait to come back and play at Hudson Valley. It'll be like a homecoming week for me."

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions; Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, Hudson Valley has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.