Coach Cohen surprised by Hofstra's decision

Dave Cohen was hired as Hofstra's head football

Dave Cohen was hired as Hofstra's head football coach in 2006 and compiled an 18-27 record in four seasons. (Credit: Newsday / Ana P. Gutierrez)

Hofstra football coach Dave Cohen was just as surprised as everyone else about Hofstra's decision to drop its football program.

"Disappointment and shock" were two of the first words Cohen uttered when interviewed at Shuart Stadium Thursday.

Cohen was told of the decision at around 9 a.m. Thursday morning by Hofstra athletic director Jack Hayes.

But Cohen, who just completed his fourth season as coach at the school, said he is more focused on taking care of his players and assistant coaches.

"We have to worry about placing our players that still want to play football," Cohen said. "And make them understand how important a Hofstra degree is and that the university has backed their scholarships."

The Hofstra roster has 84 players, including 63 who are on scholarship, and four high school players who have made verbal commitments.

"The next step, once we get to take care of the players and make sure they get through this, is making sure that our assistant coaches that have families are placed in positions over the course of the next few weeks," Cohen said.

Hofstra beat Massachusetts, 52-38, in its final game Nov. 21 and finished the season 5-6.

Cohen refused to add to any speculation regarding the decision.

"I'm not privy to those decisions. The administrators are in position to make those decisions," Cohen said. "Right or wrong, they have to make decisions that are the best from their perspective. I have no idea what went into it."

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