Jason Lebeau ‘10/’16 was named head coach of the Western New England University football program on May 8, 2018.
Lebeau's first season at the helm of his alma mater was a success, as the Golden Bears captured their fourth consecutive conference title and appeared in the NCAA Division III playoffs for the fifth time. Under Lebeau's leadership, Western New England went 8-3 overall and 5-1 in CCC Football action, claiming the league championship on the final day of the season with a 52-0 shutout victory over Becker College. Sixteen student-athletes earned All-CCC Football honors for their performance on the field, and 29 Golden Bears were recognized as CCC Football All-Academic selections for posting a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.
Lebeau took over as head coach after spending the previous eight seasons, including six as offensive coordinator, on Keith Emery's staff. With Lebeau in charge of the Golden Bear offense, Western New England captured its third straight conference title last fall. His unit ranked second in CCC Football in both scoring (30.8 PPG) and total (395.5 YPG) offense, while six players garnered All-Conference accolades. Western New England topped the 300-yard mark in all but one game with five 400+ yard performances, including a season-high 534-yard showing in the Golden Bears' CCC Football-clinching victory at Curry on November 4. Western New England also compiled 355 yards in its NCAA Tournament first round matchup at Delaware Valley, which entered the contest ranked 12th in NCAA DIII in total defense, allowing just 239 yards per game.
In 2016, Western New England posted its second consecutive undefeated regular season and won its first NCAA Tournament in program history. The Golden Bears ranked second in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) in both scoring (41.0 PPG) and total offense (460.5 YPG) during the regular season, before going on to rack up a combined 916 yards of total offense during the team's two NCAA Tournament contests. Western New England compiled 400+ yards in all but two games, surpassing the 500-yard mark five times. Seven Golden Bears were recognized with All-NEFC offensive honors, including five first team selections. Lebeau was honored as the New England Division III Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston for his efforts.
Lebeau directed one of the nation’s top offenses in 2015, as the Golden Bears ranked 24th in NCAA Division III in total offense (479.9 YPG) on their way to an undefeated regular season and the program’s second appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Western New England also boasted one of the top rushing attacks in the country, ranking tenth with 272.7 yards per game and finishing the season with 3000 yards on the ground (5.22/carry).
Six members of the Western New England offensive unit earned All-New England Football Conference (NEFC) honors, including five first team selections, while two student-athletes were recognized as All-Region performers.
Lebeau, who joined head coach Keith Emery’s staff as an offensive line coach in 2010, began working with tight ends a season later before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2012. He also coordinates recruiting efforts for the program with primary responsibilities in eastern and central Massachusetts, as well as the Midwest.
In 2014, the Golden Bears set a plethora of team records including 223 first downs and 48 touchdowns among many others. The team rated highly in several NCAA Division III statistical categories under Lebeau's hand on the offense: 12th in rushing offense (267.7 per game), 30th in 4th-down conversion percentage (.594), 41st in total offense (444.0 yards per game), 50th in fewest turnovers lost (16), 55th in scoring offense (33.5 ppg), 59th in the most first downs (224), 68th in offensive passing efficiency (137.51) and 72nd in completion percentage (.596).
In 2013, Western New England led the New England Football Conference (NEFC) in total yards per game with a 476.5 average and had 252 first downs to rank 16th and 24th, respectively, in the nation, setting school records in the process. The 4,765 yards of total offense easily broke the previous mark of 4,105, set in 2011. The old single-season record for first downs was 220 in 2007.
When it came to keeping drives alive, WNE was one of the best with a No. 24 national ranking at 61.3 percent on 4th-down conversions. The Golden Bears were second in the NEFC in this category and also led the conference with 19 successful attempts.
In Lebeau's first season calling the plays on offense, the 2012 Golden Bears ranked third in the NEFC Boyd Division in scoring with 32.7 points per game.
Lebeau helped WNE finish with a 10-2 record in 2011, its best season in 31 years as a NCAA Division III program. The Golden Bears placed first in the NEFC Boyd standings with a perfect 7-0 mark and had a school-record nine-game winning streak during the season. Western New England captured its first-ever NEFC title and also made its debut in the NCAA Division III Football Championship.
The 2011 Golden Bears were ranked second in the final New England Division III coaches’ poll and would be 32nd nationally in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III poll, if the Top-25 rankings were extrapolated.
The WNE offensive line paved the way to the tune of an average 200.1 yards rushing a game that ranked first in the NEFC Boyd Division, fourth in the 16-team NEFC and 47th among 239 NCAA Division III teams.
The Golden Bears also were second in the Boyd Division and seventh in the conference in total offense (342.1 ypg) and eighth in the conference in time of possession (30 minutes, 06 seconds).
In 2010, WNE finished 9-2 and capped its best season to-date by posting a decisive 66-41 victory over Maine Maritime in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) North Central Bowl Championship game.
Western New England had one of the top offensive lines in Division III in 2010 by finishing 15th in the nation and second in the conference in rushing averaging at 247 yards per game. Lebeau worked closely in the development of WNE’s three all-division selections.
During his Western New England playing career, Lebeau was a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Golden Bears and the team's offensive MVP as a senior. He was also selected to the 2009 All-NEFC Boyd Division First Team and was a three-time NEFC Academic Team selection.
A native of nearby Belchertown, Lebeau earned his bachelor's degree in sport management from Western New England in May 2010. He went on to receive his master's degree in business administration, also from Western New England, in 2016. Lebeau lives in Springfield with his wife, Samantha.
|2018||8-3||5-1||.727||CCC Champions, 16 All-CCC Selections|