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The Boston Globe

Sports

Mark Whipple regains reins at UMass football

Emotional return for the coach

AMHERST — Taking over a football program that’s coming off a pair of 1-11 seasons, Mark Whipple faces a long list of challenges. The University of Massachusetts’ new head coach conquered the first one Tuesday morning at a news conference that felt like a coronation.

“I’ll probably get choked up,” the 56-year-old said upon stepping to the podium, but only after waiting for the applause that had greeted his introduction to quiet down, and for the many in the packed Mullins Center events room who had given him a standing ovation to take their seats. “I already have a bunch of times, seeing familiar faces.”

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