Jay Civetti was promoted to head coach of the Tufts University football program in January 2011. Now in his fourth year leading the team, Civetti has the Jumbos excited about and working hard to get better every day in 2014.
A native of nearby Wellesley, Massachusetts, Civetti came to Tufts in 2008 and served as offensive coordinator. After three seasons, he was named the 35th head coach in the long history of Jumbo Football.
“In his three years as an assistant on the staff, Jay distinguished himself,” Director of Athletics Bill Gehling said. “He had all the makings of an outstanding head coach with passion for the game and for coaching at this level, great organizational and communication skills, a strong coaching network and outstanding leadership qualities.”
Civetti had joined the Jumbos after working at North Carolina State University and Boston College under Tom O'Brien for five seasons from 2003-07. At Tufts, he directed a record-setting passing attack in 2010, and has coached the quarterbacks, tight ends and offensive linemen during his tenure. In addition to his head coaching duties this fall, Civetti will also oversee the tight ends.
As the team rebuilds, the message and tactics used by Coach Civetti and his staff have been embraced by the players.
“We need to keep on playing the way we’re coached,” defensive tackle Curtis Yancy said during his senior season in 2012. “Just follow Coach Civetti and his staff in what they’re doing with the team. What they’re doing is amazing. The way we work, how hard we work. I know that as long as we follow them, we’re going to get those wins.”
Under Civetti's direction, the Tufts program aims to succeed on the field, in class and in the community. Eleven members of the program earned Academic All-NESCAC honors last season. Among several community service activities sponsored by the team was a coat drive supporting the Somerville Homelessness Association at the final home game last year.
“Tufts attracts the best and the brightest to its campus community, and we expect our football program to do the same,” Coach Civetti said.
Civetti was one of the NESCAC's best offensive linemen at Trinity College from 1997-2000. He started all 32 games of his Bantam career and captained the team as a senior. During his career he was named ECAC Rookie of the Year, All-ECAC and All-NESCAC. He played for two seasons under legendary coach Don Miller, whose 174 victories at Trinity are 15th most among NCAA Division III coaches all-time. Civetti graduated from Trinity in 2001 with a degree in English.
Civetti joined the Boston College football staff as a graduate assistant coach in 2003. He was a recruiting assistant for the first two years and then worked directly with offensive coordinator Dana Bible as an offensive assistant coaching the wide receivers for the next two seasons. He also worked as a special teams’ assistant. Civetti earned a master’s degree in education at BC in 2006.
When O’Brien moved to North Carolina State, Civetti went with him and coached the wide receivers. In November 2009, while working at Tufts, Civetti was asked to return to North Carolina State for one game due to an illness on the team’s staff. He helped the Wolfpack defeat rival North Carolina.
“Jay Civetti will do a fabulous job at Tufts University,” O'Brien said when Civetti was hired. “He is a rising young coach who will do an outstanding job not only on the football field, but will also help meet the high standards presented in order to continue the success of all the student-athletes during their educational careers at Tufts University.”
Civetti attended the Belmont Hill School nearby. Jay, his wife Kate, and their daughter Charlotte live in Newton.