New Athletic Director Chris Palmer Returns to His Roots

For Chris Palmer, the University of New Haven is where it all began – as a head coach, at least.

April, 4, 2018

By Dave Cranshaw, Office of Marketing & Communications

After nearly 15 years serving as an assistant coach in the college ranks, with the Canadian Football League, and with the United States Football league – including working for Donald Trump’s New Jersey Generals – Palmer was given the opportunity in 1985 to take the reins of his own program.

Over his two seasons leading the Chargers, he compiled a 16-4 record. That success earned the attention of Boston University, a Division I program, where he spent two years at the helm of that program, before landing the first of what became 11 different positions – with 10 different teams – in the National Football League.

Now, more than 30 years since first stepping on the University of New Haven campus, he has returned, this time as the University’s new director of athletics and recreation.

"These people took a chance on me to run their program. We had two very successful years here. But I am more pleased with the number of players who are doing very, very well for themselves." Chris Palmer, Director of Athletics and Recreation in the Hartford Courant

During his 23 years in the National Football League, Palmer, a former college quarterback, has coached Eli Manning, Doug Flutie, Drew Bledsoe, Mark Brunell, and Tony Romo and worked under coaches Tom Coughlin, Bill Parcells, Jim Harbaugh, and Rex Ryan, among others. He was the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants in 2007 when the team defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

He praised the University’s growth that has taken place under President Kaplan.

"To see where the University was in 1986 to where it is now, wow," he told the Connecticut Post. "I thought it would be a great time in my life, the right time, to give back to the University."