- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Amherst is expected to introduce former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Charley Molnar as their next head coach in a 4 p.m. press conference on Thursday at Gillette Stadium.
The hire coincides with UMass' move to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) starting next season. UMass will play all of its home games at Gillette Stadium.
Former UMass and current Patriots safety James Ihedigbo took a break from preparations for Sunday's game against the Redskins to comment on the hire and UMass' football changes.
"[I'm] extremely excited. It's awesome that they're making this jump," Ihedigbo said. "It's kind of a testament to the guys who have played and coached at UMass beforehand and the hard work that they've put in to put the university in this position. I think it's excellent for the program, excellent for the community, and excellent for UMass."
Ihedigbo, a native of Northampton, Mass., was asked if he would have enjoyed playing in Foxborough for his college career at UMass (2002-2006).
"Definitely. Why not? It's a great stadium," Ihedigbo said. "It's a different dynamic, because there are a lot of fans in Amherst and in Western Mass., but there's a whole lot more in Eastern Mass. and in the Boston area as well. So for all of them to be able to attend a game and support UMass, it's great."