Ben Bedini was the first football coach at Iona College coaching the Gaels for five seasons to an overall record of 25-9-1. His fine record included a perfect 9-0 mark in 1967 and a 20-6 televised Bowl win over Kings College which crowned the Gaels the 1967 National Club Football Champions.
That season, Iona scored 270 points for an average of 30 points per game, while giving up only 27 points, or three points a contest. The defense recorded five shutouts that season which is still a record to this day for the Gael Gridders.
Bedini can be credited for creating a football atmosphere at Iona College and persevering with the help of parents and friends of the program. After the ’67 season he projected, “It appears feasible for the first time that we may be hopeful for a football future at Iona College.” Bedini’s players were known not only for their success on the field, but by exhibiting the true principles of sportsmanship within the spirit of intense competition. That character can be directly attributed to their coach.
Bedini’s coaching career spanned many years including high school, college and eventually professional football where he served as a scout for the Cleveland Browns. A graduate of Springfield College, (Mass.), Bedini went on to earn his Masters from the University of Bridgeport.
Although Coach Bedini’s contributions to the football program could never be truly measured, he is considered by many to be the “Father of Football” at Iona College.