Tony Kunczewski (pronounced kun-CHESS-kee) was named the first head football coach in Berry College history on April 16, 2012.
Kunczewski spearheaded the creation of Berry's football program which claimed its first Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Championship in 2016, just the fourth year of the program's existence. The Vikings went on to win another SAA title in 2017.
In five seasons at the helm of the Vikings, Kunczewski has compiled a 29-22 overall record and an impressive 15-1 record at Valhalla Stadium, Berry's home venue. He has coached 73 All-Conference selections, two SAA major award winners, 129 SAA Academic Honor Roll honorees, a Geico Play of the Year winner and was named the league's Coach of the Year in 2016 & 2017.
Coach K's 2017 squad finished the year 11-1 after shattering more than 100 program records. The team finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record for the first time in program history. His 2016 defense was ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division III for rushing yards allowed per game at 66.6. The team's defensive success was due in large part to Kunczewski's coaching of Berry's first All-American, Mamadou Soumahoro, who was named the SAA's Defensive Player of the Year after leading the nation with 15 solo sacks. Soumahoro would earn All-America honors again in 2017, was selected as the SAA's Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and was named the D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year.
Prior to Berry, Kunczewski was the defensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coach at LaGrange for seven seasons, helping develop all aspects of the start-up program from its inception. He helped build its football program from scratch and reach the NCAA Division III playoffs in just its third season. The program began intercollegiate competition in 2006 and in 2008 finished with a 9-2 overall record, recorded the largest single-season improvement in NCAA Division III football history and reached the national playoffs in the third fastest amount of time from start-up in Division III history.
That season, Kunczewski's defense ranked 18th nationally in total defense, fifth in pass defense, 15th in sacks and sixth in tackles for loss, leading the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in total defense, pass defense and sacks. In 2011, LaGrange was ranked 44th nationally in total defense.
In six seasons with the Panthers, Kunczewski coached nine All-Conference defensive selections, including the league's Defensive Player of the Year, and had four players selected to play in the Tazon de Estrellas All-Star game in Mexico. Away from the field, Kunczewski supervised the efforts of LaGrange's players in the Communities in Schools program, sending student-athletes into local elementary schools to help students with reading skills.
Prior to joining LaGrange, Kunczewski served as an assistant coach at both Bowdoin College in Maine and Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, both of which are members of NCAA Division III. He was at Bowdoin during the 2004-05 academic year as the defensive backs coach. He served at Allegheny from 2001-2004, coaching outside linebackers his first season and inside linebackers the next two years. He was also the co-special teams coordinator and the strength and conditioning coach at Allegheny, while heading up recruiting in the talent-rich areas of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan.
Kunczewski began his collegiate coaching career as the outside linebacker coach at Allegheny during the 2001-02 academic year. That season, Allegheny's defense ranked 10th nationally against the run. In 2003, Kunczewski helped coach an Allegheny squad that became just the second team in NCAA Division III history to rally its way to the national playoffs after starting the season 0-3.
As a student-athlete, Kunczewski was a two-time first-team All-Conference player at Grove City College, in Grove City, Penn. A four-year letterwinner at Grove City, Kunczewski earned All-Presidents Athletic Conference honors as a strong safety as a junior in 1998 and as an outside linebacker the following year, when he led the team with 101 tackles. He earned honorable mention All-PAC honors as a cornerback in 1997.
Kunczewski was voted by his Grove City teammates as a team captain in his senior year and was the team's Defensive MVP. Grove City won a pair of PAC championships during Kunczewski's playing career, making the postseason in 1997. Along with his athletic honors, Kunczewski was also recognized for his academic abilities, earning a spot on the PAC Academic Honor Roll.
The Harrison City, Penn., native earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Grove City in 2000, and a master's degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania in 2004.
Kunczewski and his wife Nicole live in Rome with their daughter Jocelyn and two sons, Sammy and Nathan.