It's clearly working. In each of Rondeau's previous five seasons, the team has improved. Last year, he led the Setters to a 7-3 record – their best season in the program's Division II history – that ended with three straight wins to finish third in the Northeast-10 Conference standings, which was their highest ever finish in the conference. Four players even earned Northeast-10 All-Conference honors, and 11 members of the Blue and Gold were selected to All-Conference teams.
This year, The Setters leapfrogged seven spots from the previous year in the Pre-Season Coach's Poll to number three, behind conference rivals Assumption and New Haven. Thus far this season, Pace won 42-21 over Saint Anselm, 52-7 on the road over Franklin Pierce, 31-14 at home over Southern Connecticut, and lost a heart breaker 21-20 against Millersville.
The Setters are currently tied for first in the conference.
Rondeau credits the early season success to players buying into his coaching philosophy and his team rules, which were developed during his tenures coaching in different capacities at a number of programs including the College of Holy Cross, Old Dominion University, the University of Maine, University of Buffalo, University of Tennessee-Martin, North Dakota State University, University of Pittsburgh and Northeastern University.
Ultimately, he says, success comes when he has the buy-in from the team and its 93 players.
"We're creating an environment of trust," he says. "As a player, you have to decide if you trust me or not."
The Rondeau Rules
Find a Way to Get it Done
Compete in your preparation
Do it better than it was ever done before
Do it with commitment, communication and trust
Protect the Team
No whining, no complaining, no excuses
Be on Time