Fanning Tabbed as 2018 Recipient of George C. Carens Award

Leo Fanning
Leo Fanning

WALTHAM, Mass. – Leo Fanning, who concluded nearly a half-century as a college football assistant coach with four years at Bentley University (2014-18), has been named the 2018 recipient of the George C. Carens Award for Contributions to New England Football by the New England Football Writers.

Fanning and the organization's other honorees will be honored on Thursday, Dec. 6 when the NEFW holds its annual awards banquet at the Rosaria Restaurant and Function Facility in Saugus.

Named in memory of the longtime Boston Herald Traveler sports writer, the award has been given annually since 1962 to a person who throughout his or her life has made significant contributions to the sport of football in New England. Fanning is the second straight person with Bentley ties to win the award, following longtime Bentley athletic director Bob DeFelice, the 2017 recipient.

Fanning arrived at Bentley in 2014 as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach with a lengthy resume. He spent four-and-a-half years on Bill Kavanaugh's staff before returning this past spring. He remained involved with the program this past season, providing color on Bentley's webcasts of home games.

Fanning came to Bentley after nine years at Norwich University. Prior to that, he spent nine years working with the late Dan Allen at the College of the Holy Cross and 16 years on the staff of Joe Restic at Harvard University.

The Marlboro resident and Bridgewater State College graduate began his coaching career at Bridgewater State in 1971 and also served on the football staffs at Tufts University, Boston University and American International.

In January 2016, Fanning was honored by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston with the John Baronian Award for Lifetime Contributions to Football. His list of accolades also includes the Bridgewater State Sports Achievement Award, the Gridiron Club's Assistant Coach of the Year Award and induction into the Bridgewater State Hall of Fame.

Fanning is the fourth with Bentley ties to receive the prestigious honor, joining DeFelice, Peter Yetten (2009) and the late Hal Kopp (1989).

Anyone interested in attending should contact Dick Lipe (, 781-891-2334) and make reservations, with a credit card, at

List of Carens Award Winners