Lafayette Seems Poised To Name New Football Coach

In a search which seems to have the intensity and interest, second only to the search for a new Lafayette president several years ago, things seems to be lining up for imminent announcement. In my association with the school, this has been the most organized and thorough search for a coach I can remember. The school has hired two consultants, one for the football search, and one to look at making the athletic program more competitive. There is no doubt, this has been key factor in this process. The announcement could come as early as tonight at 6 pm.

As you all know, this is a site that follows the field hockey team, which is the most successful program at Lafayette, and I believe could emerge as a strong contender next year in the Patriot League.I am assuming  recruiting fills some holes, and my confidence in the continued development of younger players this spring.

However, football, having been played for over 150 years at Lafayette, with the rivalry with Lehigh at its center, is a marquis sport. This search could be a clue to a new effort to improve the performance of the athletic program in general. At this writing  the rumor mill is in full swing, but it appears three finalists have made it thus far. There were two assistants from the Ivy League and one from a southern CAA school with both NFL and college experience in competition, according to strong rumors. It signals a seriousness of purpose, which will eventually leak into the other sports. Lafayette’s physical facilities are impressive and the using such tools as athletic scholarships should help Lafayette be competitive

Returning rising seniors Ellen Colbourne and Cody Hunsicker move to cut off Albany attacker.

I am a strong believer in competitive sports and the inclusion of Division one sports at a school like Lafayette. It helps to attract exciting student athletes, who bring all their talents, and enhances the quality of the student experience, to say nothing of eventually adding to the quality of our alumni population.

A strong hire will signal to everyone that a successful athletic program is part of the vision for a good student experience. Being a division one student athlete is not for everyone, but for those that can handle a rigorous academic experience with an athletic program that has wining as its goal, can only enhance our attractiveness. This is a  message that will not be missed by our baseball, soccer and for sure, my favorite, our field hockey team!

The team is now in semester hiatus but hopefully they are continuing their physical training preparing for a return to campus and a brief indoor season and a spring competition schedule that will demonstrate how far we have come!


Addendum: Published reports have John Garrett former OC at Richmond as the new head Coach. Coach Garrett is the brother of the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He has coached in the NFL spending five years with the Cowboys and additional years with other NFL teams. He is a graduate of Princeton. Welcome to Easton and Leopard land.

Lafayette Signs Four In Early Signing Period And Other News

The early signing period was several week ago and Coach Stone expects to announce the entire class after the spring signing day. Using social media and a little internet sleuthing here is our FAB FOUR early signees with some info I was able to glean about them.

Sophie Carr shows her form

First up is Sophie Carr. Although her biography says she come from Dublin, Ireland she is actually a native of Pennsylvania. She caught Coach Stone’s eye at one of Lafayette’s camps and she was offered a chance to be a Leopard. Coach Stone sees her getting action as a defender and bring her skills that were honed on the pitch in Ireland. Welcome Sophie!!

Grace Angella will see action at the midfield slot next fall

Second is Grace Angella from Harding,Pa. Her story is quite amazing coming from the Wyoming Area High School as an all-conference and all state selectee. But that is only part of the story. One of her assistant coaches is Brittany Blass a former all league and all american defender at Lafayette. According to the local paper, The Citizen’s Voice, Grace was tabbed as an up and coming field hockey player right from her middle school years and had been watched by several high profile division one teams. However Grace was found in her sophomore season to be suffering from a congenital condition called hip dysplasia which caused her great pain and subsequent injury. Many of the teams that showed early interest dropped away but Coach Stone kept close to the family. Grace decided to endure a five hour surgery at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York. After 8 months of rehab she returned to the field and resumed her outstanding career. Her coach calls her “amazing.” When she returned to her team, her speed was intact and it was like she never had an injury. This was testament to her character and which happily, will be displayed on Rappolt Field next year as a probable midfielder. Her story can be found in the October 9 edition of the Citizen’s Voice.

The third signee is Greta Kullby from Lake Forest Illinois. Greta played on the state championship team and was an all state selectee. I am sure Greta’s highlight was the state championship game where she scored the tying goal and go ahead goal within two minutes of each other during the last four minutes of the game. We have video… she is number 17!! Greta could see action as a midfielder. We are hoping there are more exciting moments for her and the Leopards in the future!

Eva Kaplan speeds past a defender

The fourth signee is Eva Kaplan from Montclair, N.J. who earned a 17-5 record during her senior year, and final record in group four of fifth and an all New Jersey ranking of 19. Eva is a prolific scorer finding the back of the net 17 times during her junior and senior seasons. In that final season she  had two hat tricks. In her entire career she scored 50 goals and 44 assists. The Leopard faithful will looking for more of the same as a Leopard midfielder.

Coach Stone feels she could be signing two more players this spring and at that time we will see the whole class. Despite her understandable reluctance to reveal clues, I  reminded her that “Orange” is quickly becoming my favorite color.  Isn’t that true Rosa and Lisa??

In the meantime in other news, Lafayette has engaged a consultant who will study the Lafayette Athletic program to see where and how we can improve our performance especially within the League. I can report they are already hard at work with an end date of April for a final report. The group is well known and have done studies for such programs as Maryland and Louisville. If I hear anything I will report it here.

Finally, in other Patriot League news, Colgate has named April Cornell to replace Cathy Foto as Head Coach whose contract was not renewed at the end of the season. Cornell comes from Hofstra where she was Associate Head Coach for the last seven years. She has 13 years of experience 11 years at Hofstra . She started in coaching at the University of New Hampshire. Coach Cornell played field hockey at the University of Connecticut and served as a volunteer coach for one year. She is a native of upstate New York growing up only one hour away from Colgate. Welcome to the Patriot League.

If I don’t get a chance, I wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!!

Bill Rappolt