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
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.