Sad to see that Dick Farley is retiring as Williams football coach. As has been noted several times in this space, Farley is a straight-shooter who tells it like it is. (Perhaps knowing that retirement is just around the corner helps one in this regard.) Best part of the article:

“I’ve said over the years about looking out for other people, but in some ways I haven’t been a very good example in that regard,” said Farley. “For 32 years, I’ve put nothing but football and track first and foremost and everything else second with this guy, this lady and this lady,” pointing to his son Scott, wife Suzanne and daughter Colleen.

“My family was put in a bind to see my last football game or my daughter’s last soccer game,” he continued with obvious emotion in his voice. “[Colleen] doesn’t need any help when she’s a New England champion, she doesn’t need me to be there then. I don’t think she needed me to be there the other day either, but I have a little guilt complex in that regard. I told her that morning that I know she’d rather be at my football game, and I’d rather be at her soccer game.”

I suspect that there are lessons here for all of us. Partly, of course, it is a loss to Williams for Farley to retire. But the example that he sets by knowing when to bow out, by going out a winner and by realizing what is truly important in life may have as profound effect on those around him (and those of us at a distance) as his continued coaching would have had.

The article notes that “A nationwide search to find Farley’s successor will begin immediately.” Nationwide search? I have this vision of dozens of Williams staff and faculty, fanning out across the country, looking in every nook and cranny for the ideal Eph football coach.

My own preferences in a football coach are for someone 1) Smart enough to intellectually engage both his players and the larger campus community on topics of the day, 2) Likely to want to make a career out of Williams and a home out of Williamstown, 3) Aware that his players should be students first, Ephs second and football players third and 4) A good football coach.

I think that 4) is far and away the least important criteria. In many ways, an alum of the College would make for a natural fit — think of men’s basketball coach Dave Paulsen. And surely a couple of the current assistants in football (Dave Barnard?) will make for strong candidates.

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