There is a great article in about retiring football coach Dick Farley. (The more stuff that I read from, the more impressed that I become. I am not sure how they can generate enough revenue to support so many talented reporters.) The whole article is worth a read. One nice part mentioned:

Whatever activity Farley is involved in, those he is working with can be assured they will have his full attention and devotion to the task at hand. His guiding principles are honesty, hard work, preparation and focus; those who get a chance to play for or coach next to him absorb every “Farleyism,” as his mannerisms are commonly and affectionately referred to around campus.

It sure would be nice if some of Farley’s current and former players collected those “Farleyisms” somehow, perhaps on a website somewhere. That, along with written stories and old pictures would serve as a fitting tribute. The article also recalled a classic

anecdote in which he called the home of legendary Penn State University Coach Joe Paterno, whose son Scott was considering coming to Williams. When Coach Farley explained to Sue Paterno, Joe’s wife, that he could not come to Pennsylvania for a home visit with Scott because off-campus recruiting is prohibited in Division III, she told him he had the best job in the country. “I know,” Farley replied.

The article overflows with great quotes. One nice one is:

“It’s not about football with Coach Farley,” Reardon [’03] said. “It’s about life. He would stress the importance of learning from a loss and that made losses valuable. He made us appreciate how lucky we are — to be playing football, to be attending Williams and to have each other. He puts things in perspective.”

What more could be asked of any teacher?

Although the this blog might, to an unsophisticated reader, seem somewhat anti-athletics at Williams, I stand second to none in my appreciation of how much Farley brought to Williams. His contribution to the shaping the hearts and minds of the undergraduates he came in contact with was probably on par with all but a handful of professors over the last 25 years. The College is well-served to treat the selection and retention of its athletic faculty with the same seriousness that it brings to the process for academic faculty.

That said, the institution of “tips” — extreme admission favoritism for 50+ highly talented athletes per year — should be ended. In a world without tips, Farley’s records in both football and track would, presumably, have been worse. But he would have had the same sort of impact on the same raw number of Ephs. They just would have been smarter Ephs.

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