Jeff highlights this article about new football coach Aaron Kelton.

The new head football coach at Williams College is not familiar to fans of the program.

But Aaron Kelton is familiar with the type of student-athlete he will find at the nation’s top liberal arts college.

Kelton spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Columbia University. On Monday, the Massachusetts native was named the successor to Mike Whalen, who left Williams in March to take over the football program at his alma mater, Wesleyan.

Kelton has no previous connection to Williams or the New England Small College Athletic Conference, but his time in the Ivy League has prepared him for the challenges of coaching in a similarly rigorous academic setting.

“He understood the Williams environment,” said rising senior quarterback Pat Moffitt, who met Kelton when the candidate dined with the team during the selection process. “Coming from Columbia, he has a good sense of that.”

Kelton said on Monday that he enjoyed the opportunity to meet the players as an applicant and he was looking forward to another team meeting as early as today.

He said that all of his coaching experiences — not just in the Ivies — have prepared him to lead the Ephs.

“I’ve been at a few different schools and every place is different,” Kelton said in a telephone interview as he wrapped up his obligations in Manhattan. “You have to manage it the best way you can. … It’s all relative to where you are and what you’re going to do and how you treat your team.

“I think we’ll be fine.”

One area where the Ivy pedigree will help: recruiting.

“I think it is a plus,” Kelton said. “It will definitely help me with recruiting in being able to get involved with it right away. For someone who has never been involved with the [Ivy League’s] Academic Index, it can be a bit difficult initially.”

The AI is the Ivy League’s mechanism for achieving uniform academic requirements for admissions at its eight institutions.

More on the Academic Index here. See this 2001 Record article for discussion of an NESCAC analog.

As part of the effort by the presidents of the 11 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools to reassess the role of athletics in their institutions, Morton Schapiro, president of the College, is collaborating with Tom Gerety, the president of Amherst College, and Douglas Bennet, the president of Wesleyan University, to create an index of normal admissibility for NESCAC schools.

The NESCAC presidents released a statement reaffirming the Conference’s founding ideals and announcing their intention to evaluate the role of athletics following their September meeting. The presidents of the other eight institutions are studying different facets of the issue, such as scheduling and coaching.

Rather than being used directly by schools as an admissions tool, the proposed index is intended to evaluate the success of individual NESCAC schools in admitting student athletes who are representative of the student body as a whole.

Catharine Hill ’76, professor of economics and provost of the College, said, “The idea behind this kind of measure would be to demonstrate to the community and other institutions that we are in fact making decisions in such a way that our athletes are representative of the rest of the student body.”

“We’re trying to figure out a normal range of admissibility not based on SAT scores and GPA alone,” Schapiro continued. “Everybody needs something extra to get into Williams College, and we’re trying to figure out what the weight is of that something extra.”

Whatever happened with this effort? I think that NESCAC never went so far as to develop a mathematical formula but that the schools did agree, informally, to raise standards. Williams, at least, now enforces much higher standards for football recruits than it used to. Comments?

My simple solution to this problem is here.

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