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Wake Forest HC Dave Clawson (’88) Will Self-Isolate From Wife

Is Dave Clawson (’88) the most successful Eph football coach currently coaching?  He’s currently the coach of Wake Forest, which most recently finished 8-5, losing in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Wake Forest head football coach Dave Clawson said Thursday he’s going to self-isolate from his wife, cancer survivor Catherine Clawson, for the entire 2020 season beginning with training camp July 12.

Clawson explained his wife is at a higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19 because of her reduced white blood cell count, and it could prove difficult for him to avoid the coronavirus while working alongside the nearly 200 people involved in the Demon Deacons program, per ESPN’s David M. Hale.

“When I’m working on a daily basis, coaching 110 to 120 players and having a staff of 50, I don’t know how I could go home at night and honestly tell my wife I couldn’t have come in contact with [the coronavirus],” he said. “I love coaching, but I love my wife more. There’s no way I’m going to do anything that would put her at risk.”

That’s rough, to say the least.  As it looks more and more like (1) SARS-COV-2 is not going away anytime soon — and that things are likely to get worse before they get better, and (2) many places are nevertheless re-opening, I wonder if we’ll hear more and more stories about folks like Dave Clawson who are forced to separate from their families and friends for a period.

Penn State head coach James Franklin confirmed Tuesday he’s also planning to spend the upcoming campaign away from his family.

You can read the full article here.


Former Williams Football Coach is a head coach again

  Former Williams head football coach Aaron Kelton was in the news recently, taking over as Howard University’s interim football coach after Howard head football coach Ron Prince was placed on administrative leave:

In his first season running the Bison’s football program, Prince had reportedly been accused of abusive behavior by at least one parent of a Howard player. Howard is “committed to completing our internal investigation of the allegations involving concerns about the football program,” Athletic Director Kery Davis said Wednesday in a statement. Davis added that Director of Football Operations Aaron Kelton will serve as the football team’s interim coach “until further notice.” “Howard University is committed to ensuring our athletic programs reflect Howard’s core mission and values,” Davis said, “and to ensuring the well-being and success of all student athletes.”

I think its rare for a coach to come back from administrative leave like this (but I don’t know for sure, so informed correction welcome), so I would guess that Howard will be looking for a new coach for next season.  If so, I wonder if Kelton will get a reasonably opportunity to get the head job.  Based on this very interesting article from 2018, Kelton is definitely interested in being a head coach again:

There is no telling how long Kelton will remain on the Morgan State staff. One thing is for sure, he wants to have his own program again at some point.

“My time will come, and I’ll get back into it. Right now is not the time for me,” he said. “I’m enjoying football, continuing to be a football coach and a football fan.”

Based on the 2018 article, it appears that Kelton did not burn any bridges when he left Williamstown, despite the fact that (as far as I know), his departure was not entirely voluntary:

Things did not end well for Aaron Kelton in Williamstown, but the veteran coach did tell me that he is keeping an eye on how Mark Raymond’s Ephs are doing.

“I have a ton of players who we are regularly in touch through social media. I do follow the teams,” he said. “I wrote a note to the [Williams Sideline] Quarterbacks Club. I just wanted to let them know thank you for the time they have given me.”

I wonder whether Kelton has hired former Eph players as assistant coaches since his departure from Williams, or former players from his other coaching stops.  In any event, best of luck to Coach Kelton as he finishes up Howard’s season and progresses on in his career.


Quick Football Update

The football team’s strong season continues. Many of the trends Whitney noted in his post at the beginning of the month have continued. The defense is strong, giving up less than 10 points a game. The offense has continued to be a power house – over 30 points a game. amHerst also is having a good season with a 4-2 record. Both teams have lost to Middlebury, who is 6-0 and seems to be headed to a conference championship. While a conference championship seems like a long shot for the Ephs, the little three title is right in front of them and more importantly, they can be happy for ever by beating amHerst on 11/9. Good luck to the team and all the athletes representing Williams this Fall!


Football Roundup

Though I rarely saw much Williams football when I was at the College (usually only the Amherst and sometimes the Wesleyan games, because rugby games typically conflicted with football), and have only watched a few Williams-Amherst footballs games on TV, I still enjoy following the team.

Unlike a number of other Williams teams, in recent years football has not been a perennial powerhouse, either nationally or even in NESCAC (the New England Small College Athletic Conference).  Some years the team has been very good (8-0), and others have been kind of the opposite.  Most years are somewhere in between, with an overall record of 52-46 from 2007-2018.  Annual records going back to 2007 are shown after the break.

This year’s team appears to be off to a good start, and seems to be a bit of an offensive powerhouse.  The team is off to a 2-1 start, and has piled up 98 points in its first 3 games – a 13-17 loss to Middlebury, a 44-8 win over Tufts, and a 41-10 victory against Bowdoin.  The offense is averaging over 430 yards of offense per game.  The offense appears to be built around the ground game, putting up a NESCAC-best 237 yards rushing per game, which is almost 40 yards more than the second best team in the conference.  The rushing attack seems to rely on 4 players:  junior quarterback Bobby Maimaron (89 yards per game), sophomore running back Dan Vaughn (75 ypg), freshman running back Joel Nicholas (50 ypg), and freshman running back Elijah Parks (35 ypg).  With such a productive and young running attack, the next few years should also be good, assuming the offensive line remains healthy and good.

The passing game has been less important, ranked towards in the bottom third of the conference at just under 200 yards per game, but still has the second most passing touchdowns (7) in the conference.

Defensively, the team has been very solid, giving up the second fewest points and the third fewest yards in the conference.

We will check in on the team from time to time this season to see how things are going as the march towards the hoped-for crushing of the Defectors continues.

Read more


Here’s To You Williams


Williams Ties Amherst 31-24

As the official NESCAC page makes clear, Williams and Amherst tied in football today.


As I noted at the end of the game:

Have two teams ever been so simultaneously disappointed by an outcome? Williams had the game well in hand, but then an Amherst comeback, including a pick-six and Patriot-esque two point conversion, robbed them of the victory. No wins for seven years now.

But Amherst is also hugely disappointed! They should have won and, if they had, they would be NESCAC champions now. The tie means that Trinity won the league.

Does the football team do “The Walk” after a tie?

In a sign of the growing nationwide trend toward participation trophies, the Williams football team did, indeed, walk The Walk.

The Walk, up Spring Street. Go Ephs! #ephnation

A post shared by Eph Alum (@ephalum) on

There seems to be lots of fake news around the internet about this game. Consider:

Williams College first year quarterback Bobby Maimaron’s fourth rushing TD of the game capped the Ephs’ first possession in OT lifted Williams (6-3) over Amherst (7-2) 31-24 in over time in the Ephs’ Homecoing game on Farley-Lamb Field when Amherst failed to match the TD on thier first OT possession.

They don’t call it “The Biggest Little Game in America” for nothing. Saturday’s matchup, played on a chilly Veteran’s Day with seemingly every Williams student in the crowd, proved to be one for the ages. Coming into the game, Amherst was at the top of the NESCAC standings, needing only one more win to become league champions. Williams, meanwhile, was having had a resurgent season, but also reeling from a 35-0 loss to Wesleyan.

Eph experts know that this must be a spoof, both because we have the evidence of the official NESCAC page and because NESCAC football does not use overtime . . .


Williams College Football History


When I first arrived at Williams in September 1986, Williams had an experienced and well-respected head football coach, named Bob Odell.  I did not see any of the games that season (or really any others during my time in Williamstown) because I was always playing rubgy on Saturdays, but I always tried to make it to the Williams-Amherst game.  In November 1986, I saw Williams lose 10-7 to Amherst.  Little did I know that that game would be the last Williams loss to Amherst for 14 years, and would also be Coach Odell’s last game.  Bob Farley took over in 1987, and had an amazing run as the head coach.

I really hadn’t given Coach Odell much thought in decades until a few weeks ago, when I ran into someone who, spotting me in a Williams sweatshirt, told me he had been recruited by Coach Odell, though he ended up going elsewhere.  We chatted for a while, and he said that Bob Odell was the runner-up for the Heisman trophy when he played in college.  That really surprised me, so I poked around for a while and found that indeed Bob Odell, then a running back at Penn, had finished second in the Heisman Trophy in 1943.  Turns out he also won the Maxwell Award in 1943 as college football player of the year.

I assume that Coach Odell’s extremely accomplished playing career was known to many when I was at Williams, but it was news to me.  Are there other long-standing Williams employees with prestigious professional awards which are little known on campus?


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