After the Williams College football team’s October 17th 38-14 victory over the squad from Middlebury, head coach Dick Farley established himself as the all-time Williams leader in coaching wins.
In his twelve seasons of leading the Ephs, Farley’s teams have been nothing short of spectacular. His all-time record as head coach is 77-12-3, before last Saturday’s Tufts game, including an incredible 20-1-1 record in Little Three match ups. His performance has been legendary, and his ability and work ethic are praised by players, colleagues and opponents alike.
After graduating from Boston University in 1968 as an All-American cornerback, Farley played two years with the San Diego Chargers of the AFL between 1968 and 1969 until an injury cut his promising career short. He returned to Massachusetts soon after and coached track at Danvers High before coming to Williams.
At Williams Farley is an assistant professor of physical education and coaches men’s and women’s outdoor track and field in the spring.
Though many consider Coach Farley to be one of the best coaches in New England football history, he would never let anybody believe it. He leads with unparalleled humility and is quick to attribute all of his success to the coaches and players around him. He views every game, regardless of the opponent or their record, as a potential loss. Never does he want his accomplishments to overshadow those of the team. After victory number 77, he told the reporters on the field, “All right, let’s get this over with….I don’t know what you guys are going to write about any more.”
Farley remarks that he has always tried to be his own coach, but recognizes that he learned a great deal about coaching the game of football from former Williams head coach Bob Odell and from Coach Sid Gilman in San Diego.
“I always knew I wanted to be a football coach,” says Farley. “I’ve been surrounded by great people and had fun with it. With any vocation you’ll have good and bad days, but coaching helps me stay young by always being around young people,” adds Farley.
When asked what coaching at Williams has meant to him over the years, Farley first looks to his players, saying, “I hope that I’ve had a little something to do with where [the players] are as people. That is the most rewarding aspect of coaching here.”
Ephs players appreciate many of Farley’s efforts as a coach and a teacher towards enriching their lives. Tri-Captain Matt Sigrist ’99 notices that Coach Farley isn’t one to compromise his values, on or off of the field. “He is a principled guy on his own terms,” said Sigrist. “He teaches us to stick to our morals in every facet of life. His consistency and class rub off on us.”
Running back Fred Storz ’01 admires how Farley keeps the competition in perspective. “He knows that football is just a game and keeps it fun. That is what football is all about.”
Defensive back Doug DiCenzo’02 acknowledges that, in big games, the team might begin to get cocky or overconfident but this behavior is quickly quelled by Coach Farley. “I personally have a loud mouth and sometimes want to talk a little during and after games against teams who have said bad things about us,” said DiCenzo. “But I don’t, and I think it is because I don’t want to disappoint [Farley]. He teaches us humility in winning.”
Senior linebacker Jim Thomas said, “Farley is so good because he works harder than any coach in the NESCAC. He puts himself in the shoes of other coaches and tries to figure out what they would do to beat us. This way he helps us recognize our weaknesses and helps us know what parts of the game we need to work on.” Thomas is also appreciative of Coach Farley as a mentor. “I think the greatest thing about what he teaches us is that his lessons are not only applicable to the football field, they are also lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Coaches who have battled Farley on the field also show tremendous respect for him and his teams.
Frank Hauser, head coach at Wesleyan University, said “Every young football coach should have to observe Dick Farley prior to taking over a head coaching position. Dick’s knowledge of the game and communication skills are outstanding, but more importantly, his demeanor and respect for the game and the young men who play it are to be emulated.”