The College now knows who will serve at the helm of Eph football following the departure of Head Coach Aaron Kelton. After reviewing over 100 candidates to replace Kelton, who is leaving the College to pursue other ventures after a disappointing 2-6 season, Director of Athletics Lisa Melendy announced last Wednesday that Mark Raymond, currently the head football coach at St. Lawrence University, will take over the program. Raymond arrives at the College after having coached Div. III football for nearly 25 years and serving briefly as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service.
“I am very pleased that Mark Raymond has accepted the position as the next Head Football Coach at Williams College,” Melendy said. “He brings with him a strong background in coaching Division III football; this experience will serve our students well. The search committee was impressed by his inspiring vision for the program and his clarity around how he would achieve that vision. We are all looking forward to his arrival on campus to begin the work of preparing for the upcoming season.”
During his tenure at St. Lawrence, Raymond re-calibrated the football program and turned it into an up-and-coming powerhouse in the Liberty League. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Saints won at least seven games in three consecutive seasons and, this past season, the men ranked in the top 10 nationally for their division in interceptions and turnovers, among other important defensive and offensive metrics.
Raymond has earned recognition as Liberty Conference Coach of the Year twice, including this past season, and 97 of his players have been named to the Liberty League All-Academic Squad during his tenure as head coach. Before Raymond led the team, the Saints had secured just one winning season over the course of 20 years and had not found their way to an NCAA tournament in 28 years.
The team eagerly looks forward to seeing how Raymond will reshape the program. “Coach Raymond is an extremely competitive and passionate individual. He is a great coach and an even better person. Coming into Williams, he will find that he has a lot of talent at his disposal,” tri-captains-elect Mike Davis ’17, Eric Davis ’17 and Chris Hattar ’18 said in a joint statement to the Record. “The team is excited for the future of this program under his leadership. We have been working hard since the season ended and cannot wait for Coach to get to campus. Everyone involved with the program is excited to get this team back to its historical standard of dominance and excellence.”
Raymond, in a statement presented by the Athletics Department, expressed a similar enthusiasm. “I am extremely excited to be named the head football coach at Williams College,” Raymond said. “I would like to thank Athletic Director Lisa Melendy and the entire search committee for this wonderful opportunity. I am honored to join an institution so renowned for its academic and athletic excellence. I cannot wait to meet the team and start preparing for the 2016 season.”
Raymond, along with his wife Sarah and his two daughters, plans on arriving in Williamstown soon to begin preparing for the Ephs’ fall campaign and transitioniong into a new life at the College.