Monday, January 30, 2012

Report: Malloe lands at Portland State

According to a story in today's Oregonian, former Yale defensive coordinator Ikaika Malloe has been hired as the special teams coach at Portland State.

Malloe will replace Stacy Collins, who was recently hired as the head coach at the South Dakota School of Mines.

Malloe spent the last three seasons as Yale's defensive coordinator but when Tom Williams resigned and Tony Reno was hired to replace him, all the assistant coaches except Rick Flanders were let go.

California RB commits to Yale

According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, Canyon High running back Max Archuleta has committed to Yale.

Archuleta is a 5-foot-7, 170 pounder who is also a top sprinter on the track team. According to the Canyon page on, as a senior Archuleta ran for 170 times for 1131 yards and eight touchdowns. He had two runs of at least 70 yards and had a 96-yard kickoff return

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another reported Yale commit

Ryan Dillard, a defensive back out of Buford (Ga.) High has switched his commitment from Air Force to Yale according to an Atlanta Journal Constitutiuon blog entry.

The 5-foot-10, 185 Dilliard was a member of three state championship teams at Buford

Friday, January 27, 2012

Marinan not coming to Yale

Spoke with Xavier football coach Sean Marinan earlier today and he informed me that Yale has rescinded its offer to his son Sean, a Register All-State defensive lineman.

Sean Marinan admitted that he was uncertain where his son will end up going to college.

There is a similar situation playing out with Choate receiver Avery Lewis, who like Marinan recently visited Yale but left without the offer that he had under the former coaching staff.

Patrick Witt responds to allegations raised in New York Times story

Former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt released a statement through a representative disputing most of the claims in a New York Times story which appeared on the paper's website yesterday and in the paper today.

The statement said that the statement that his Rhodes Scholarship candidacy was suspended at the time that he said he was withdrawing from consideration for the scholarship because the final interview was scheduled in Atlanta at the same time Yale was set to play its season finale against Harvard. The statement also said that the alleged sexual assault is a matter that the university deemed to be closed since no official complaint was filed.

Finally, the story questioned Witt's academic standing saying he is not currently enrolled at Yale nor has he graduated. However, Witt only needs to submit his senior essay to complete his requirements and graduate. Here is the entire statement:

Statement on behalf of Patrick Witt in response to New York Times article

On January 27, 2012, The New York Times published a story regarding Patrick Witt, senior quarterback for Yale University, referencing Patrick’s decision to forego his pursuit of the Rhodes Scholarship in order to compete against Harvard in his final college football game.

This was a difficult decision for Patrick, as his candidacy for the Rhodes Scholarship represented a high honor and an opportunity to explore his personal academic interests in international affairs at Oxford. Patrick respects the academic traditions of both Yale and the Rhodes Trust, and he remains grateful for the opportunities each has afforded him.

The New York Times story incorrectly connects Patrick’s decision to forego the Rhodes Scholarship with an informal complaint process that had concluded on campus weeks prior to his withdrawal – a process that yielded no disciplinary measures, formal reports, or referrals to higher authorities.

To be clear, Patrick’s Rhodes candidacy was never “suspended”, as the article suggests, and his official record at Yale contains no disciplinary issues.
Patrick formally withdrew his candidacy for the Rhodes Scholarship on Sunday, November 13, in an email to both the Regional Secretary and the American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust. He withdrew after being informed in an email from the Regional Secretary on November 8 that the Rhodes Committee would not reschedule Patrick’s final interview, which would overlap Yale’s football game versus Harvard on November 19. Though disappointed, Patrick understood the fairness of this decision and accepted it as conclusive.

As this decision process unfolded, Patrick became aware that an anonymous source had contacted the Rhodes Trust with false information purporting to reference an informal – and confidential – complaint within the University. In light of this, and given the short period of time between this occurrence and the potential final interview, the Rhodes Trust asked for an additional letter of reference for Patrick from Yale. By that time, however, Patrick had already informed Athletic Department officials that he intended to withdraw his candidacy due to the inability to reschedule his final interview, and that he would issue a statement to this effect following the Princeton game on November 12.

Patrick’s inclination to forego the Rhodes Scholarship in the event of an irreparable scheduling conflict is a longstanding matter of public record. For example, The New Haven Register article entitled “Patrick Witt Places ‘The Game’ Over Rhodes Interview” was published before Patrick was notified of the initiation of any informal complaint process. That article quotes Patrick as follows: “The commitment I made to this team I believe would come first and I would want to honor that. It wouldn’t feel right letting them down for not being there for the Harvard/Yale game.”

Regarding the informal complaint referenced in the New York Times article, Yale offers students both informal and formal avenues to address certain issues. An “informal” complaint is heard by a committee of university community members, but no fact-finding process occurs and there is no burden of proof required for filing a complaint. In Patrick’s case, no formal complaint was filed, no written statement was taken from anyone involved, and his request to the Chairman of the committee for a formal inquiry was denied because, he was told, there was nothing to defend against since no formal complaint was ever filed. Further, while the committee can refer an informal complaint into a formal process if more substantial disciplinary action may be warranted, it did not do so in Patrick’s case. At that time, all parties, including the University and Patrick, considered the matter ended.

Regarding the information contained in the informal complaint, neither Patrick nor the other parties are permitted by confidentiality rules to discuss details of the matter, though it is important to note that the committee took no further action after hearing the informal complaint. Patrick is aware that the informal complaint was filed by a person he had known for many months prior and with whom he had engaged in an on-again, off-again relationship beginning in the Spring of 2011 and ending about two months before the informal complaint was filed.

Finally, as to Patrick’s academic standing at Yale, he has completed all necessary coursework and will graduate upon submission of his senior essay this spring, as is standard for all students in his major.


Another reported Yale commitment

According to the ESPN recruiting database, offensive lineman Braden Meador out of Montgomery (Tex.) High has committed to Yale.

He is the 22nd known Yale commitment.and according to ESPN, he held offers from Houston, Tulane, Air Force, Texas-El Paso, Columbia, Dartmouth and Holy Cross.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eric Williams following his brothers to Yale

It's tough enough for a family to have one son to able to enroll and play football for Yale but when Eric Williams arrives at Yale in August, he will be the third member of his family to suit up for Yale.

It started with Sean Williams, a former starting defensive end/linebacker who graduated in 2010, was the first. He was followed by Scott who came in as a quarterback but moved to defense and will be a senior in the fall. Eric Williams was a highly-touted quarterback prospect who led Cleveland's St. Ignatius to Ohio's Division I title. The 6-foot-3 Williams passed for 2,132 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior after transferring in from Oregon.

Earlier this evening, I spoke with Williams' father Larry, the athletic director at Marquette, about Eric's commitment.

"I am very happy to have Eric follow in his brothers' footsteps," said Larry Williams, who played with the NFL's Cleveland Browns from 1986-88. "We couldn't be more pleased.

"When he (Sean Willians) did finally make the decision to go to Yale, I remember being incredibly proud 'wow, my kid is going to Yale, that is pretty cool.' Then I had to realize it was my kid going to Yale and not me, I don't have anything to do with this. He did it all on his own. I tried to temper my enthusiasm but I can't help but be proud to have all three of them attend just an unbelievable institution."

Eric Williams was at the top of the list of quarterback prospects being pursued by the previous coaching staff. When Tom Williams resigned and there was a period of uncertainty before Tony Reno was hired as Yale's new football coach, it didn't impact the recruitment of Williams.

"Well it was a really exciting season for Eric," Larry Williams said. "He transferred to Cleveland St. Ignatius and did a wonderful job leading them to a state championship so that ride was absolutely a thrilling run. Because of that, we didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the recruiting piece or anything else. The former coaching staff stayed close to Eric and for that we are very appreciative. When the change in coaches occurred, quietly we were pulling for Coach Reno because we knew him through his recruitment of both Sean and Scott and couldn't have any more respect for any coach in the United States so we were very happy that he got the job."

It didn't hurt that starting quarterback Patrick Witt was graduating and Eric Williams would have a chance to come in and compete for a starting position as a freshman.

"That was not lost in the process," Larry Williams said. "It is a very exciting prospect to go in and be able to participate at a young age, that is quite alluring. That is just on the football side, the academic side speaks for itself I think.

"He is very talented. His athleticism is quite good, he can wiggle and make somebody miss but what really sets him apart is his ability to deliver a ball accurately into a tight window. He was able to do that through his entire senior year and was very instrumental in them turning things around from a 4-6 team to a state championship team. That is one of the hardest states to win in the nation at the big school level there is some pretty good competition. Week in and week out they played (teams) with two, three, four guys who were going to major (problems). There were plenty of challenges along the way and what set him apart is to deliver a ball accurately no matter what the route, being a dig or a deep out or the long ball."

There is another son in the Williams' family as Louis is currently an eighth grader so we'll have to wait and see if he becomes the fourth member of the family to come to Yale. Larry Williams said he will likely enroll at Marquette High in Milwaukee in the fall.

"There's a lot of pressure on him now," Larry Williams said. "He is biggest of the boys, I finally have an offensive linemen out of the group."

Eric Williams certainly fills a need as Yale did not bring in a quarterback last season and have just three QBs on the roster in sophomores John Whitelaw, Henry Furman and Jake Semones.

Williams becomes the 21st known commit and only quarterback.

As I did some checking around, I found some players on Yale's recruiting radar who committed elsewhere including linebacker Tyler Drake, the brother of Yale defensive end Dylan Drake, who committed to Penn, and offensive lineman Jake Eldenkramp, who is going to Washington.

I have a bunch of e-mails and calls out there so hopefully I'll be able to bring more recruiting updates in the next couple of days.

New York Times story claims Patrick Witt was accused of sexual assault

I felt I should share a link to a New York Times story that claims that former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt was accused of a sexual assault by a fellow Yale student and was no longer a candidate for the Rhodes Scholarship at the time that he withdrew his name from consideration.

I have contacted both Witt and a Yale spokesperson for comment.

As for the story, it does seem to be a little thin on details as the writer of the story points out.

Quoting the story directly:
Many aspects of the situation remain unknown, including some details of the allegation against Witt; how he responded; how it was resolved; and whether Yale officials who handle Rhodes applications — including Richard C. Levin, the university’s president, who signed Witt’s endorsement letter — knew of the complaint.

Neither Yale nor the Rhodes Trust would confirm any information about the alleged assault or the claim that Witt was no longer being considered for the Rhodes in the story. The most pertinent information came in the 18th paragraph when the Times reported that the accuser filed an informal complaint. Quoting the story "In September, according to people with knowledge of the situation, a female student went to Yale’s Sexual Assault Harassment and Response and Education Center, claiming Witt had assaulted her in her dormitory room. The woman later made a complaint to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct, created last July as part of Yale’s new approach.

Like many colleges and universities, Yale offers accusers a choice between making a formal complaint and an informal one. This student chose the informal process. In that process, an individual or a few members of the committee are charged with resolving the issue, without a full investigation or a finding of guilt or innocence. The most significant outcome might be an agreement to move the accused to a different dorm."

Witt's accuser has not gone to the police nor filed an official complaint with Yale according to the Times story.

As for the claim that Witt was no longer considered to be a Rhodes candidate, I interviewed Eliot P. Gerson, the American Secretary for the Rhodes Trust, on Nov. 10 (three days before Witt withdrew his name from consideration for the Rhodes because he could attend his Rhodes interview and play in the season finale against Harvard). At that time Gerson spoke of Witt in terms as an active candidate for the Rhodes. Perhaps he was just being protective of the Rhodes Trust and not mentioning that Witt was no longer considered to be a Rhodes finalist but at no point in our interview was there ever the slightest bit of hedging on Gerson's part about Witt's status as a Rhodes finalist.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another another commit

Thanks for a reader of this blog for pointing out the commitment of Mission Viejo (Calif.) Aaron Reuland, according to a blog post in the Orange County Register.

Reuland caught 35 passes for 532 and four touchdowns as a seniior.

A little recruiting update

Can't really file this under the "new recrui" category since I reported on Junipero Serra High of San Mateo, Calif. lineman Luke Longinotti being committed to Yale back in August. But since recent mentions of Longinotti listed him as undecided, I contacted his high school coach Patrick Walsh who said "yes, Yale is his choice still."

Longinotti is listed as being 6-4 and 270 pounds and was named the WPAL Defensive Lineman of the Year after recording 53 tackles and five sacks as a senior.

Counting the recent commitment of tight end Stephen Buric out of Easlake High in Tarpon Springs, Fla., that is 19 known commitments for Yale.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Former Yale QB among new assistant coaches

According to a report in the Harvard Crimson, Harvard assistant coaches Kris Barber, Joe Conlin and Dwayne Wilmot have been hired by new Yale head coach Tony Reno.

Barber is a former Yale quarterback who spent one season as the receivers coach at Harvard. He cut his teeth at Division II Colorado School of Mines where he was the passing-game coordinator for a program which reached the Division II playoffs in 2010.

Conlin came to Harvard last season to coach the offensive line after spending seven seasons on the staff at New Hampshire where he had stints coaching the safeties, defensive line and offensive line.

Wilmot, also a first-year coach at Harvard in 2011, coached the defensive line for the Crimson after spending five seasons as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Maine. There's no word what positions the three will have at Yale.

Reno, who spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Harvard, was hired earlier this month as the 34th coach in Yale football history. Defensive backs coach Rick Flanders was the only assistant coach retained by Reno.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mixed results for Patrick Witt in all-star game

Former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt was on the field for the NLFA Collegiate Bowl for three drives and two of them resulted in points but overall Witt was just 2 of 7 for 21 yards in the National team's 20-14 win over the American team on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Witt, who set Yale's career records for passing attempts, completions and yards, made his first appearance in the second quarter. His first pass went for went for an 18-yard completion to Indiana's Demarlo Belcher. He was 2 for 3 for 21 yards on the drive, which resulted in an 8-yard TD run by Syracuse's Antwon Bailey.

Witt returned for the first two possessions of the fourth quarter and he was 0 for 4 on those drives although the second one, aided by outstanding field position following an interception, results in a 45-yard field goal by Washington's Erik Folk.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Witt to play in NFLPA Collegiate Bowl today

Former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt will play for the National team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl today at 6 p.m. at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.

Witt, who set Yale's career records for passing yards, attempts and completions, will split time at quarterback with Miami's Jacory Harris and G.J. Kinne of Tulsa. Witt will wear No. 5 in thegame, which is being televised by NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus). Another one of his teammates is UConn offensive lineman Mike Ryan while another offensive lineman on the National team is center Mike Caputo, Witt's former teammate at Nebraska.

What's interesting about the preparation leading into the game is that no NFL scouts have attended practices because juniors who have declared for the draft are allowed to play in the game.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Marinan visiting this weekend

Among the recruits being hosted by Yale this weekend is Xavier Register first team All-Stater Sean Marinan.

According to an e-mail I received from his father and high school coach, the younger Marinan will visit Yale and is expected to make his decision next week.

The 6-foot, 251-pound Marinan was a two-way starting offensive linemen who led the Falcons to the Class LL title as a junior and senior.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Add a couple of names to Yale's commitment list

Looks like you can add the names Luke Thomas out of Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton, Calif. and Cole Champion from St. Thomas Aquinas of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to the list of Yale commitments.

I received an e-mail yesterday about Thomas, who visited Yale in November and has already been accepted. I reached out to Sacred Heart Prep coach Pete Lovorato who said in an email "he was undoubtedly our most valuable player before he was hurt. Teams we played against had to game plan around him to have any chance to move the ball. He started at our strong side defensive end and was also playing fullback on offense."

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Thomas was credited with 24 tackles and six sacks in five games on the Sacred Heart Prep page on MaxPreps. As a junior he was credited with 94 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks.

I saw a tweet by Chris Nee from saying that Champion, a safety, committed to Yale following a campus visit over the weekend. No words is his St. Thomas Aquinas teammate Tyler Drake (brother of Yale DE Dylan Drake) will also be heading to Yale. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Champion led St. Thomas Aquinas with 52 solo tackles and also had a sack and two fumble recoveries.

I know somebody posted a comment about Luke Longinotti, a lineman from Junipero Serra High in San Mateo, Calif. being a Yale commit. I reported his commitment to Yale back in August but in a feature on him in the San Jose Mercury News on Dec. 22 and again in the paper's all-area package he is not listed as committed to Yale. I will attempt to confirm that information before I add him to my list of committed players.

Here's what I have in terms of committed players and as the new of Scott's commitment shows, it's likely far from being complete.

Aaron Ault, DE Lake Brantley (FL)
Austin Carter, LB/RB Choate
Christian Conway, RB Bronxville (NY)
Jackson Conway, RB Bronxville (NY)
Cole Champion, DB St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
Caleb Gilligan-Evans, RB Stepinac (NY)
Roger Kilgore, WR/DB Bishop Ahr (NJ)
Ben Killion, OL, Wootton (MD)
Carl Kreitzberg, OL West Salem (OR)
Pat McHugh, DL St. Anthony's (NY)
Mikhail Reece, DL Gaither (FL)
Matt Rubino, WR, Holy Spirit (NJ)
Luke Thomas, DE/LB Sacred Heart Prep (CA)
Tom Undercuffler, DB Berlin
Adam VanValkenberg, LB Lake Brantley (FL)

In regards to the Ross twins (Derrek and Dusty) out of Oak Hills High in Cincinnati I did see a tweet from a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter saying they have committed to Yale. I called their HS coach to try to get confirmation of that. I know that the previous staff was extremely high on the two linemen so that would be two key additions to an ever growing list of commitments.

Report: Brooks headed to Colby

According to the site, former Yale defensive line coach Duane Brooks will be named the head coach at Colby College, a Division III school in Waterville, Maine.

Brooks spent the last 15 seasons at Yale and he wore a few different hats as in addition to his defensive line coaching responsibilities, he also coached Yale's JV team in recent years and was also the liaison between Yale and the NFL scouts.

Colby is coming off a 3-5 season.

A little more about recruiting

Doing a little checking around the internet, I found links to three stories or blogs which might interest Yale fans.

Leading off, the Ross brothers out of Cincinnati (Dusty and Derrek) were much sought after lineman prospects by Tom Williams' staff. Well, the Cincinnati Enquirer had a report on Tuesday that they had narrowed their list of schools to Yale and Brown Their coach at Oak Hills High was among the first people I attempted to contact when I started trying to track down some recruiting information but have yet to hear back.

Another lineman of interest is Niko Padilla out of Parish Episcopal in Dallas (the same school which produced Yale freshman defensive back Charles Cook) and I found an ESPN blog saying he is planning to visit Yale this weekend

Also, another player expected to be on campus this weekend is Mission Viejo (Calif.) receiver Austin Reuland according to a blog on the site.

Finally, in "the one that got away" department, reports out of Washington have offensive line prospect Michael Kneip choosing to be a preferred walkon at Washington over a chance to come to Yale.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stark hired by Broncos

The first member of Tom Williams' staff that I've heard about finding work elsewhere is Brian Stark.

The offensive coordinator for the last three seasons (a role he shared with Kefense Hynson this past season) has been hired as a West Coast scout for the NFL's Denver Broncos.

Stark was also the quarterbacks coach during his time at Yale and Patrick Witt set Yale career records for passing completions, attempts and yardage.


Update on Choate players on Yale's radar

Just heard back from Choate football coach Erik Cooper and he gave me the latest on the his players who have been recruited by Yale.

As previously reported on this blog, linebacker/h-back Austin Carter committed to Yale over the weekend. Cooper said that receiver Avery Lewis is visiting Yale this weekend. As for the other two players, quarterback Kyle Nolan out of Branford has committed to Georgetown while offensive lineman Matthew Porter is "more focused on Patriot League and Division 3 options at present" according to Cooper.

Add another name to Yale's recruiting class

I just heard back from Jason Stokes, the head coach at Gaither High in Tampa, Florida and he has informed me that Gaither defensive Mikhail Reece has committed to Yale.

Reece is a 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end who had 83 tackles including 5 1/2 sacks as a senior.

He was listed by one of the recruiting databases as a player planning to vist Yale last weekend which is why I reached out to Stokes. His response was "he has told me he committed."

Latest on new Yale commit

It's didn't take long for Tony Reno to make his presence felt in recruiting circles.

There have been a couple of comments posted to my blog from parents of players who committed to Yale after being a part of the group of about 15 recruits who visited campus last week.

The father of Austin Carter got in touch with me and confirmed that he has committed to Yale.

Carter is a native of Vero Beach, Florida who was just 5-foot-10 and 162 pounds at the end of his junior season. He is now 6-1 and 222 with a 33-inch vertical leap and played linebacker/h-back last season as a postgraduate at Choate.

According to his father, Austin had 92 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 15 tackles for losses and two interceptions at linebacker and as a fullback he averaged 7 yards per carry and nearly 20 yards per catch at Choate.

Carter drew interest from pretty much every Ivy League team with Penn, Princeton and Dartmouth pushing hard. David Carter said that his son took a visit to Penn the weekend before heading to Yale and the Quakers were in the lead. However, when he visited Yale and met with Reno.

Choate has formed a nice relationship with Yale in recent years with five players in Yale's freshman and sophomore classes on the Yale roster including starting offensive tackle Roy Collins and defensive end Allen Davis.

I have reached out to the Choate coaches to check up on Carter and some of the others who have been on Yale's recruiting radar (Mattew Porter, Avery Lewis, Kyle Nolan).

I also contacted St. Igantius coach Chuck Kyle to get to update on Eric Williams, who was the top quarterback target of the previous Yale staff. Kyle said "at this point in the process, Yale University is at the top of Eric's list.  I am sure now that the coach is in place, the situation will be clarified very soon."
Two of Williams' brothers played football at Yale. Sean Williams is a former starter at defensive end/linebacker while Scott Williams will be a senior on the 2012 Yale team. Scott Williams came to Yale as a quarterback but was moved to defense is now listed as a linebacker.
As for Eric Williams, he led St. Ignatius out of Cleveland to the Ohio Division I title, passing for 297 yards including two touchdowns in a 34-13 win over Pickerington Central in the state championship game. Williams finished with 2,132 yards and 23 touchdowns. The Ohio Division I state final was televised and I was very impressed with the way Williams threw the ball. Williams is 6-3 and 190 pounds and according to his recruiting profile on, he has been offered by Cincinnati and Eastern Michigan.
Williams moved to Cleveland from Oregon where he lived with his mom and other family members including his brother Sean. As a junior at Jesuit High in Portland, he threw for 1,405 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.
With the graduation of record-breaking QB Patrick Witt and no quarterbacks brought in during the most recent recruiting class, securing an impact quarterback is a priority. Williams would most certainly hit the criteria.

Also, I just got off the phone with one of my Yale sources who confirmed that reports of every assistant coach except Rick Flanders being let go is indeed accurate. My source did not hear of any names of potential replacements but I imagine that Reno will be moving quickly to put a new staff in place.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Time for Yale football program to move forward

There's no way of sugar coating it, the last two months have been perhaps the most trying and humbling in the proud history of the Yale football program.

The removal of Tom Williams as the head coach over issues surrounding the accuracy of his credentials, back to back days when Yale lost to Harvard in the junior varsity and varsity games by a combined score of 82-13 and concerns among alumni who the process of finding a new coach was handled has resulted in some frayed nerves and discontent for some parties.

The good news is that Tony Reno, who was named the 34th coach in Yale's illustrious history, could be the type of galvanizing figure to help Yale put the recent checkered past in the rear-view mirror.

You could see the relief in the faces of the returning Yale players who were in attendance at the press conference now that he have a head coach. The players have been thrust into a situation not of their making. Yesterday was the first time I saw any of them since the end of the season but people I've spoken to who run into them on campus say that they have been understandably downtrodden. Hopefully last night's team meeting with Reno helped perk up the returning players. McHale, who got a know Reno a little bit when he was being recruiting as a high school senior, sounded fired up about the ability to move forward with Reno at the helm.

"I firmly believe he is the right guy for the job, he has everything we are looking for and more," McHale said. "He is a dynamic leader, he's a motivator, an excellent recruiter. I really couldn’t be more excited."

On the other end of the spectrum is the fate of former head coach Tom Williams. Former head coach Jack Siedlecki was welcomed back for the press conference and Carm Cozza would have been there had he not headed down to his place in Florida for the winter.

Williams, who was forced to resign, was obviously not there. The only staff members I saw where the holdovers from the Jack Siedlecki regime as the rest of the coaching staff watched the live stream of the press conference from the Yale football offices.

"It is tough that something like that happened," McHale said. "We are all appreciative of what Coach Williams brought to this program but at the same time what's done in done and we need to look forward."

Reno is walking into a difficult situation. Those two months without a head coach came during a pivotal time in recruiting. Other Ivy League coaching staff have been circling around Yale recruiting targets (just as Yale would do if the circumstances were reversed). They've lost out on some kids as a result of the uncertainty including Cheshire's Sebastian Little, who committed to Harvard. Although Reno, who helped the Crimson secured Little's commitment, can't talk publicly about a recruit like Little I am sure he sees the irony in how things worked out in that situation and how his efforts as a key recruiter at Harvard cost Yale a prized prospect. That being said, when I spoke the assistant coach Rick Flanders yesterday he thought Yale was not too bad off in terms of recruiting the class they were looking to secure before Williams' ouster.

"It’s trying but it probably more trying for the recruits, their parents," Flanders said. "But 90 percent of the kids who were on the board are still on the board. They are looking at Yale for the right reasons and it had to do more with the institution and opportunity (to earn a Yale degree) than a specific person. Tony will salvage a great class and we will get this group that is coming back off and running."

At both Reno's press conference and Williams' there have been the standard "how are you going to beat Harvard" question. I know the 45-7 pounding Yale suffered at the hands of the Crimson in November is still fresh on people's minds but in my opinion Yale is not as far behind Harvard as some people might think.

People remember the ill-advised fake punt on 4th and 22 late in the 2009 game which set up Harvard to win the game but neglect to recall that the Bulldogs were in position to win that game before the fake punt ended up six yards shy of the first down which would have enabled Yale to run out the clock. In the 2010 game, won by Harvard 28-21,  Yale outgained Harvard 337-178 and possessed the ball for nearly 38 of the 60 minutes.

Yes, there are some holes to fill especially on defense. You don't lose guys like Jordan Haynes, Geoff Dunham, Jake Stoller, Drew Baldwin (all multiple-year starters) and not miss what they brought to the table. However, Reno vowed to have an aggressive, attacking mindset in offense, defense and special teams. It is sorely needed on defense. Too many times the combination of a lack of a pass rush and soft zone coverage enabled teams to pick the Yale defense apart.

McHale leads a talented group of returning defensive starters which includes sophomore safety Nick Okano and speedy defensive ends Allen Davis and E.J. Conway.

Before Reno begins coaching the Bulldogs, he needs to add to the talent pool. The next two weekend there figures to be close to 30 prospects (somewhere in the vicinity of 15 each weekend) on Yale's campus. Some of them will be the 10-15 commits who have been approved for early admission to Yale and the Bulldogs need to make sure those players are still in the fold while also trying to lock up pledges from the uncommitted players on their radar.

When Yale begins spring practice in April, the focus will be on putting together a team capable of making a run at the Ivy League title.

"Nothing has happened over the last two months that has taken away from our goal of winning an Ivy League championship next year," McHale said.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reno: "The right man for the job"

I was pleasantly surprised to see not only a flock of Yale football players but also former Yale coach Jack Siedlecki and current assistant coaches Duane Brooks and Rick Flanders at today's press conference announcing Tony Reno as the 34th Yale football coach.

I struck out in my attempt to set up a phone interview with Harvard coach Tim Murphy as he was on the road recruiting but I was able to talk to some people who have a history with Reno.

Flanders, who was the defensive coordinator at Yale when Reno was coaching the defensive backs, was absolutely tremendous talking about Reno and in particular any concerns that his lack of head coaching experience would be an issue.

"He is a good coach, good recruiter, good people person, all the things that you are looking for in a guy who wants to be a head coach," Flanders said. "The diversity and the kind of things that he has done ... People may only look at one part of a resume. Every Hall of Fame coach had to get their first opportunity, they weren’t a head coach when they took their first head-coaching job. He is very well prepared for this and will be a phenomenal job."

Siedlecki was not somebody I was expecting to see but once I saw him there, he was a natural person to talk to about Reno since he was the one who brought him to Yale.

Siedlecki talked of Reno's character and engaging personality but also said he is an intense competitor who will demand production from his players. Siedlecki thinks Reno's six years as an assistant at Yale will be invaluable as he attempts to make up for lost time.

"His relationships with people on campus, that is important, really important," Siedlecki said. "He is going to hit the ground running, he is going to understand the AI (academic index), understand the inner workings at Yale, he knows all the people."

Reno was involved in recruiting many of the players who will be seniors on the 2012 Yale team. Naturally I took the chance to speak to 2012 Yale captain Will McHale about his new coach.

"He was not my primary recruiter but I did speak to him and knew him a little bit through the process," McHale said. "It’s great, I think it is reflected across my class, the seniors interacted with him and to have a guy we are confident in, a guy we are comfortable with really goes a long way towards the immediate success of the program. I think it is one of those things that is going to be great even going forward to next year."

Last but certainly not least, former Yale captain Paul Rice was among those in attendance. Rice, who spent last season as a volunteer assistant coach, was a cornerback earlier in his career so Reno was his position coach.

Like so many others, he gave Reno a glowing endorsement. I asked Rice what qualities will serve Reno the best in his new gig.

"His preparedness, his intensity, his love for Yale. He is passionate about teaching and getting kids to play to the best of their ability. Even guys who weren’t coached by him, guys on the offensive side of the ball they were vouching for him. That speaks to his character to to his ability to lead.",

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Reno officially introduced at Yale

NEW HAVEN - The Yale football program is bringing back a familiar face as former assistant coach Tony Reno was named the 34th head coach at Yale on Thursday.

Reno spent six seasons on Jack Siedlecki’s Yale staff from 2003-08 including five years coaching the Bulldogs’ defensive backs. Reno was on the Yale staff in 2006, the last time the Bulldogs won the Ivy League title. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 2007 and in both 2007 and 2008 the Bulldogs were third among Football Championship Subdivision teams in pass defense.

When Siedlecki was pushed out the day after a season-ending loss to Harvard in 2008, Reno assumed the lead on recruiting matters until a new head coach was hired. Shortly after Tom Williams was hired, Reno accepted a job at Harvard. Speaking to the Register shortly after getting hired, Reno said it was primarily done for family reasons since he lived in Sturbridge, Mass. with his wife and kids.

Reno has been the secondary/special teams coordinator at Harvard since 2009 and he was also responsible for recruiting Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee for the Crimson. He also had coaching stints at Kings (Pa.) College and his alma mater Worcester State College, where he was named the AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002.

Reno was extremely popular with his former Yale players and word is that many of his ex players put in a good word with the search committee.

Reno was one of four candidates known to have interviewed for the job. Former Yale defensive coordinator Don Brown was offered the job earlier this week, according to multiple sources before turning it down. Georgetown coach Kevin Kelly and Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini also interviewed for the job which came open last month when Tom Williams was forced to resign following an internal investigation into claims that he overstated his credentials as a Rhodes Scholarship candidate and a member of the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on his resume.

Yale is coming off a 5-5 season including a season-ending 45-7 loss to Harvard. Leading tackler Jordan Haynes, record-breaking quarterback Patrick Witt, top rusher Alex Thomas and three-year defensive starters Jake Stoller, Drew Baldwin and Geoff Dunham are among the players graduating but 29 of the 44 players on the two-deep chart on offense and defense heading into the Harvard game are returning.

Yale opens the 2012 by hosting Georgetown on Sep. 15.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tony Reno to be Yale's next coach

OK, let's try this again.

I got burned in a big-time way from a source who confirmed Dave Cecchini to be Yale's next football coach. However, I apologize for putting that out there before I was able to get a secondary confirmation. That same source got back to me to inform me that he was messed up and that it is indeed Tony Reno who will be named head coach.

I apologize to all who trust me and this blog to be the source of accurate information on all things to do with Yale football. You learn to trust your sources and there are times when wires get crossed. I still accept the full brunt of the blame on this. Instead of rushing to get this info out there, I should have held back until I was 100 percent certain of the facts.

Now onto the choice.

Reno was the secondary coach at Yale on Jack Siedlecki's staff. When Siedlecki was forced out, Reno assumed the lead on Yale's recruiting efforts. He would leave to join Tim Murphy's staff at Harvard in large part for family considerations because he, his wife and children live in Sturbidge, Mass.

Reno was a popular coach with his players and in the days following Siedlecki's departure, he was touted as the coach staff as being the top prospect to be considered for the Yale head job.

There are some alumni who have issues with the way Reno left for Harvard and some have suggested that he took some recruits with him. However, Reno received a lot of support in the Yale community - especially from his former players to get the job. If I were to go back and count the blog comments, I would think that Reno would have been the winner of that informal straw poll.

One concern is that Reno has never been an offensive or defensive coordinator above the Division III level but I personally really liked dealing with him in the time when he was on Siedlecki's staff.


Kelly removes his name from consideration

Georgetown coach Kevin Kelly, one of the top candidates for the vacant Yale football job, released a statement through Georgetown declaring that he is withdrawing his name from consideration.

"I'm flattered to have been considered for the position, but have decided to withdraw my name from consideration and will remain at Georgetown. We are coming off of our best season since I've been here and with a tremendous group of young men returning, I look forward to continuing to build this program and compete for a Patriot League Championship in 2012. My family and I enjoy being a part of the Georgetown community and we love living in Washington, D.C. We really want to finish what we've started here at

I'm expecting to hear some news in the next hour or so and there is still a chance the press conference to announce the 34th coach in Yale football history could be held tomorrow.

A source indicated to me of a candidate close to being offered the job but I was unable to get a second source to confirm that information, although I think that could be changing soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's time for Plan B at Yale

Word is Yale is still hoping to have a coach in place before the end of the week.

Obviously that seemed to be a slam dunk yesterday as multiple sources confirmed that former Yale defensive coordinator Don Brown had been offered the Yale job. I spoke with a few people today you were a bit stunned to hear the news that Brown pulled his name out of consideration. There have been plenty of phone calls being exchanged today between stunned former Yale football players and other alumni who went to bed believing Brown would be named Yale's 34th football coach in a matter of days.

While the sources I spoke to were not as adamant about who would emerge as the leading candidate as Yale moves forward, Georgetown coach Kevin Kelly's name was mentioned rather prominently. At the beginning of the process Kelly was mentioned as a viable candidate. By all accounts he had a strong interview and although his overall win/loss record at Georgetown 17-48, it should be noted that the Hoyas went from an 0-10 season in 2009 to 8-3 this past season.

The other candidates we've confirmed have interviewed are Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini and former Yale assistant coach Tony Reno. Reno as received a lot of support from former players and is an intriguing candidate. A new name to consider is former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell as NFL Network recently reported that Dorrell has drawn interest from Yale.

The reason why getting a coach in this week is so important is that it is Walter Camp Weekend and that is a prime showcase for recruits to be shown. I think the best-case scenario would be to have a coach officially named on Thursday but as the last 24-48 hours have shown, this can be a volatile process so stay tuned.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Coaching situation a little uncertain

Earlier today I reported that former Yale defensive coordinator Don Brown was expected to be named the Bulldogs' new football coach later in the week.

Well, it's amazing what a difference a few hours can make. Sources from Yale and UConn confirmed that Brown was offered the job but withdrew his name from consideration tonight.

It's eerily familiar to what happened in 2008 as Brown was emerging as the frontrunner for the Yale job only to withdraw his name from consideration.

What I was unable to find out is if there was a snag at some point in the negotiations but it seems to me as if something like that could very well have gone down.

Yale has interviewed former Yale assistant coach Tony Reno, Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini and Georgetown head coach Kevin Kelly. There was a recent report that Yale had reached out to former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell.

Obviously we will continue to follow this story and hope for everybody's sake that this saga is over quickly.

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Source: Don Brown expected to be Yale's next football coach

UConn defensive coordinator Don Brown is expected to be named the 34th coach in the history of the Yale football program a source close to search committee confirmed to the Register on Monday.

Brown was the defensive coordinator at Yale under Carm Cozza from 1987-92 and received a ringing endorsement from Cozza as a search committee looked for Tom Williams’ replacement.

The source said he spoke to two people close to the Yale football program and both confirmed that “he is the guy.” Yale officials stressed that "it is not a done deal" and that Yale has not yet hired Brown to be the coach.

Brown, 56, was a leading candidate for the job back in 2008 when he was the head coach at UMass before he pulled his name out of contention. Not only does Brown have ties to Yale but he also fit the search committee’s criteria of having previous head-coaching experience. Brown compiled a 95-45 record in head-coaching stints at Plymouth State, Northeastern and UMass. He was also Yale’s interim baseball coach in 1992, posting a 26-10 record and leading the Bulldogs to the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League title.

He guided Plymouth State to two straight Freedom Conference titles and was a three-time coach of the year in the conference. He earned Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year honors at both Northeastern and UMass. He led UMass to the Football Championship Subdivision title game in 2006. More recently he had been the defensive coordinator stints at Maryland and Connecticut.

“I think we need to reestablish what Yale is all about,” said another source close to the Yale football program. “Bringing Brown in, he knows the intricacies of (coaching) at Yale. He knows the way to work within the system. I know the alumni will be enthused.”

Neither Yale nor UConn would confirm the hiring of Brown although Yale is hoping to officially announce its head coach this week. The Register reported that the tentative plan was to name the coach by Wednesday and that time frame still seems reasonable.

Yale also interviewed former Yale assistant coach Tony Reno, Georgetown head coach Kevin Kelly and Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini. There was a recent report that former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell drew interest from Yale.

Williams, who coached Yale for the last three seasons, was forced to resign last month after Yale investigation claims that he overstated his status as a Rhodes Scholarship candidate on his resume.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Another candidate for Yale?

Pretty interesting report by the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora that Yale has expressed an interest in Miami Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell.

I haven't heard his name mentioned with the Yale search before but the report did say that his contract is expiring at the end of the season (which for Miami already happened). Dorrell was the head coach at UCLA from 2003-07, compiling a 35-27 record.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Some thoughts on coaching search

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I would anticipate that Yale's new football coach will be hosting some recruits at this point next week.

Yale has interviewed former Yale assistant coaches Don Brown and Tony Reno as well as Georgetown head coach Kevin Kelly and Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini.

Kelly had an outstanding interview according to sources and he certainly fit the criteria of having previous head coaching experience. Earlier today I heard from somebody close to the process that former Yale coach Carm Cozza was in Brown's corner in a major way. While that doesn't guarantee that Brown will get the job, if I were to pick the one person at Yale to have on my side during this process it would be the legendary Cozza.

Brown certainly has all the prerequisites for the job. He's been successful at three different stops as a head coach and obviously has previous Ivy League experience as a member of Cozza's staff from 1987-92 and held the same position at Dartmouth from 1984-86 and Brown in 1996 and 1997. Everything I've heard about Brown's tenure at Yale has been positive as he was a well-respected member of Cozza's staff and is still a popular man in Yale football circles. If there is a red flag about Brown it is that this would be his fourth job in the last five years if he is offered and accepts the Yale gig. If Brown was able to convince the committee that he was in this for the long haul, it would be hard to argue with the choice.

Reno will also have some support from Yale as he was a popular coach with his players during his six years on Jack Siedlecki's staff . Kelly has done a remarkable job building the Georgetown program up after a rugged start while Cecchini is a former offensive coordinator at Harvard who called the plays for a Lehigh offense which at one point during the 2011 season  led all Football Championship Subdivision teams in total offense.

The process, which began in mid November when Yale began an investigation into then coach Tom Williams' claims of being a Rhodes Scholarship candidate, seems to be nearing its conclusion. I was hearing that a coach could be in place by the middle of the next week which would be good because they will need to get to work immediately during a pivotal recruiting period.


Little picks Harvard

When Yale orchestrated the ouster of Tom Williams and took its sweet time pulling the trigger, the concern was the impact it would have on recruiting.

So as Yale has been conducting interviews with the four candidates (Don Brown, Dave Cecchini, Kevin Kelly and Tony Reno) this week, a prized recruit slipped away.

Cheshire linebacker Sebastian Little had been to a couple of Yale games during the 2011 season and was persistently pursued by Yale. Not only is Little not coming to Yale but he committed to Harvard. According to a story by Bryant Carpenter of the Meriden Record-Journal, Little was all set to come to Yale before Williams was forced to resign over claims that he overstated his credentials on his resume.

It will be interesting to watch Little's career at Harvard. If he become an impact player with the Crimson he could serve as a reminder of a sorry situation which is currently being played out.

The good news is that a new coach could be in place by the middle of next week. Perhaps there won't be too many other stories to emerge like Little's of players heading to an Ivy League rival because of the uncertainty surrounding the Yale football program at the current time.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Yale recruit honored

Yale commit Christian Conway was named the New York Sportswriters Association Class C Player of the Year.

Conway, a 5-foot-10, 202-pound senior running back at Bronxville, N.Y. High, ran for 1,885 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior.

He is the second straight Yale recruit to win the award as former Bronxville lineman Stephen Shoemaker won the award last season.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Shane Bannon signed to Kansas City practice squad

Former Yale fullback Shane Bannon was one of six players signed to the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad.

Here is the official release from the Chiefs


Another honor for Haynes and Witt

Yale senior linebacker Jordan Haynes and quarterback Patrick Witt were the only Ivy League players named to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team.

Haynes is a political science and internation studies major with a 3.62 GPA and was an All-Ivy pick as a junior and senior.
Witt, a political science major with a 3.91 GPA, was a three-year starter at quarterback who set Yale career records for passes attempted, completed and passing yards.

Witt and Haynes were also among the 12 finalists selected for the 11th Annual FCS ADA's $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. Two student-athletes will receive postgraduate scholarships during the Association's annual membership meeting held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, June 25-28.

The other finalists are seniors Justin Aldredge, Northwestern State, TE, 3.90; Mitch Allen, Wofford, QB, 3.96; Tim Bolte, Bucknell, LB, 3.93; Ben Boothby, Northern Iowa, DT, 3.89; Yaser Elqutub, Northwestern State, LB, 3.85; Kalan Jenkins, Georgia State, NG, 3.94; Marcus Lott, Coastal Carolina, S, 3.91; Mike McCabe, Holy Cross, OT, 3.62; Mike McElroy, Southern Illinois, S, 3.73; and Matt Rae, Rhode Island, DT, 3.71.

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A new coach should be in place soon

Yale is moving forward relatively quickly in naming its next football coach. Multiple sources have said that a new coach could be in place as early as the middle of next week.

Sources have said that Georgetown head coach Kevin Kelly has been interviewed and former UConn defensive coordinator Don Brown is a serious candidate for the job and Yale has been granted permission to interview Brown although I have yet to confirm if he has been in for an interview yet. Tony Reno is another candidate but a source has confirmed that he has yet to come in for an interview. According to the site, the other candidate is Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini.

Both Kelly and Brown fit the criteria of previous head coaching experience that the search committee is looking for in Yale's next coach while Reno and Cecchini are in the mix despite the lack of previous head coaching experience.

With one prominent member of the search committee expected to be out of the state next week, there is a sense that the interviews could be conducted by the end of this week. The weekend of Jan. 13-15 was also circled as a key recruiting weekend before Tom Williams was forced to resign last month over claims that he overstated some of his credentials on his resume. The rest of the staff has remained in place until the new coach determines which of them would be part of the new staff. Having a new coach in place by next week could be invaluable in attempting to salvage the recruiting class.

Brown just completed his first season as UConn's defensive coordinator and has the most head coaching experience among the candidates with stops at Plymouth State, Northeastern and UMass. Brown led UMass to the 2006 FCS national championship game. Brown was one of the early frontrunners for the Yale job back in 2008 before pulling his name out of consideration for the job. He left UMass to become the defensive coordinator at Maryland. Brown was Carm Cozza's defensive coordinator with the Bulldogs from 1987-92.

Kelly has ties to Connecticut as his first college job was as an assistant at Southern Connecticut State in 1984 and 1985. He also has some Ivy League experience as he was on Dartmouth's staff during the Big Green's run to the 1991 Ivy League title. He also coached at Navy, an experience which could prove helpful in dealing with a limited and select player pool in recruiting.

Reno was a member of Jack Siedlecki's staff for six years, five coaching the defensive backs. When Siedlecki was pushed out the door, Reno was the point man for recruiting before Tom Williams was hired. Reno left to join the Harvard staff, in large part because of family considerations since he lived in Sturbridge, Mass. with his wife and children. Reno doesn't have any head coaching experience but he was a defensive coordinator at Worcester State.
Cecchini, a former offensive coordinator at Harvard and Citadel, guided a Mountain Hawks offensive which finished third among Football Championship Subdivision teams in total offense and fifth in passing offense. Among Cecchini's pupils were current NFL players Andre Roberts and Ryan Fitzpatrick. He guided an offense which put up 475 yards in a 37-7 win over Yale on Oct. 1.

On another matter, I did follow up on a couple of comments on my blog saying that nobody from Yale has been in contact with players who have committed to Yale. I spoke with athletic director Tom Beckett last night during Yale's men's basketball game who said he took part in a recruiting meeting with the Yale staff and if that is the case he would like to know that. Beckett would not comment on anything regarding to the search.

I was also told that the players were e-mailed about Williams' resignation before the media was told. I received the e-mail announcing Williams' departure at 8:10 and I was told that the mass e-mail to the players was sent at 8:04. I guess I need to back off some of my criticism of Yale as I suggested the media was told before the players but I still have issues with how it was handled. I understand Yale has more than 100 players but between assistant coaches, people in the sports information department and other athletic department employees there's no reason that Yale couldn't have contacted each player directly by phone or at least text message rather than send out a form letter via e-mail.

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Next couple of weeks could determine Yale's fortunes

If the Yale administration has any concerns about the fortunes of the 2012 Yale football team, they'd better be hitting the ground running this week.

Beginning with the announcement that Yale's general counsel would be investigating Tom Williams' claims of being a Rhodes Scholarship candidate, the process leading to his removal as Yale's coach has moved at a snail's pace. I was told by a very reliable source that Yale had heard back from the people at Stanford verifying that they had recommended that he pursue a Rhodes Scholarship on the day that Yale played Harvard. For the record, that was Nov. 19. Yet, it took five weeks before Yale announced Williams "resignation." I believe that Williams resigned of his own accord about as much as I bought that Jack Siedlecki "retired" after the 2008 season.

I had multiple people with connections to Yale tell me the week of the Yale/Harvard game that Williams was as good as gone as soon as Yale put Williams' fate in the hands of the General Counsel. It seems to me that they waited to announce it until the week before Christmas to minimize the impact. Why not announce it when the Yale students are on break? That is exactly what happened. The Yale players were not informed of Williams' departure until after the media was notified. That is an absolute slap in the face to the Yale players and seems to me of being a case of the Yale administration acting in order to save face instead of doing what is in the best interest of the Yale program.

Today was the first one that Yale was left without a head coach. Now it is the time for Yale to get Williams' replacement. They do have about 10 early commits leaving about 20 spots left to filled. The word I have been hearing is that many of the prospects expected to visit campus in a couple of weeks have scheduled visits to other schools for the weekend of January 13-15. Among those planning to come to Yale that weekend was Wes Moon, a safety from Monarch High in Louisville, Colo. Down to Yale and Princeton, Moon recently committed to Princeton.

According to a story on the site, Moon was quoted as saying "Yale's head coach resigned, which was the starting point, and then I was considering how much I wanted to take my official visit. My high school coach, Phil Bravo, asked me what I thought Yale could have that was better than Princeton. It took me a long time to sit down and ponder what I actually wanted, and I realized I was perfectly content with Princeton."

Even before the news of Tom Williams' departure from Yale became public, coaches from the rival Ivy League coaches were closing in on the players being recruited by the Bulldogs. The day that the Williams story broke, I spoke with Yale recruiting target Ludovic Richardson out of Notre Dame of West Haven who said a member of Brown's coaching staff had contacted him. Trust me, this was not an isolated incident.

If the people who make the call on hiring the new Yale coach don't want to Bulldogs to get completely crushed in recruiting, they may want to have a head coach in place by the end of this week or the middle of next week at the latest. At then if recruits do visit New Haven next weekend, they will be able to meet with the Bulldogs' head coach other than a bunch of assistants likely not to be around when Yale begins spring practice.

There's no reason that candidates can't be brought in for interviews this week. Two names consistently mentioned as being targeted by Yale are Vanderbilt defensive coordinator and former Yale receiver Bob Shoop and UConn defensive coordinator Don Brown. Well, Vanderbilt's season ended with a 31-24 loss to Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl on Saturday and UConn wasn't bowl eligible so if Shoop and/or Brown are interested, let's hope Yale moves quickly to bring them in.

Yale commits honored

Running backs Christian Conway out of Bronxville High and Caleb Gilligan-Evans from Archbishop Stepinac were named to the "Golden Dozen" as top scholar/athletes by the Westchester Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Conway ran for 1,885 yards as a senior while Gilligan-Evans who had 944 rushing yards as a senior.