Football coach Jack Siedlecki has decided to retire from his position and assume an administrative post in the Yale Athletics Department, the News has learned.
An announcement could come as early as today. Steve Conn, the director of Yale Sports Publicity, declined to comment, and neither Siedlecki nor Athletic Director Tom Beckett could immediately be reached for comment.
Siedlecki coached the Bulldogs to a 70-49 record over 12 years. He led the team to two Ivy titles, one in 1999 and the other in 2006, and just last year was named coach of the year by the New England Football Writers Association.
Rumors about Siedlecki’s possible departure began to circulate among members of the football team on Tuesday, three days after Yale lost to archrival Harvard in The Game for the seventh time in eight meetings. The defeat dropped Siedlecki’s overall record against the Crimson to 4-8.
Since then, students and alumni intensified their criticism of Siedlecki, with some suggesting he should be fired. It was not just that Harvard has Siedlecki’s number, many of them said; rather, it was the way in which the Crimson dominated the Elis the last two seasons that suggested Yale should go in another direction. In the teams’ last two meetings combined, Harvard has outscored Yale 47-6 and the Bulldogs have been held to under 200 yards of total offense.
Overall, Siedlecki was a winning coach, posting a 70-51 record in his 12 seasons patrolling the sidelines. But his past success seemed to be overshadowed in recent weeks by the disappointment of this season. Entering the season as co-favorites to win the Ivy League championship with the Crimson, the Elis finished a disappointing 6-4 overall and 4-3 in conference play. The 4-3 league record landed the team in fourth place in the Ivy League.
Those results came despite boasting the No. 1 scoring defense for the second consecutive year and the return of one the most prolific tailbacks in Ivy League history, Mike McLeod ’09. Yet the Bulldog offense was not able to match the defense’s strength and was held to 14 or fewer points in six of the team’s ten games.
Yale officials were mum on the process to select Siedlecki’s successor, but defensive coordinator Rick Flanders may be an early favorite after leading the nation’s top scoring defense two years in a row.
The Web site FootballScoop.com first reported on Tuesday that Siedlecki would not return to coach the Bulldogs next season.
Stay tuned to yaledailynews.com for updates on this breaking story.