Football search loses another front-runner

A third candidate for the Yale football coaching vacancy has decided to stay put and not pursue the position.

Steve Addazio, the offensive line coach at the University of Florida, was promoted to offensive coordinator on Saturday, taking him out of the running for the Yale post. Addazio followed University of Massachusetts coach Don Brown and Holy Cross coach Tom Gilmore, who withdrew their names from consideration earlier this month.

Florida offensive line coach Steve Addazio — a top candidate for Yale's head coaching vacancy — has been named offensive coordinator for the Gators.
Florida offensive line coach Steve Addazio — a top candidate for Yale's head coaching vacancy — has been named offensive coordinator for the Gators.

A person familiar with the search process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential deliberations, told the News earlier this month that Brown and Gilmore were seen as the two front-runners to succeed Jack Siedlecki, who last month announced his retirement after 12 seasons as Yale’s head football coach. After they removed themselves from the search, the New Haven Register identified the 49-year-old Addazio, the former head coach at Cheshire (Conn.) High School, as the University’s top choice for the position.

There was only one complication: Addazio was also under consideration to succeed Florida’s current offensive coordinator, Dan Mullen, who earlier this month accepted the head coaching position at Mississippi State. The Florida job — while not a head coaching position — was seen as significantly more attractive than the Yale vacancy. Coordinators at major college football programs like Florida can make upward of $400,000 per year, and such a position can be a stepping-stone to a seven-figure head-coaching job like the one Mullen landed.

With Addazio out of the picture, it is unclear where the Athletics Department will turn next. In their most recent reports, the Register has identified only one other candidate who is said to be under consideration for the job: Jacksonville Jaguars defensive assistant Tom Williams, who has never before served as a head coach.

Officials in the Athletics Department have only said that they hope to name a head coach by the end of the year. Steve Conn, the director of Yale Sports Publicity, has declined to provide any specifics about the search’s progress or the candidates under consideration.


  • Re: Anonymous

    Then, Anonymous, you must be enduring a banal existence indeed. What a sad place the world would be if every person possessed the same narrow-minded pretension that plagues your reasoning.

    Classic, well-written article.

  • An Academician

    Hmmm.. maybe there is an omen here… Could Yale finally decide its mission is academic education, not the athletic business? If professional coaches see Yale as unattractive, maybe sports at Yale should be for fun… then we would not need paid coaches and the parallel universe of "recruited" athletes.

  • Current (Realistic) Eli

    @ An Academician,

    That would be nice, but

    a) Coaching should be paid, even if Yale didn't recruit. Football is always going to be a full-time job.

    b) Rich alums would be up in arms, and now, more than ever, Yale can't anger them.

    c) I wish a) and b) weren't true. Sports are great, and athletics is certainly a meaningful addition to campus life, but like music and drama, these should be predominantly extra-curricular. In those sports where Elis would excel even without recruitment, continue in D I. Otherwise, let's stick to club and intramurals.

    If there are truly students who would forego a Yale experience without top-teir athletics, so be it.

  • Yale '08

    I would not have matriculated at Yale if they did not offer Division 1 athletics.

    Yale does not offer scholarships and operates under severely restricted recruitment/admissions policies for athletes.

    Once enrolled, Yale athletes "make do" without many of the comforts of their Division 1 peers.

    But Yale was worth it.

    If Yale undergrads are afforded the chance for excellence in their field of passion, Yale athletes should be given the same courtesy.

    Only an academic would try to equate intramurals with Division 1 NCAA athletics.

    Would the same academic want to teach at John Smith Community College instead of at Yale?

    Yale Athletics are also a major source of minority student recruitment at Yale- a better form than affirmative action since there is a larger merit component.

  • Yale '08

    Also, Yale coaching positions are separately endowed. Their salaries (which are vastly below market value) are not part of Yale's overall budget- meaning your financial aide, your professors' salaries, your library, and your TA stipend are not impacted by a few $100k spent on coaches.

    Yale gets their money's worth from these coaches:

    Long hours spent recruiting students to come to Yale, working with the New Haven community, spreading the Yale brand around the globe, an overall record of athletic achievement…

  • T.R

    Rule One. If your going to fire someone, especially if that person has been successful, One should have a replacement ready to go.

    If the Yale Alumni is going to turn the Football Coach position into the Ivy League equivelent of Al Davis's Raiders don't be shocked if there is not a long line at the AD's office of waiting willing competent candidate's.

  • H. Zaleski

    Interestingly, a relative of the girl who wrote the letter was recently on Antique Roadshow. She had the orignal letter, the printed response and a photograph of the young girl (Virginia). The "value" of the material was estimated at auction as > $50,000.

  • Yale '08

    I hear Mangini's looking for a job…

  • Alum

    In looking for its third head football coach in 44 years, I don't think Yale should worry too much about gaining an Al Davis-like reputation. But #5 is right that this process reflects poorly on Yale's athletic director but is consistent with his record over 15 years of being long on talk and short on championships.

    #3: do you have any data to support your assertion that athletic recruitment is a major source of minority students? Football and basketball may do that but I'd guess that, overall, recruited athletes have a smaller percentage of minority students than the overall student body - and I'm 100% certain of that if you look at just the sports other than football and basketball.

  • Yale '10

    People really shouldn't come down on the recruited athletes. I was recruited to play at Yale, I do so at the present time, and I scored 2100 on my SAT, 34 on my ACT and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. Anyone who tries to tell me, or any of my teammates that we don't belong at Yale or are somehow lesser than don't know what they're talking about. Only 4-5 people who get in through football would have had no chance of getting in otherwise. We are subject to the exact rules and regulation the other students are subject to and on top of carrying a full course load, I'm double majored, we commit ourselves to upwards of 15 hours of football activities. We pay the same amount of money everyone else does, sit in the same classes, and work ourselves to the bone to balance being student-athletes. Varsity level athletics provide positive things for the school. We help bring in alumni money, provide the student body with something to rally around as a school, and account for a very large part of the community service done in the area on Yale's behalf.

  • @#7

    I applied applied minority in this sense:

    Division 1 athletics allows Yale to access a large variety of locales and backgrounds and profiles of students that would otherwise self-select themselves out of the Yale admissions pool.

    We would lose a large number of these STUDENT-athletes to Stanford, Trinity, Patriot League schools (Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross), Cal, UCLA, Notre Dame, Boston College, Vanderbilt, plus any number of state schools.

    While I haven't done the statistics- you will see that historically black student-athletes have been the largest segment of Yale's minority student population- dating back to Levi Jackson, and continuing today especially on the Football, Basketball, Track/Field teams.

    Athletics has a place of pride at Yale- Yale athletics take the spirit of the Olympics- skillful and ethical excellence.

  • Alum (#7 above)

    #9: you are certainly right that in Levi Jackson's time, he constituted a large percentage of Yale's black population - I think perhaps 100%. I think football, basketball and track benefit Yale's diversity in the ways you mention. Perhaps that is true of baseball too and maybe soccer. But is it true of crew, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, hockey (not racially, certainly, but perhaps geographically and economically?), lacrosse, sailing, softball, squash, swimming, tennis and volleyball? Those sports account for a lot of recruited athletes, many of whom come from privileged backgrounds who don't merit a leg up in the admissions process.

    None of this means that the student-athletes at Yale don't deserve to be at Yale - almost uniformly they do. But so too do half or more of Yale's applicant pool but with an acceptance rate below 10% (WAY below 10% for applicants who aren't recruited athletes, minority or legacy) the vast majority aren't accepted. I guess I wonder about a system that reserves spots in Yale's class for applicants who are a) acceptable but not necessarily the most deserving of a place at Yale and b) don't add to the diversity (in the ways you mention, all of which are legitimate) of the student body.

    Yale shouldn't unilaterally 'disarm' but I'd like to see the Ivies and other like-minded schools start getting out of the game of finding students for their sports and revert to the original function of organized athletics, which was to provide athletic outlets for their students. I'm not a purist and for sports like football, hockey and basketball (and Title IX would require some gender equalizer) which provide some of the unifying benefits #8 mentions and which are played across wide geographic and economic swaths of society, I'd favor continued recruiting (I wouldn't mind seeing the Ivies go back to bringing in 50 football players each year, with the slow tight ends (etc.) from Iowa (etc.) trying out for crew when football doesn't work out). Instead of reserving spots to be designated by the coach after a recruiting process, tell the coaches to coach and stay away from formal recruiting and ask the admissions office to consider serious sports participation as a plus factor for all applicants. The net result: improved football, (and maybe basketball and hockey), diminished other 'national' sports like golf, swimming and tennis (but if the current system results in Yale fielding the 75th best tennis team, does anyone really care if we instead end up with the 100th best?) and, for the sports like squash which are dominated by the Ivies, weaker teams on an absolute basis but continued competitiveness within the small circle of schools that compete. 'Walk-ons' would disappear as a description of that rare non-recruit on a team and instead become common and expected.

    Feasible? I don't know, but it sure sounds like a superior result than our current system.

  • @10

    No, I would prefer that we maximize the success of our current system.

    Levin and his ilk have de-emphasized athletics to the point where it is a miracle that we win anything.

    Let them play to win!

  • Yale '10

    The problem with simply having qualified student-athletes apply on the hope that they get in wouldn't be a wise decision. Firstly, with Yale only admitting 9.7 percent of applicants most of the athletes a team wanted, or who would be great additions to a team, simply wouldn't get in. The purpose of recruiting is taking kids who stand a legitimate chance at getting in and guaranteeing their spot in exchange for guaranteeing their participation in said sport. If the sports teams relied solely on walk-ons then our varsity teams would probably play near the level of an IM. The participants wouldn't take the sport nearly as seriously as would committed athletes and the outcome would be teams undermanned and under performing. The current policy of allotting each team x number of spots seems to be working out pretty well for the university at large. If the quality of the student-athletes was poor, don't you think the administration would have reigned in allotted spots? I can only speak to the football team as to the mettle of the players, but the last 420 recruited Yale football players, 12 years worth, have graduated on time with many of them receiving cum laude distinction. The students who play sports, didn't get in despite not being qualified, they got in because they were smart enough to have a trump card to play with admissions. As far as adding to the diversity goes, #10 is correct to say that other than the sports that are available everywhere, racial diversity goes out the window. Within those groups of athletes though there is a fair amount of socioeconomic diversity that I think is still needed and should be encouraged.

  • '98

    Come on, guys … get a grip. Just because we can't beat Harvard doesn't mean we have to give up football.

  • competitor

    Other than Alum and Yale'10 and maybe one other posting, nobody here wants to compete. I'm sick and tired of Yale not wanting to compete. The reason Siedlecki got fired/reassigned is we're not beating the H and that is our biggest competitor. We compete with Harvard in everything; athletics and academics. Losing 7out8 isn't a rivalry, its one sided and it had to change.

    Everyone on who is complaining about athletes getting in because of sports doesn't get it. People get into the Y because they bring something special to the table. if we wanted just pure smart guys we wouldnt reject 20 perfect SAT score kids every year. If you're not going to give Yale more street cred when you graduate, you're not gonna get in. I want Yale to be #1 in everything. #1 in football, #1 in math, #1 in the US NEws rankings, #1 among law schools, #1 in whatever. Nobody at yale wants to compete, everyone is just satisfied with well we're still doing pretty well. Is anyone mad that Harvard and princeton are always #1 in the college rankings and we're number 3? Does anyone get annoyed when everyone on TV was a harvard grad, they teach at the harvard school of whatever. I bet you nobody knows the yale law school is #1 by 10points. 10 points!! its always about harvard law blah blah blah. People make it seem like you cant have a great D1 (1-A for football) program and be a great school . examples equal stanford and duke. And the haters always make the reference oh well you can't have a good a academic institution if your athletics do well. Really? Never in the history academia has an applicant said well i was going to go to this top 5 university but their football team finished in the AP top 10 so i went elsewhere.

    If you don't want to compete, get out….

  • Yale '08

    Wow. Could you imagine the typical IM player attempting to compete against NCAA varsity athletes?

    That would be a blood bath.

    Honestly, if a squad of IM players scrimmaged our varsity football team I think the score would be:

    70-0 with about 15 injuries on the IM side.

  • Boola

    Can't beat Harvard, can barely score on Harvard! What about ex-Yalie Shoop? Dick Jauron will be available shortly as well. I hear a former Harvard player just interviewed..wouldn't that fire up the alumni. Recruiting will suffer, pull the trigger! By the way, nice miss on Gilmore, the 'roid ranger, and Don getting transfers from Rutgers into Yale!

  • a geezer

    Why all this angst over the prospect of grown men playing little boy's games.. is Yale a school or a playground?

  • go compete

    Then go to Standford or Duke. Yale is a university — it's purpose is academics. Sports, organizations, social life — all things that make the academic experience more comfrotable, enjoyable, and meaningful. But as long as Yale has top-teir acdemics — science, social science, and humanities — I couldn't care less if it were 100th in either sports or US News rankings.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps Yale should consider a Head Coach that could work well under the restrictions present there.

    Larry Kehres, Head Coach at Mount Union College.

    Kehres has guided the Mount Union Purple Raiders to 10 NCAA Division III football titles in 23 years at the helm. During that time, MUC has posted 17 undefeated seasons and 19 Ohio Athletic Conference crowns.

    His overall record as the Mount Union head football coach is 275-21-3.

    Mount Union doesn't even offer football scholarships - and still dominates D-III pretty much year-in and year-out.

    This man epitomizes what a coach can do with TRUE student/athletes.

  • '98

    If you can't beat 'em, get one of their key guys to turn the tide!

    Joel Lamb - Havard's Offensive Coordinator and QB coach … and a top recruiter too boot:

    I sure hope this is the "Harvard grad" now under consideration.

  • @ Roger C.

    Roger C.

    Mount Union has about 300 kids on the roster (between the Frosh, JV and Varsity teams) at the beginning of the season.

    That can't happen at Yale, unless you want to see a bunch of book worms getting pounded at practice everyday.

  • competitor

    3 quick things:
    1. '98, apparently you didn't get the memo that Joel was the OC when we lost 5 straight to the H…I'd like to paraphrase Bo Schembechler, "I don't want a Harvard man coaching Yale. I want a Yale man coaching a Yale team."

    2. go compete, you also missed the memorandum that you don't get into the top 100 unless you have top tier academics…

    3. geezer, football's a man's game…if you think its so soft, put a jersey on.

    We need a head guy who loves football and loves to instill in men the qualities that it takes to succeed on the field, in the classroom, in their relationships with people, in whatever they decide to do in their lives.

  • '98

    To competitor:

    With all due respect to Bo Schembechler, I don't think coaching spots have to be limited to graduates.

    Have you ever heard of Tim Taylor? A Harvard grad and assistant coach at Harvard who went on to become a legend as hockey coach at Yale for 28 years.

  • Anonymous

    I bet Virginia didn't get it

  • Christmas lives

    Great editorial! thanks for reprinting (had never read it in full)

  • Anonymous

    "Mount Union has about 300 kids on the roster (between the Frosh, JV and Varsity teams) at the beginning of the season.

    That can't happen at Yale, unless you want to see a bunch of book worms getting pounded at practice everyday."

    Very true. My point though wasn't that he should be considered to bring MUC's system to Yale. More that he is adept at winning with true Student Athletes as opposed to Football first programs like USC/OSU etc.
    Whatever may come, I hope Yale can find a Head Coach that brings success to the program.

  • alum the bum

    All the Yale doubters, do us a favor and shut your pie holes! Yale can be the best in everything: Math, science, literature….and football. Stop being so defeatest and let's get a coach whose goal above all is to rip the intestines out of Harvard and stuff them back down their throat before urinating on their open abdominal wound.

  • @23

    Tim Taylor is a "legend" insofar as he lost more games than any coach in Yale history and kept his job for decades with a losing record. Perhaps not the finest example for what Yale should be aiming for in a new coach. At least Siedlecki had a career winning record.

  • Recent Alum

    There is something really wrong if a "coordinator" position at the University of Florida, or even the head coaching position at a state school like Mississippi, pays more than the head coaching position at Yale. No wonder we cannot attract the best candidates.

  • Anonymous

    ..or maybe there is something right that that pay discrepancy exists ? anyway, the benchmark for yale has been, and should remain, Harvard and Princeton, our only real competitors in sports as they are ivy, no scolies, and student bodies are indistinguishable (and If I read the Ivy Agreement and subsequent rules correctly, the academic qualifications of varsity athletes are only able to deviate from overall student pool by a specified amount, so harvard recruits under at least as stringent ceiling as Bulldogs do…we dont care about winning Ivy titles, we care about beating Pton and Harvard, AND thats hwo it shoudl be in sports- Stanford is yales academic peer in mnay ways , but wed never schedule-and shouldn't -their scholarship D1 sports - now that they are giving scholarships we can expect them to eclipse us even in sports such as squash - your either in the Ivy League or youre not - the simple fact is despite having some talented and excellent Ivy league record, our teams have not been as well prepared to play as Harvard in past 8 years of THe Game…this to change- bringin in a new coach seems to have been necessary

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