|WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College Athletic Director Harry Sheehy announced today that Mike Whalen has been named to succeed Dick Farley as the head coach of the Williams College football team.|
"The committee and I were thrilled with the level of professionalism that Mike Whalen has shown throughout this process as he came through as a consummate professional," said Sheehy. "We look forward to Mike continuing the proud tradition of Williams football and we know that the student-athletes, alums, the community at-large and the entire Williams community will welcome Mike to his new position."
Whalen is in his eighth year at Williams. He came to Williams in 1997 to serve as the ofensive line coach under Dick Farley, head coach of wrestling and assistant professor of PE and in 2001 he took on the added role of offensive coordinator under Farley.
"Mike's got the perfect pedigree for the job," said Dick Farley. "He's played and coached in NESCAC and he has coached in the Ivy and Patriot leagues. He was a loyal and trusted assistant for eight years. I wish him well."
Dick Farley (l.) hands over the Eph football program to Mike Whalen
A 1983 graduate of Wesleyan University, Whalen captained both the football and wrestling teams while earning All-New England and All-American honors three times. In wrestling he was the first New England wrestler to win four consecutive New England Championships.
Whalen's coaching career began at Springfield College where he served as a graduate assistant in both football and wrestling while earning a Master's in Physical Education. Upon completing his degree requirements at Springfield, Whalen joined the staff at Penn and the 1986 Quakers went undefeated and won the Ivy League title. From Penn Whalen moved on to Lafayette where the Leopards won the Colonial League title in 1988 and the Patriot League title in 1989. In 1993 Whalen went to Colgate University where he was the Associate Head Coach and offensive line coach for the Red Raiders.
At Williams Whalen has had at least one offensive lineman named All-NESCAC First Team each year. In 2001 Whalen added the duties of Offensive Coordinator to his o-line responsibilities and twice his Ephs were the most productive offense in NESCAC in yards gained and points scored. He has coached the only player in NESCAC and ECAC-Northeast history to win back-to-back Offensive Player of the Year awards in QB Joe Reardon '04. Whalen inserted Reardon into the starting QB role just four games into Reardon's first season and the move paid huge dividends for the Ephs.
"It's a tremendous honor to have been selected from a very competitive pool of applicants," said Whalen. "I'd like to thank President Morty Schapiro, the committee, Harry Sheehy and all of the football players and football alums who supported me in this process. I'm excited about having the opportunity to live up to the expectations of this program and look forward to writing the next chapter of the Williams football history."
To date as the head coach of Williams wrestling Whalen has had 36 All-New England performers and in 2000 he was named the NECCWA Coach of the Year for leading Williams to a second place finish among the 15 teams in the region. On the strength of a third place finish by Tom Prairie at 125, the Ephs finished 17th at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Prairie's third place finish is the highest for an Eph in NCAA Div. III competition. Along with coaching the All-American Tom Prairie, Whalen has also coached Jeff Ishizuka '04, who was named a Rhodes Scholar in the fall of 2003.
Joe Reardon '04 and Mike whalen discuss the next play
Whalen and his wife Karen and sons Jake and Luke reside in Williamstown.