New head football coach JB Wells’ coaching staff is beginning to take shape. Shem Bloom and Tom Blumenaur, who worked under Wells at his previous position at Endicott College, have been hired to serve as Bowdoin’s defensive and offensive coordinators, respectively. 

Ryan Sullivan, who is the Polar Bears’ head softball coach, and had also been serving as an assistant football coach, will now focus on softball and will also begin to oversee Bowdoin’s intramural sports program. 

It is not unusual for assistant coaches to leave and other staffing changes to occur when a head coach leaves, according to Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan ’98, who said that these staffing changes were simply the result of a broader reevaluation of the football program, not a response to the performance of the former assistants.

Bloom was a defensive lineman at Wesleyan College. Prior to joining Endicott’s coaching staff, he served on Wesleyan’s sidelines for four seasons and Middlebury’s for two.

Blumenauer’s past experience comes from outside of the NESCAC, but still within D-III. A more recent addition to Endicott’s coaching staff, he previously served at St. Lawrence University, which plays in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and in a variety of positions at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Ryan said that as Wells orchestrates a new strategy for the football team, the College felt it was important that he be surrounded by individuals he had worked with in the past.

“One of the benefits of being at Bowdoin is that our student athletes are able to build great relationships with their coaches and any time there is turnover in any position it takes time for those relationships to develop,” Ryan said. 

Wells, Blumenaur and Bloom are already on campus, and have begun meeting the returning team members, and familiarizing themselves with Bowdoin tradition and campus culture. Ryan said he believes that that the new coaches’ experiences in similar environments will allow the new program to hit the ground running next season.

Community responses to the staffing changes have been largely positive. Many said it brings new energy and excitement to a program that has faced challenges in recent years.

 According to Tom Capone ’17, while the new direction will become most obvious during the season, he and other team members are already seeing positive changes, from a new emphasis on nutrition to revamped workout plans. 

“We’re competing in ways that we haven’t in previous years. I think that this coaching staff definitely brings a revitalized sense of competition. They’re really motivating us to work hard in the offseason,” Capone said. 

These changes come at the end of a string of lackluster seasons for Bowdoin football. Only time will tell if the new coaching staff can start a new chapter for the struggling program.