I read with interest my fellow football alum Daniel Covell’s piece in last week’s Orient that takes a very academic and somewhat drastic approach to addressing Bowdoin’s football woes. However, sometimes turning a program around simply comes down to the right leadership, and Daniel neglects to mention this fourth, rather basic option, that I believe has the best chance for success:
• Hire a dynamic hard-charging head coach who played NESCAC football and has a track record of building football programs from scratch.
• Give him the opportunity to build his own roster by recruiting players from outside of the competitive Northeast Corridor.
• Show patience as he defines a new culture.
Fortunately, President Rose and Director of Athletics Tim Ryan have already chosen to exercise that option and although the record doesn’t show it, Coach J.B. Wells is in the process of creating the foundation that will bring long-term success to the program. Changing a culture is akin to pushing a rock up hill, but Wells has shown many of us that he is a strong and capable leader.
Finally, we should never quantify success solely through wins and losses. Bowdoin Football is far more about learning the value of hard work and discipline and building lifelong relationships.
Dan Spears is a member of the Class of 1981 and was a member of the football team.