November 26, 2008

Siedlecki Retiring From Coaching

Nov. 26, 2008

Jack Siedlecki, Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football at Yale University, has announced his retirement as football coach and has accepted a position as assistant director within the school's department of athletics.

Over the past 12 years, Siedlecki has coached Yale Football to a pair of Ivy League Championships (1999, 2006) and has posted a 70-49 (47-37 Ivy) record. During his tenure, the team has been in late contention for an Ivy championship almost every year. Siedlecki has a record of 23-7 over the last three years.

"I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over 12 years, going from 1-9 to 9-1 in three years, winning two Ivy League championships and playing with the title on the line in the final game of the season the past three years," said Siedlecki. "I have been given an opportunity to stay affiliated with Yale Athletics for the balance of my career, and I deeply appreciate that."

Siedlecki was named 2007 New England Coach of the Year and came within a game of coaching the Blue to its first perfect season since 1960. His 2007 squad went 9-1 and earned a top 20 ranking in the major Football Championship Subdivision polls. Yale's 2006 Ivy title came after finishing 8-2 (6-1 Ivy) and beating Harvard 34-13. That Yale squad was picked fifth in the pre-season poll before reeling off seven straight wins and finishing No. 25 in The Sports Network final rankings.

"We are proud of the work Jack and his staff have accomplished in a football program where the expectations are very high and the results have been good," said Yale Athletics Director Tom Beckett. "We believe the Jack will continue to be a valuable presence as an assistant director of athletics in a position where he can be a powerful advocate and spokesperson for Ivy athletics and Ivy athletes, both within the University and around the nation."

Siedlecki, who has been a collegiate head coach for 21 years, owns a 126-71-2 record and has witnessed almost every Yale offensive record being broken during his tenure in New Haven.

The former Amherst College head coach was named Yale's 32nd football mentor on Dec. 19, 1996. Siedlecki replaced the winningest coach in Ivy League football history, Hall of Famer Carm Cozza, who retired in 1996 after 32 seasons.

Yale's 33rd head football coach led the Blue from a 1-9 season his first year to a 1999 Ivy title and a 9-1 season that included a win over Harvard before 52,484 in Yale Bowl. That helped Siedlecki garner New England Coach of the Year honors. The Bulldogs broke 53 school records and ranked eighth in the 1999 Lambert/Meadowlands voting. All of this came after the Elis lost the season opener and then reeled off nine straight wins.

"The 400 student-athletes our staff recruited to play football have represented Yale and Yale Football beyond reproach. This year was a shining example of that. Casey Gerald was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Bobby Abare is a Buchanan Award finalist and Mike McLeod was a candidate for the Payton Award," said Siedlecki. "They exemplify the type of student-athlete we have the privilege of dealing with on a daily basis at Yale."

A search committee will be assembled and will begin immediately to find Siedlecki's successor.

Report Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD and Sports Publicity Director