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Harvard Athletics Director Erin McDermott confirmed Monday morning that Andrew Aurich, a tight ends coach at Rutgers University, will serve as Harvard football’s next head coach.
The appointment ended the program’s first head coach search in 30 years, a brief but turbulent process that ended with McDermott bringing in an external candidate to helm the team, despite many players pushing for current Defensive Coordinator Scott A. Larkee ’99 to serve in the role.
McDermott’s announcement came four days after The Crimson first reported on Thursday that Aurich would become the team’s next head coach.
Aurich, who was previously a tight ends coach at Rutgers, played as an offensive lineman at Princeton before becoming offensive coordinator at the school. He also spent a year as a defensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unlike the previous two Harvard football head coaches, Aurich has no previous head coaching experience.
McDermott praised Aurich’s selection in a press release on Monday.
“He brings great coaching and recruiting experience from Rutgers as well as his time at Princeton and in the NFL,” she said. “He is a true Ivy model of an educator-coach and brings a hard-nosed, focused mentality that is both caring and demanding.”
Aurich will take over the coaching position less than one month after Tim Murphy, who coached the team for 30 years, announced his retirement.
His hiring faced backlash from both players and alumni even before its official confirmation. Critics of Aurich’s selection cited concerns about his credentials and McDermott’s speedy search process.
Players also said that they received no advance notice prior to Aurich’s official announcement, despite McDermott telling players earlier in the process that they would learn about the hiring before an announcement was made.
Aurich said in a press release that he wanted “to thank Erin McDermott and all those on the search committee for their support.”
“I have been preparing for this moment all my professional life and look forward to making a difference in the lives of the young men in this program,” he said. “Harvard is the best academic institution in the world, and we will pursue the same level of excellence on the field.”
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