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New Harvard Football Coach Andrew Aurich to Retain Team’s Coaching Staff

Andrew Aurich was introduced earlier this month as the next head coach of Harvard's football team.
Andrew Aurich was introduced earlier this month as the next head coach of Harvard's football team. By Addison Y. Liu
By Jo B. Lemann, Crimson Staff Writer

Andrew Aurich, Harvard’s new head football coach, informed players on Monday that all current coaches would stay with the team and all defensive coaches would stay in their positions, according to a player at the meeting.

In the conversation, which was held before practice on Monday, Aurich announced that Joel K. Lamb ’93, last year’s quarterbacks coach, would be moved to a non-position assistant coach. Aurich also said that Mickey D. Fein, who served as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach last season, will become the new quarterbacks coach while remaining offensive coordinator.

The announcement came two weeks after Aurich was appointed head coach, a role which was previously occupied for 30 years by Tim Murphy.

College spokesperson Jonathan Palumbo did not confirm or deny Aurich’s coaching assignments in a statement on Wednesday.

“The football staff will be announced when decisions are finalized,” Palumbo wrote.

Aurich’s hiring sparked backlash from players and alumni who had hoped for one of the internal finalists — Scott Larkee ’99 and Lamb — to be hired for the role. Alumni also expressed concern about Aurich’s qualifications and a perceived lack of transparency from Athletic Director Erin McDermott during the search process.

Aurich told players that he reinterviewed all coaches before inviting them to return to their roles. His decision to keep the staff means that both internal finalists who lost out to Aurich for the head coach position will stay with the team.

Two members of Harvard football’s coaching staff — Offensive Line Coach Keegan Kennedy and Defensive Line Coach Mike Horan — voluntarily left their positions for jobs at other schools.

Horan left prior to Murphy’s retirement to become defensive coordinator at Marist College and Kennedy is set to become the offensive line coach at the University of Richmond.

Kennedy’s departure and Lamb and Fein’s new coaching roles will require Aurich to appoint a new offensive line coach and a wide receivers coach. Aurich informed players that he would also be hiring a new tight ends coach, a position previously filled by Murphy before his retirement.

Aurich informed the team he was close to filling those vacant positions.

Justin D. Leszynski ’25, a Harvard football player who was at the meeting, said that the team reacted positively to Aurich’s announcement.

“People are definitely happy that the coaches are staying,” he said.

Leszynski expressed his confidence in Harvard’s current coaches and explained the benefits of keeping them on.

“They have familiarity with us and with our program and the way things work,” Leszynski said. “A lot of these coaches went to Harvard themselves and played here, so they have familiarity with the school, and I think it just helps the transition be more smooth.”

Tyler J. Neville ’24, a senior tight end, said Aurich’s hiring process might be more complicated because most coaches are recruited right after the end of the season or even before Bowl games.

“It is later, so that’ll make it tough because a lot of guys have already taken jobs,” Neville said.

Neville, however, expressed confidence in Aurich’s ability to make the right choices for the team.

“The more I talk to the guy, the more I’m confident he’s going to make great decisions,” he said.

Leszynski also was optimistic about the new coaches, though he noted that the coaches might be from “lesser programs” than Harvard.

“There’s plenty of qualified coaches at lesser programs that I guess now just will take the jump up to Harvard,” he said.

Leszynski also spoke to the team’s current mood, saying that the players seem to like Aurich and have returned to a sense of normalcy after the “uncertainty” following Murphy’s retirement.

“There’s a renewed vigor, I’d say,” Leszynski added. “A better sense of direction.”

—Staff writer Jo B. Lemann can be reached at Follow her on X @Jo_Lemann.

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