Harvard football looked golden two months ago. It had just won the program’s 14th Ivy title in dominant fashion—the heavyweight champ taking on a field of lightweights. It had steamrolled to an easy 45-7 win at the Yale Bowl, embarrassing the Bulldogs en route to its 10th win in 11 Games.
But then, slowly, things started to unravel.
Much of this was expected. Stars like quarterback Collier Winters hit the road. Defensive tackle Josue Ortiz said sayonara.
That’s all natural; it is the inexorable march and the immutable ebb and flow of college sports. A good thing won’t—can’t—last forever.
But what happened next, no one expected.
Yale coach Tom Williams resigned amid allegations that he lied on his resume, and to fill the open position, the Bulldogs tapped Harvard coach Tony Reno.
So far Reno has churned out All-Ivy stars at a remarkable pace, produced some of the nation’s stingiest secondaries, and won the AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2002.
No one could blame Reno for his decision. It’s not everyday that you’re offered the chance to run a major football program.
In his press conference, Reno expressed his deep admiration for Harvard coach Tim Murphy and his program.
“He prepares [his team] to be great players on and off the field,” Reno said. “Those are pieces I’m going to bring here to make Yale successful.”
Turns out, those weren’t the only pieces Reno took with him to New Haven.
The newly-hired coach lured away three other Harvard assistant coaches: Kris Barber, Joe Conlin, and Dwayne Wilmot. In a matter of two weeks, four of the nine assistant coaches have traded the Crimson for the Bulldogs, bringing with them Murphy’s whole bag of tricks.
Et tu, Brute?
Generally, when coaches leave, they sugarcoat it. They’ll say they’re looking forward to working with this coach or excited about that opportunity.
But those common courtesies vanished this time around. Seemingly no one pretended otherwise—this one was about better cash and better titles. Sold to the highest bidder. Part Sotheby’s, part Iago.
Report: Reno To Be Named Yale Head Football CoachHarvard secondary and special teams coordinator Tony Reno will be named the next Yale head football coach tomorrow, the Yale Daily News and New Haven Register are reporting.
Reno, Former Harvard Assistant, Takes Over as Yale Football Coach
PARDON THE COLLABORATION: A Rough Year So Far For Yale FootballHarvard’s rival in New Haven is engaged in what has become a year-long comedy of errors on and off the field.
AROUND THE IVIES: Harvard To Take On Quakers for CrownIt’s happening again.
Reno Takes Talents to Yale
AROUND THE IVIES: Harvard-Yale Will Be A Statement GameAt what point does rock truly hit bottom? For the Yale football program, that’s not an easy question to answer.