Yeomen Usher in New Era with Anderson

Lillian Jahan

Last week Delta Lodge Director of Athletics, Natalie Winkelfoos and President Marvin Krislov selected Assistant Coach Jay Anderson to head football coach from a pool of over 200 applicants. Coach Anderson has been the interim coach since early December and has been with the Yeomen for four seasons. Over the course of his time as both defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Oberlin, Anderson has coached many players to All-NCAC and All-Ohio accolades and has aided in two shutout victories for the Yeomen defense.

Anderson’s appointment as head coach was welcomed by many, including administrators, coaches and especially players.

Kyle Kessler, senior captain and linebacker who played a role in the hiring process said, “[Oberlin] made the right move with Coach Anderson. He’s a guy that’s been with the program before; he knows what it takes to succeed at a place like Oberlin and with the unique challenges that a school like this presents.”

Sophomore quarterback Lucas Poggiali is excited for what lies ahead. “Clearly what we were doing was not working. You can already see a change in our team’s work ethic. We have always been a hard working team, but now we are working smarter. I am really excited for Anderson to be the new coach. The school is committed to an overhaul on the football team and is dedicated to the success of the program. Coach Anderson is the perfect person to lead this change.”

While Anderson’s promotion was significant for the team, it was also important to him for personal reasons. Anderson, a native of Oberlin and a former football and track athlete at Oberlin High School, is excited that this new position allows him to return to his old stomping grounds after spending a year coaching at Division II Notre Dame College. He is ready to make an impact in the athletics department and the greater Oberlin community.

Anderson has already started to make changes to the program. The focus this spring has been on recruiting and “changing the mindset in regards to the classroom,” said Anderson. “We have a team goal. We want a team 3.0 [GPA]. We want our players to excel in and out of the classroom because we want them sprinting over that finish line, not limping, with a championship ring on one hand and one of the finest [undergraduate] degrees of this country in the other.”

It is this clear passion for football and desire to work with student-athletes at an academically rigorous institution that made Anderson stand out as a candidate.

Winkelfoos is excited about Anderson’s goals and visions for this program. “Jay has a vision of excellence for the program. It’s a picture of students achieving in the classroom, on the field and after four years with us on campus. His familiarity and understanding of Oberlin propelled him to the front of the pack of candidates. He grew up in Oberlin and has a connection and passion in seeing Oberlin College athletics get stronger that is difficult to match,” she said.

This season, the Yeomen received some media attention because of the small size of the roster. With only 37 players and never more than 34 of them healthy, the Yeomen were the smallest collegiate football team in the nation. Anderson’s goal is to achieve a roster of about 50 players, which would likely make an incredible difference for the team’s future success.

The football team had a goal of bringing in between 20 and 25 players next fall. According to Anderson, “We’re in that mad hunt of finishing up right now, but we are getting really close to reaching that goal.”

President Marvin Krislov is also eager to see the team’s roster increase in size. “We need to have a larger squad because our current numbers are not adequate for the health and safety of the players,” he said. “I am very excited about Jay Anderson. He has done a terrific job under somewhat difficult circumstances and has proven to be an effective recruiter. What I have heard from many students is that not only is he a good coach, but also someone they can look to as a mentor and a leader.”