Yale’s Lying Football Coach

by Nathan Harden

When Yale hired Tom Williams to be its head football coach three years ago, the university made a lot of fuss over the fact that Williams would be the first African-American head coach in the school’s history.

Shortly after being hired in 2009, Williams was quoted saying the following: “I look forward to the day when it doesn’t matter what the color of the skin of a coach that’s hired any place is. But unfortunately, I don’t think we live in that era yet. Movement is glacial. It’s happening, but it’s glacial.”

Around the same time he told the New York Times: “The argument that I hear is that there aren’t enough qualified African-American coaches out there,” Williams said. “But the question is: How hard are you looking?”

That turns out to have been a very good question. It seems that Yale administrators didn’t look much more than skin deep. The New York Times reported yesterday that Williams is resigning after news emerged that he lied on his résumé about being a Rhodes Scholarship finalist in the Nineties. To top that, he also lied about having played in the NFL. Apparently, nobody checked to verify those claims during the interview process.

In the three years prior to Williams’s arrival, the Yale team had a record of 23–7. During Williams’s three years as coach that record fell to 16–14.

In an infamous case of poor coaching, Williams once called a fake punt on 4th and 22 from deep in Yale territory even though Yale held a 10–7 lead over Harvard with two and a half minutes left in the game. After Yale failed to make a first down, Harvard took over and scored the winning touchdown with less than a minute to play.

Williams has tarnished the university with his lies and poor performance. This alumnus will be glad to see him go.

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