ITHACA, N.Y. - Cornell University has chosen its next head football coach, and he is no stranger to the program: former captain David Archer, who served as an assistant coach for the Big Red for the past six seasons.
Here is the full press release from the Cornell Athletics Department:
David Archer '05, a former Big Red captain as a player and architect of the Big Red's recent recruiting success, has been named The Roger J. Weiss '61 Coach of Cornell Football by Andy Noel, the Meakem*Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education. Archer becomes the 27th head coach in school history and takes over for Kent Austin, who resigned in December to become vice president of football operations, general manager and head football coach of the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Archer will be formally introduced to the Cornell community on Friday at 2 p.m. at a press conference in the Hall of Fame Room in Schoellkopf Memorial Hall. The event will be broadcast at no charge on Cornell RedCast.
"I am incredibly honored to be named the Roger J. Weiss '61 Head Coach of Football at Cornell University," Archer said. "Cornell is such a special place that changed my life. I can think of no better job in the country than being Cornell's head football coach. To me, Cornell football is all about the people. I am excited to work for President David Skorton, Vice President Susan Murphy and Director of Athletics Andy Noel. I am just as excited to serve our outstanding alumni, players and supporters. Go Big Red!"
"I am thrilled that David Archer has accepted our offer to become the Roger J. Weiss '61 Head Coach of Football at Cornell," Noel said. "Many will consider David's meteoric rise to this level of responsibility as unconventional. However, to those who have worked with David or have had a window into his leadership acumen will not be surprised in the least. He will lead a charge that will profoundly impact Big Red football into the future."
"I am so excited for Cornell football to have David Archer as the Roger Weiss '61 Head Coach" said University Vice President for Student and Academic Services, Susan Murphy. " From his days as a player and as a coach, he knows, perhaps better than anyone, what it takes to succeed at Cornell on the field and in the classroom. He has demonstrated tremendous success as a recruiter for the Big Red because he has a passion for his alma mater that is infectious and contagious. I look forward to the coaching team he will assemble to join him as they work with our very special student-athletes to bring Cornell its first outright Ivy title."
A rising star in the coaching community, Archer becomes the youngest Division I head football coach in the country at 30 years and two months old. He is a year and nine months younger than the next-youngest, Davidson's Paul Nichols. Archer recently completed his sixth season as an assistant coach and fourth year as recruiting coordinator at his alma mater. He has been a key component in the Big Red's turnaround during that time while tutoring the fullbacks, tight ends, running backs, offensive line and linebackers at various times since his return to East Hill.
He has served as the Big Red's recruiting coordinator for the past four recruiting cycles, bringing in some of the most talented classes in recent memory. In all, 55 first-year players have seen varsity action with 21 earning at least one start in the past three years. Record-setting All-America quarterback Jeff Mathews, the program's first Ivy League Rookie of the Year since 1989 and first Player of the Year since 1996, was among the first recruits Archer's plan yielded. National rookie of the year candidate Luke Hagy was another. In 2012 alone, 21 freshmen earned playing time and six captured at least one start.
Despite the team's youth, the quality of play has improved dramatically thanks in large part to Archer's recruiting plan. In his first two seasons as recruiting coordinator, the team won four games. That number has more than doubled over the last two years (nine). He has assisted in the development of an offensive gameplan that broke more than a dozen school records in 2011, including total offense, passing yards and a modern day scoring mark. Several of those marks were broken again in 2012 despite a rash of injuries to key players, including All-American receiver Shane Savage and fullback/tight end Nick Mlady.
The 2008 season saw Archer working with one of the top tight end duos in the league in seniors Alex Spooner and Zach Vredenburgh. In 2007, Archer worked with two-year starters Doug Lempa and Ryan Blessing. The duo earned All-Ivy honors during their career and ranked second and third on the team in both tackles and tackles for loss as seniors.
A 2005 Cornell graduate with a degree in economics, Archer was a tri-captain for the Big Red in 2004 under Jim Knowles. A three-year starter on the same offensive line that produced Kevin Boothe, he moved from tackle to guard to center during his senior year. He was rewarded for his leadership and selflessness by earning the team's Enzo Montemurro Award for spirit and leadership, as well as the inaugural Jaime McManamon Award, given to a senior for hard work and diligence in the strength and conditioning program. Archer earned three varsity letters as an undersized offensive lineman
Following graduation from Cornell, Archer taught eighth and fourth grades, respectively, at the Dr. William H. Horton School in Newark, N.J., as part of the Teach For America program in 2005 and 2006. In addition, he was an assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson in 2006, working with the linebackers under head coach Rich Mosca.
Archer helped guide Union-Endicott HS to sectional titles in 1999 and 2000. The team's captain as a senior, he was a first-team all-state honoree in his final season and was selected to play in the annual Governor's Bowl and the Ernie Davis All-Star Game. A three-sport athlete, he also lettered in lacrosse and basketball. He captained the lacrosse team, earning first-team all-league accolades as a defender.