New Head Coach Hunt Looks for Strong First Year on the Sidelines

RAIDERS RUN: The Raiders run drills at practice in preparation for their week one match up against Ball State.

The Colgate Raiders football team enters the 2014-2015 season with a fresh start. After Coach Biddle retired last season, Colgate introduced Dan Hunt as their 29th Head Coach to the football team. Coach Hunt has been the Assistant Coach at Colgate since 1995 and is excited for his new position this season.

Although the team had a disappointing season last year with a 4-8 (3-2) record, they hope to capture the Patriot League title. “You gotta look at one game at a time. Although we are predicted to be 5th in the conference, which is a little low, it’s understandable considering the situation with a new coach and a new quarterback,” Hunt said of the team’s

outlook on the Patriot League. 

A team just two years removed from Patriot League glory, their fifth place ranking could quickly change with a few key early

season victories.

Coach Hunt also spoke highly of the team and has high expectations for the

upcoming season. 

“I think we’re going to have a lot  of talented running backs and a really strong backfield. From juniors Demetrius Russell and John Wilkins, who both saw a lot of time last year, to guys like junior James Travellin and first-year fullback Jose Alvarado, there’s plenty of talent to go around,” Hunt said. 

On the defensive side of the ball, a side that Hunt is much less familiar with, he was able to speak about the strengths that exist there,

specifically with senior captain Mike Armiento. 

“Mike is as good a player on the defensive side of the ball as we’ve had, and to have him in the secondary calling the shots makes you feel good,” Hunt said

of Armiento. 

“Outside of Mike, we have a lot of experience in our linebacking corps with senior Kris Kent leading that unit, while up front we have a lot of capable defensive lineman that can really improve the team,”

Hunt added.

Since former Head Coach Biddle’s departure, the team looks to Hunt’s guidance for success. Hunt had been the offensive mastermind in Colgate’s previous success. The strong dynamic between Biddle and Hunt in past years has led them to have one of the most prolific offensive teams in the Patriot League. The 473 points the Raiders offense put up in the Patriot League winning season of 2012 provides evidence of the team’s 

past success.

Although the team lost their starting quarterback, Gavin McCarney, sophomore Jake Melville, who saw limited action last season, hopes to fill Gavin’s big shoes. 

“He got force fed some experience last year as a first-year so hopefully we’ll see that pay off this year. He’s had a good camp and this fall we are calling to his strengths and we’re seeing the results of that. Jake does a nice job operating the system and getting the ball where it should go and we hope to see the strong connection he has with sophomore wide receiver John Maddaluna continue,” Hunt said of this season’s

starting quarterback.

The Raiders will field a similar schedule to that of last year. The team starts on the road with match ups at FBS opponent Ball State and then return to FCS play against the University of Delaware. The game against Ball State will be broadcasted on ESPN3. As the season continues, the Raiders’ first home game is set against Cornell at Crown Field at Andy Kerr Stadium for Homecoming weekend on September 20th at 1 p.m.. Colgate will then play five Patriot League games starting September 27 before ending the regular season

against Bucknell University.

The Raiders are hopeful for a winning season under the new direction of Hunt, who feels the early match-up against a strong opponent can only benefit the team. “I think the outlook on any opening game is to get a good assessment of where you are as a team. You look at how your kids respond to a challenge. I tell the team to not look at it as we’re going out to play Ball State, but we’re going out to beat Ball State,”

Hunt said.