As the 2013 season came to a close for the Raiders football team, the end of an era came as well as Dick Biddle retired as the Fred ’50 and Marilyn Dunlap Head Football Coach. Biddle, coach of the Raiders for the last 18 seasons, will be replaced by Associate Head Coach Dan Hunt, effective July 1, 2014.
“It was exciting,” Biddle said of his time at Colgate. “Obviously we had success nationwide and winning league championships and that’s due to great coaches as well as great players who believe in what we’re doing and love to play football and are a joy to be around.” Coach Biddle steps down after his long stint as coach and will immediately go down in history as one of the most successful Raiders head coaches. Biddle coached the Raiders to a record of 137-73 (.652) in his years while having even more success in the conference with a record of 81-27 (.750).
“It comes down to having the right combination of players and coaches and it all fell together. We had a program that we stuck by but I would really attribute it to all the players and the school,” Biddle said of the team. Biddle guided the Raiders to unseen success, bringing seven Patriot League titles to Colgate. Five of those years Biddle was named Patriot League Coach of the Year, including in 2003 when he led the Raiders to a Division I-AA National Championship. The Raiders finishing runner-up in the country resulted in Biddle receiving National Coach of the Year. “I think the thing about it is being consistent over a long period of time and we’ve always been consistent and won a lot of championships but we also ended second a couple times,” Biddle said of the team’s consistency over his tenure. Biddle retires after the 2013 campaign, as the Raiders finished 4-8 but still found a way to finish fourth in the Patriot League. Biddle had no specific reason for the sudden retirement besides the fact that, “You just have to feel that sometimes in coaching you stay around too long. I’ve been here 18 years and I feel like inside it’s more of an intuition that it’s the right time to do it.”
Biddle’s players both current and past had great things to say about their coach.”Coach Biddle was the epitome of toughness,” senior quarterback Gavin McCarney said. “He instilled a sense of pride in each and every player he coached. He knows how to win and he was able to express this by his pure presence. Coach always encouraged the team and myself to play loose and to go out there and play ‘our’ game.””I was able to play for the winningest Coach in Colgate history. He has made me a better football player and a more well-rounded man. He gave me the opportunity to continue playing football at a high level and I
appreciate that chance.”
As the Biddle era comes to a close, the Raiders turn and open a new chapter as Coach Hunt takes control of the program. Coach Hunt, who served as Associate Head Coach for all 18 years under Biddle, will be promoted and take over as spring practice and recruiting get underway. “Working with Coach Hunt during my four years at Colgate, I know he has what it takes to continue the winning tradition that Coach Biddle has left behind,” McCarney said of the coaching switch. Players who will open the Hunt era at Colgate shared similar sentiments.”Coach Hunt has no lack of experience and has been alongside Biddle throughout his tenure here and I know he will step in and do a great job moving forward,” said sophomore offensive lineman Zac Sawin. Coach Biddle has similar feelings about the new coach, giving him his stamp of approval and his best of luck.
“It’s a natural hire because you don’t promote people from a losing program to become head coach,” Biddle said of Hunt’s appointment. “He’s been here a long time, knows the system and knows the players and has a lot of good connections which will help the team. As Coach Biddle begins the next chapter of his life, he plans on stepping away from Raiders football and letting Coach Hunt do what he needs to do. This does not mean, however, that he has ruled out returning to the game in some other way. “If I could just go coach somewhere I would love to go be a linebackers coach,” Biddle said of the future. Biddle was an linebacker at Duke during his playing days before starting his coaching career. Biddle closed saying “It has been a pleasure to be the head coach of Colgate, it was a great experience and humbling and I wish them the best of luck.
Contact Spencer Serling at [email protected]