WATERVILLE, Maine --- After a national search that garnered more than 100 applicants from across the country, Jonathan Michaeles, an assistant coach for the Colby College football team the last eight years, was named as the new head football coach of the Mules on Thursday.
Michaeles, a 1992 graduate of Bates College, is the 40th head coach since the football program was started in 1892, but only the sixth since 1967. He has been the interim director of football at Colby since December.
"I'm thrilled to name Jonathan Michaeles as the next head coach of the Colby football program," Colby Athletics Director Marcella Zalot said. "Not only does he know the game, he also knows this program and the College. I think that continuity is going to reap big benefits for us in the years ahead.”
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer echoed Zalot’s enthusiasm. “It’s always satisfying to be able to find an internal candidate to fill a critical slot, and it’s especially so when that candidate, by a clear and unequivocal margin, rises to the top of a competitive field of applicants.”
In his eight years with Colby, Michaeles has served as the offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, academic advisor, and strength and conditioning director. He’s also worked with both the quarterbacks and kickers.
"I'm clearly excited and am so appreciative of this opportunity," said Michaeles, a native of Sturbridge, Mass., and a 1988 graduate of St. John's High School in Shrewsbury, Mass. "It is a chance to carry on the proud traditions established by so many players and coaches before me."
Michaeles came to Colby with significant coaching experience. He was the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Saint Anselm College from 1999 to 2004. He was also the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Fordham University during the 1998-99 academic year and was tight ends coach at the University of Pennsylvania in 1997-98. He started his collegiate coaching career at Allegheny College as the wide receiver, tight end, and kickers coach from 1994 to 1997. His first coaching experience was as an assistant varsity coach at Tantasqua Regional High School in Sturbridge, Mass., in the 1992-93 academic year.
Michaeles has taken pride in being an academic advisor and starting an "academic game plan" at Allegheny and Saint Anselm. Colby's team grade point average has gone up since his arrival.
"We're trying to help our incoming students make a successful transition into college," Michaeles said. "Not just in the classroom, but also from an organizational standpoint. Our whole staff is involved, and we have a group of juniors and seniors who are strong students who volunteer their time as peer advisers and study hall monitors. We want the incoming students to be able to thrive academically, as well as on the playing field."
Michaeles, who was a wide receiver during his playing days at Bates, said he’s been fortunate to play and coach at strong academic institutions. "I've been recruiting the same types of kids over the years," Michaeles said. "They want a great education, and they want strong athletics to be a part of that experience."