Jonathan Michaelesemail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, is the head football coach of the Mules.
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."
Michaeles' recruiting areas: New England prep schools, New Hampshire, North Central Massachusetts.
Tom Dexter - Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Secondary, Strength Coach
Tom Dexter enters his 24th season on Colby's football coaching staff in 2012. A 1987 graduate of SUNY-Cortland, Dexter played quarterback and defensive back while in college. In 1988 he earned his master's degree from Cortland while serving as a defensive line coach there. Dexter then went to Cornell University for one year, where he was the defensive secondary coach and defensive coordinator of the freshman football team. Dexter's recruiting areas include New York and the Greater Boston League. Dexter also serves as assistant baseball coach and director of the fitness center at Colby.
Dexter recruiting areas: Maine, New York, Southern Massachusetts.
Steve Opgenorth - Offensive Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator
Steve Opgenorth is in his first year as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Colby College football program in the 2012 season. Opgenorth joins Colby after two successful season’s at Winona State University (Winona, Minn. – NCAA Division II). At Winona State, Opgenorth was responsible for coordinating the Warriors' special teams efforts as well as their recruiting efforts across the Midwest. He was also the program’s wide receivers coach.
Opgenorth’s impact within the Winona State program started instantly upon his arrival in 2010, as Curtis Dewberry led the country in punt return average with 20.4 yards per punt return on his way to garnering post-season recognition. Opgenorth also coached sophomore Derrick Engel to first team All-NSIC honors at the wide receiver position that year. This past 2011 season saw Opgenorth help the Warriors to a 7-4 overall record within an offensive unit that averaged 33.5 points per game in arguably the toughest Division II conference in the country.
Before returning to his alma mater, Opgenorth was the special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and defensive backs coach at Albright College (Reading, Pa.). He also served as the program's academic coordinator, helping 32 players earn all-academic honors in his three seasons. In Opgenorth’s time at Albright College, the team made an overall turnaround from a 2-8 record before his arrival to an 11-2 overall mark and an NCAA Division III Tournament quarterfinal appearance in 2009. Opgenorth developed one of the top defensive backfields in the country, tutoring two first team all-conference defensive backs, including All-American Matt Christ in 2008.
Opgenorth began his coaching career at Carroll University (Waukesha, Wisc.) where he served as the wide receivers coach and assistant recruiting coordinator during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. At Carroll he was able to develop all-conference performers at wide receiver, tight end, and a placekicker.
As a student-athlete at Winona State University, Opgenorth’s name is littered throughout the programs record book. He is second in school history in total points scored and was named to Winona State’s All-Century team in 2005 as a specialist. Opgenorth was an all-conference performer three times in his career, and garnered All-American accolades in 2003 by helping Winona State reach the NCAA Division II Tournament quarterfinals.
Opgenorth is an active member within the American Football Coaches Association. He is originally from Green Bay, Wisc., and now resides in Waterville.
Opgenorth's recruiting areas: Boston area, Middle Atlantic (Md./Va.) region, Southern Connecticut.
Eric Garcia Linebackers, Special Teams Coordinator
Eric enters his seventh year with the Colby coaching staff after coming from Mississippi Valley State, where had served as an admissions counselor. Garcia has a bachelor's degree in physical eduation from Dana (Neb.) College and a master's degree from Alcorn State University. He played collegiate football at Dana, Azusa Pacific (Calif.) University and Humboldt State (Calif.) University, and was part of Azusa Pacific's 1998 NAIA national championship team. The Los Angeles native was an assistant football coach and head track coach at Dodge City (Kansas) Community College in 2004, and was an admissions counselor at Alcorn State in 2005. He also held football assistant coach positions at Alcorn State, Mansfield University, Urbana University and Humboldt State. Coach Garcia's recruiting areas include: Massachusetts leagues (Cape Ann LG, Cape Ann Small, Dual County, Hockomock, Tri Valley, Eastern Athletic, Mayflower LG, Mayflower Small, Independent), Hawaii, Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Garcia's recruiting areas: Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Western Massachusetts.
Dale Plummer - Defensive Assistant
Dale Plummer, the head baseball coach at Colby, has coached with the Mules for four seasons. Plummer worked as an offensive assistant in his first year with the football team. Plummer, who was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in July 2009, was selected in the 1988 amateur draft by the New York Mets after graduating from the University of Maine. He earned the Mets’ Class-AAA Most Inspirational Player Award in 1993 and same year was honored with the Webster Award for being an outstanding minor league representative of the Mets both on and off the field. Plummer had a 38-19 record with 29 saves during his minor league career with the Mets and the Boston Red Sox organizations. He is a former assistant baseball coach at Bowdoin College (2001-2005) and head baseball coach at Gardiner Area High School (1996-2000).
Derek Antonioni - Running Backs
Derek Antonioni enters his second season as an assistant coach in the 2012 season.
Antonioni will be coaching the running backs, a group that will return two players from 2011 in senior Spencer Gopaul and sophomore Luke Duncklee. Both will be major contributors to the offense in 2012. Antonioni will also be the assistant to the special teams and recruiting coordinators. His recruiting areas include Northern Connecticut, the Philadelphia Catholic League, and all of Florida.
Originally from Claremont, N.H., Antonioni graduated from Stevens High School and was a Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete award recipient.
Antonioni earned his bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education at Plymouth State University and played linebacker for the Panthers during his collegiate career.
Antonioni's recruiting areas: Florida, Northern Connecticut, Philadelphia area.
Matt Hanhold - Defensive Line
Matt Hanhold, who spent the past four seasons at Buffalo State College, enters his first year as an assistant coach for the Colby College football team.
Hanhold, who has experience coaching offense and defense, will be the defensive line coach for Colby head coach Jonathan Michaeles.
Hanhold was the wide receivers coach, the video coordinator, and facilities assistant at Buffalo State. He also was the head coach of the Bengals' junior varsity team and the squad's offensive coordinator. Hanhold assisted the head varsity football coach with all aspects of the program.
Hanhold, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, coached two New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) First Team selections in his four years with the Bengals. He had two receivers with more than 30 catches and three with more than 20 during the 2011 season. Buffalo State is moving to the Empire 8 Conference for the 2012 season.
While at Clarion University, Hanhold earned a master's degree in rehabilitative sciences/counseling and was a graduate assistant for the football team for two years. He coached the defensive secondary for the 2006 season and then worked with the wide receivers for the 2007 season.
Hanhold, who earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Westminster College, played on the defensive line in his collegiate playing days. He earned 2005 Presidents Athletic Conference All-League honors and was a team captain.
Hanhold's recruiting areas: Vermont, Northern New Jersey, Chicago area.
Travis Lueck -- Wide Receivers
One of the more familiar faces on campus is Chap Nelson '82, who has served as Colby's equipment manager since 1985. In that role, the Clinton, Maine, native and Lawrence High School graduate oversees the procurement and maintenance of equipment and uniforms for all of the school's varsity teams, as well as the myriad of club and intramural sports offered by the College. Nelson graduated from Colby with a degree in administrative sciences, then attended The Ohio State University where he earned a master's degree in athletic administration in 1984. Nelson returned to Colby in 1985 as the equipment manager. He also has been active as an assistant baseball coach at Colby for more than 20 seasons.