New Colgate head coach praises retiring Biddle

Dan Hunt

HAMILTON — Dan Hunt praised his former boss, Dick Biddle, during a news conference in which he was officially introduced as Colgate University’s new head football coach on Tuesday at the Colgate Inn.

Hunt, the associate coach who was named to replace the retiring Biddle on Monday, thanked his predecessor and his family, among others, during the news conference which was attended by Hunt’s wife, Susanne, and sons Ryan and Sean. "To be able to follow a coach the caliber of Dick Biddle, and to hold the position named after Fred Dunlap, is an honor that words fall short of describing," Hunt said. "Today is the pinnacle of my coaching career ­ so far ­ and I’m certain I would not be standing here without the help of many people."

Biddle retired after 18 seasons and seven Patriot League championships. Athletic dirctor Victoria Chun said Hunt will succeed Biddle as the school’s 29th football coach, effective July 1, 2014. "My trust in Coach Hunt made this not only an easy decision, but there is no doubt in my mind this is the right decision," Chun said on Tuesday. "He is a proven recruiter and fantastic teacher, a master strategist and a tireless worker who embraces academics and a wonderfully close community. He has been by Coach Biddle’s side since 1996, the year of the ‘Turn-Around Team’ that rebounded our program form 0-11 to 6-5. Coach Hunt’s fast-paced, innovative and aggressive play-calling is known nationally. His strength as an offensive coordinator was in adapting his game plans to the personnel in the huddle and the opponent on the field."

Chun also praised the job done by Biddle. "Dick Biddle won, but he won the right way," she said. "He fostered and mentored young men to work hard and study hard. He instilled in them that they were representing something bigger than themselves. Dick gave everything he had to this program and to the University, and he expected the same from those he coached."

Biddle said he has received many messages from former players since Monday’s announcement that he was retiring. "It’s going to take me a while to answer every one of them; I’m going to make sure I do that. But the compliments they gave me, it was astounding. Not only was it about football; it was about work ethic, doing things the right way, how much they appreciated what I did. I tried to coach everybody at Colgate like they were my son, like I would want my son to be coached."