WILLIAMSTOWN >> The NESCAC college football season may be months away, but new Williams coach Mark Raymond has been keeping himself very busy.
The former head coach at St. Lawrence has been hiring staff, watching game tape from last year's 2-6 season and contacting the incoming recruiting class.
"There have been a lot of moving parts, obviously, getting a staff together and getting to know the players and the faculty," Raymond said. "Understanding Williams and what we have to do to get better."
Raymond will make his debut at Farley-Lamb Field as Williams will open its season on Sept. 24 at home against Colby.
The new coach will wait until the end of the school year in Canton, N.Y. before wife Sarah and daughters Reese and Sydney make the move to Berkshire County.
The first thing the new Williams coach has done was shifted around some coaching responsibilities. Two returning coaches, Kyle Smesko and Marshall Creighton, have new responsibilities. Williams also brings on board Tom Blumenauer and Alex Smith, both of whom worked for Raymond at St. Lawrence.
Smesko, last year's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, will take over coaching the running backs. He has worked in Williamstown for five seasons. Marshall Creighton, a 2002 graduate of Williams, will move from defensive coordinator and linebackers coach to secondary coach. That's a position he played at Williams. Creighton was also the team's recruiting coordinator.
Tom Blumenauer will replace Creighton as recruiting coordinator and will coach the offensive line. Blumenauer comes from Bowdoin, where he spent the last season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Blumenauer followed Bowdoin head coach J.B. Wells from Endicott, where he spent the 2014 season. He was the wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at St. Lawrence. He played for Raymond when the Eph coach was an assistant at Ithaca.
Smith joined Raymond's staff at St. Lawrence in 2014 and was the quarterbacks coach. He will coach the quarterbacks and be the offensive coordinator at Williams.
"They're guys with impeccable character and great knowledge of the game," said Raymond. "They're good teachers. I'm excited to have them on board."
Raymond reiterated that he will be defensive coordinator this year. The new coach will still be looking to bring on a couple of young coaches for the staff.
It's going to be a busy summer for Raymond and his staff, as they fan out to summer prospect camps. Raymond said he would have staff at various camps throughout the Ivy League, along with camps in Florida, California and Texas. Williams will also hold camps on May 14, June 29, July 23 and July 30.
The new Williams coach said he has watched tape from all eight games last year, and not only the regular game tapes, but tape that provides breakdown.
"We've gone through all the games and then we go through cut-ups of certain situations, whether they be goal line, red zone, third downs," he said. "We studied our opponents and studied ourselves.
The Ephs will be running, at least this is the plan, a no-huddle offense with the quarterback in the shotgun formation. Defensively, the Ephs will start in their traditional 4-3.
"We're going to do what we're good at," said Raymond. "We've got to evaluate our current roster and maximize it to the best of our potential, and then develop our offense and defense around that personnel."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.