Columbia assistant hired at Williams

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Williams coach Aaron Kelton
Aaron Kelton has spent the past two years as Columbia's defensive coordinator.
Columbia athletics photo

Williams athletic director Harry Sheehy announced that Aaron Kelton has been named the Ephs' head football coach, succeeding Mike Whalen, who left Williams to return to coach his alma mater, Wesleyan.

Kelton comes to Williams from Columbia, where he has served as the Lions' defensive coordinator for the past two seasons after having served the two previous seasons as secondary coach.

Kelton joins Chapman's Bob Owens, Salisbury's Sherman Wood, DePauw's Robby Long and three other offseason hires, Capital's Henry Stanford, Greenville's Ordell Walker and Widener's Isaac Collins, as the only African-American head football coaches in Division III out of nearly 240 programs, according to research.

"The search committee was impressed with Aaron's energy and passion for teaching the game of football to young men, and this passion resonated with people on our campus throughout the process," said Sheehy. "He'll be a tireless teacher, coach, and recruiter. Current and future Eph football players will be inspired and challenged to reach for their potential under Aaron's tutelage. It's with much enthusiasm that we call on him to carry forward the great tradition that is Williams football."

That tradition was a key attraction for Kelton. "I'm ecstatic to have this opportunity to carry on the great tradition of Williams football and work on building it to the level it should be at each year," Kelton said. "As the head coach it will be my job to assist in all phases of the football team, from offense to defense to special teams. I'll work with the defensive backs but will not be the offensive or defensive coordinator. My job is to lead the team and build the program.

"We'll work hard and do what needs to be done. The goal every year will be to go 8-0."

Kelton inherits a Williams team that is coming off a 6-2 season and will return 18 of 22 starters.

Under Kelton the Columbia Lions fielded one of the Ivy League's top secondaries. Kelton developed defensive back Tad Crawford '07, who was a high draft choice in the Canadian Football League.

Kelton was born in Boston and graduated from Wellesley (Mass.) High School, where he was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball, and baseball. He graduated from Springfield in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and lettered all four years for the Pride in football, starting two years at quarterback.