Dan Hunt at the top of the Patriot League coaching ladder has a nice ring to it.
In five short seasons, Hunt not only has become the league’s marquee sideline general but he also now stands as the dean of Patriot League coaches. More impressively, three of the last four seasons at Colgate have ended with championship trophies residing in Hamilton.
Colgate wrapped up its 10th Patriot League title with a 41-0 whitewash at Fordham and its sixth perfect record in conference with a 48-6 triumph at Lehigh. The Raiders outscored their 2018 Patriot League competition 223-26, or by an average of 37-4, and they carry an 11-game conference winning streak into 2019.
Hunt is now 24-6 against the Patriot League.
The Raiders placed a program-record six players on All-America teams, led by T.J. Holl, James Holland Jr., and Nick Wheeler earning placement on the 2018 AFCA All-America First Team. Colgate earned three first-team selections in the same year for the first time since 1916, and Colgate in 2018 was the only program in the nation with three on the first team.
Hunt won the ECAC’s Coach of the Year Award for the second time and led the Raiders to their first Lambert Cup trophy in program history. Five Raiders also earned All-ECAC First Team status.
The Raiders also dominated the Patriot League awards in 2018, winning the Offensive Player of the Year (Holland) and Defensive Player of the Year (Holl) in addition to Hunt’s Dick Biddle Award as coach of the year. Colgate landed 13 student-athletes for 14 positions on the All-Patriot League First Team, with five more chalking up Second Team certificates.
Head Coaching Career
Hunt, who signed a five-year contract extension in November 2018, carries an overall coaching record of 36-23. But he’s 31-13 in the last 44 games despite facing at least one FBS opponent in each of his five seasons – which makes him 31-10 against the FCS during that stretch.
Hunt in his five seasons has coached 25 different players to 37 All-Patriot League First Team certificates, and 44 players have earned a combined 66 first- or second-team selections. Colgate under Hunt has captured two Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year awards, two Rookie of the Year awards and one Offensive Player of the Year in addition to Hunt’s three plaques as Coach of the Year.
Eleven Raiders have been named to the ECAC FCS All-Star Team, including Afriyie and Wheeler on two occasions apiece. Hunt twice has won the ECAC FCS Coach of the Year honor.
Hunt also has placed 10 student-athletes on the elite Academic All-Patriot League Team, which honors those who excel both on the field and in the classroom. Josh Cerra has earned the distinction each of the last three seasons.
In 2017, a Patriot League-leading 13 Raiders made all-conference, including nine on the first team – another league high. Colgate shared the Patriot League championship and ended as the lone Patriot League team with a winning record after finishing 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference.
Hunt in 2015 guided Colgate to its second-best postseason in history. The Raiders won a Patriot League championship and then won twice in the NCAA playoffs to finish among the top eight teams in the FCS.
Hunt was named Coach of the Year by both the ECAC and the Patriot League, and was a finalist for national honors. He guided the Raiders to a perfect 6-0 conference record for their eighth Patriot League title.
Colgate finished 9-5 overall after being picked third in the 2015 Patriot League preseason. The Raiders were rewarded with final national ranking of 13th in the FCS Coaches Poll and 17th in the STATS FCS Poll.
In 2016, Colgate set a program record and led the nation by allowing just 69.4 rushing yards per game. Pat Afriyie closed in on the career sacks record, was a multiple All-American recipient and earned the Patriot League’s Defensive Player of the Year, while Abu Daramy-Swaray took home Patriot League Rookie of the Year and Hero Sports Freshman All-America honors.
Hunt served 19 seasons as a Colgate assistant coach from 1995-2013, the last 18 under previous head coach Dick Biddle. The Biddle-Hunt combo produced seven Patriot League titles, and Hunt in 2015 matched his mentor by winning his first championship in his second season – just as Biddle did in 1997.
Only Colgate's 2003 national championship finalist had a better postseason run, and that includes every Patriot League football program in history. The 2003 and 2015 Colgate teams are the only Patriot League squads to compile multiple victories in the same playoff run, and Hunt is one of the common denominators.