WATERVILLE — In December, Jonathan Michaeles was named interim head coach of the Colby College football team, following the sudden resignation of Ed Mestieri.

On Thursday, Colby removed the interim label from Michaeles’ title, making him the 40th head coach in the history of the program.

“I’m thrilled to name Jonathan Michaeles as the next head coach of the Colby football program,” Colby athletics director Marcella Zalot said in a press release. “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.”

A 1992 graduate of Bates College, Michaeles has been an assistant coach with the Mules for eight years, working with kickers and quarterbacks as well as serving as the strength and conditioning director, recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator.

“I want to continue to carry on the traditions that have allowed us to be successful,” Michaeles said. “I want to uphold the standards set by my predecessors.”

The first thing Michaeles needs to do is fill three assistant coaching vacancies. Then, he can start preparing for how the Mules will look next fall. It’s likely that Colby will continue to run a version of the spread offense, he said.

“We want to play to the strengths of our personnel,” Michaeles said. “Offensively, we need to figure out who our quarterback is going to be.”

Despite his interim label, the recruiting process went smoothly, Michaeles said. No matter who was named head coach, Colby would honor the contracts of the returning staff, Michaeles said. For student athletes, knowing the same coach who recruited them would be on the staff helped provide stability throughout the recruiting process, Michaeles said.

“That settled some anxiety many of the recruits had,” Michaeles said.

Michaeles’ experience as an academic advisor with the Colby football team was another key in his hiring.

“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.”

The Mules went 3-5 last season and open the 2012 season at Williams College.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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