200th Win Tribute Video
Few schools feature a better match at the helm of its program than the College of William and Mary has with Jimmye Laycock. In a tenure that now reaches its third decade, Laycock has worked hand-in-hand with the College’s world-class academic tradition and fashioned a program that is a point of pride for the campus, alumni and community.
Laycock is one of the nation’s longest tenured and most respected head coaches. He has authored a school-record 200 wins (against 141 losses and two ties) and 20 winning ledgers since first taking over the program in 1980. The Tribe has also appeared in 12 postseason contests with Laycock at the helm and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals twice in the last six years.
On June 21, 2008, the College dedicated the $11 million Jimmye Laycock Football Center with a ceremony that featured more than 500 friends and alumni of the program. While the building carries his name and stands as a strong symbol of what Laycock has meant to the Tribe, it makes a stronger statement about the school’s commitment to football and the program’s proud tradition. The state-of-the-art center provides the College with one of the finest facilities in the Football Championship Subdivision and, paired with Laycock’s steady leadership, gives the Tribe the necessary resources to compete at the highest level.
As the architect of what is easily the most extended run of success in William and Mary’s 115-year football history, Laycock has never compromised academic standards for athletic success, as his program earned recognition from the NCAA in each of the first six seasons the organization has awarded outstanding academic achievement. When Laycock, a 1970 grad, returned to coach his alma mater prior to the 1980 season, he inherited a program that had won six or more games in a season just four times in the previous 25 years. Few could have predicted that the College would produce more than three times that amount of seven-win seasons over the next quarter century.
The accumulated successes, both on and off the field, have led to an era of unprecedented interest and support for his program. Evidence of this is provided in the fact the Tribe averaged more than 10,000 fans per game over the last four seasons.
During Laycock’s tenure, the fans at Zable have consistently been treated to a winner on the field, as the program’s mentor ranks in the top 10 of all active FCS head coaches in terms of career wins. Laycock is also second among active conference head coaches in career league wins with 82.
Laycock has made the home turf in Zable Stadium into unfriendly territory for opponents as the Tribe has won 71.7 percent of its games (107-42-1) in Williamsburg in the last 26 years. W&M has turned in eight undefeated regular season home campaigns.
Individual accomplishments under Laycock have been plentiful, as he has also tutored 33 players to 86 All-America honors from the William and Mary ranks and has coached 11 Academic All-Americans. Former quarterback Lang Campbell is the most decorated of all, as the 2004 season saw him earn the prestigious Payton Award, given annually to the nation’s top offensive player in the FCS ranks, consensus first team All-America honors, as well as the A-10’s Offensive Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Tribe has produced an astounding 161 all-conference selections since 1993.
While no one season can define a career that spans three decades, the 2009 campaign was exceptionally remarkable. The Tribe equaled a school record with 11 victories and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the second time in the last six seasons. En route to being ranked as high as third nationally in the final polls, the College led the nation in rushing defense by surrendering just 61.14 yards per game – a school record. Additionally, W&M ranked second nationally in total defense (229.79) and scoring defense (12.07), while it ranked third in sacks (3.43) and eighth in tackles for a loss (8.00). Laycock also became part of the exclusive 200-win club as he became just the 13 FCS head coach to reach the milestone with the NCAA Quarterfinal victory at top-ranked Southern Illinois.
Prior to the ’09 season, the 2004 campaign highlighted Laycock’s resume as W&M set a school record for wins (11), won the Atlantic 10 Football Conference’s automatic NCAA bid, hosted a NCAA semifinal game before a standing room only crowd at Zable Stadium in front of a national television audience and finished the year with a school record No. 3 final national ranking. Along the way, a bevy of school single-season records fell; total points (486), total yards (6,044) and home wins (seven), to name just a few.
But, none of these achievements spoke more succinctly to Laycock’s approach than the program’s 100 percent official NCAA graduation-rate report for all student-athletes receiving athletics aid. This showed W&M graduated all of its scholarship football players who entered the program as freshmen during the 1997-98 school year. The Tribe not only carried the highest graduation rate in the conference, but also was far and away the top figure of any team ranked in the final national top 25 for that season. To prove this lofty number was no fluke, the team repeated the feat just two years later, as the 1999-2001 cohort also graduated at 100 percent.
When looking at the NCAA Division I Championship Division world, the Tribe’s stellar 185-89-2 (.674) record against fellow Championship Division foes during Laycock’s career also confirms the success of his formula. The College also boasts a 82-56 mark in league play.
The 2001 campaign stood as a testament to Laycock’s program’s stability, as the team rebounded from a then nine-year low 5-6 record in 2000 to post an 8-4 mark, claiming a share of the Atlantic 10 Crown and earning a spot in the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs.
The 1996 campaign is another prime example of how Laycock has perpetuated a winning tradition within W&M’s rigorous classroom standards, as he led a youth-laden squad to a quarterfinal showing in the NCAA playoffs, a 10-3 overall record (7-1 in league play), the Tribe’s first Yankee Conference Championship, and a fifth-place national ranking.
One trademark of a Laycock-coached team is a prolific and intricate offensive attack. The Tribe offense has averaged nearly 400 yards a game over Laycock’s 29 previous years in the program.
Prior to the deep playoff runs during the last six years, the 1990 season stood as the benchmark for the Tribe program. That season, Laycock was honored by his peers as Coach of the Year in Region II and the state of Virginia for guiding the Tribe to 10 wins and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the Division I-AA playoffs.
That 1990 squad, ranked No. 7 in the final NCAA poll, refashioned many pages in the school record book. W&M led the country in total offense by averaging almost 500 yards per game and claimed the Lambert Cup for I-AA supremacy in the East. Even the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution commending Laycock’s accomplishments. The Tribe’s 1996 squad led the conference in both total offense and defense en route to earning its own Lambert Cup and ECAC Team of the Year honors.
After some lean years early in his tenure, Laycock’s teams began building respectability among all opponents. After a pair of 6-5 seasons, W&M carved out a 7-4 mark in 1985 and a national ranking of No. 16. The winning ways continued in 1986 with a 9-3 record and an eighth-place final ranking. In that season, the Tribe advanced to the I-AA playoffs for the first time and had three players drafted by the NFL.
Although William and Mary dipped to a 5-6 slate in 1987, the Tribe recovered to post a 6-4-1 overall record in 1988. That memorable season climaxed with a trip to Japan and a 73-3 victory over the Japanese College All-Stars in the first Epson Ivy Bowl. The Tribe returned to the NCAAs in 1989 with an 8-2-1 regular season record.
The Tribe is well represented in the pro ranks, as 2008 team captain Derek Cox was drafted in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The College is also represented in the NFL by four-time Pro Bowl free safety Darren Sharper (New Orleans Saints), a second round draft pick of the Green Bay in 1997, and Mike Leach (Arizona Cardinals). Including Cox, the College has had a total of six players sign free agent contracts after their senior season since the end of the 2004; Lang Campbell (2005, Cleveland Browns), Dominique Thomspon (2005, St. Louis Rams), Adam O’Connor (2007, Carolina Panthers), Drew Atchison (2008, Dallas Cowboys) and Mike Potts (2008, Pittsburgh Steelers). Former all-conference defensive back Billy Parker also played professionally in 2008, as he started every game for the New York Dragons of the Arena League. Former standout wide receiver Rich Musinski has been a fixture with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Barons for the past two seasons. Michael Clemons (Class of 1987) had been one of the CFL’s most explosive players after joining the Toronto Argonauts in 1989, and now serves as the team’s Vice Chair.
As a 1970 graduate of the College, Laycock played football under two gurus of the game. For three years, he learned the details under the watchful eyes of Marv Levy, the legendary former head coach of the Buffalo Bills. In his last season, collegiate coaching legend Lou Holtz schooled Laycock in the finer aspects of psyche and motivation. As a sophomore, Laycock was a starter in the defensive secondary, but he was soon switched to quarterback where he completed 96 of 218 passes for 1,366 yards.
Laycock’s first full-time coaching position came at The Citadel as the offensive backfield coach under Bobby Ross, who went on to coach the NFL’s San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions. In 1975, Memphis State tabbed Laycock as its quarterback’s coach and he helped the Tigers to consecutive 7-4 records.
In 1977, Laycock traveled to Clemson to serve as offensive coordinator for three years. During his tenure, he helped the Tigers fashion records of 8-3-1, 11-1 and 8-4. Clemson played in bowl games each year, defeating Ohio State 17-15 in the 1978 Gator Bowl. At that time, Laycock coached two-time All-ACC performer Steve Fuller, the Tiger quarterback who later played in the NFL, and Dwight Clark, an All-Pro receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.
A native Virginian, Laycock played football, basketball and baseball at Loudoun Valley High School, where he won 12 letters and has since had his number retired.
Laycock is married to Deidre Connelly, a sports psychology consultant at the College. They have three children: Michael, Mimi and James.
Laycock’s daughter Melanie is married to Doug Johnson and is a school administrator in Atlanta, Ga. The couple had a daughter, Grail, last spring.
Laycock Era Highlights …
• Jimmye Laycock enters his 31st season as the Tribe’s head coach in 2010. The school’s all-time winningest coach, Laycock has compiled a 200-141-2 career record at W&M.
• Among active Division I (FBS and FCS) head coaches, Laycock’s 200 victories rank tied for 11th. The total also ranks inside the top 20 of active coaches in all divisions. Among only active FCS head coaches, Laycock’s total is sixth.
• Laycock ranks fourth on the all-time CAA Football career victories list with 82. Among active coaches, Laycock trails only Villanova’s Andy Talley (107).
• In 2009, W&M equaled school records with 11 wins and a No. 3 final national ranking, made its 10th postseason appearance under Laycock, and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the second time in six seasons.
• In 2004, W&M set a school record with 11 victories and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the first time in school history en route to earning a No. 3 final national ranking.
• The Tribe has posted winning ledgers in 20 of the past 27 seasons under Laycock.
• Laycock has guided the Tribe to a total of 55 career 40-plus point outings in his 343 games as the College’s head coach, a number that represents more than 16 percent of his total games. By comparison, the College had seen only 12 total 40-plus point outings in the 30 seasons prior to Laycock taking the reigns of the program in 1980.
• Since joining what is now the CAA Football conference in 1993, a William and Mary quarterback has earned all-conference honors in 12 of the 17 seasons, including seven-straight campaigns from 1998 to 2004. Going hand-in-hand with the postseason honors is the fact that in seven of the 16 seasons in league play, a Tribe quarterback has turned in the conference’s top passer efficiency rating.
• The College has earned 161 total all-conference citations under Laycock.
• The Tribe has posted a 110-44-1 record (.713) at Zable Stadium under Laycock, which includes eight undefeated regular seasons in Williamsburg. In Laycock’s 30 seasons, the College has failed to post a .500 or better record at home just four times (1980, 1999, 2006, 2007).
• Since joining the CAA Football Conference, W&M has gone 122-69 (.639) against FCS opponents.
• During Laycock’s 30-year tenure, 27 Tribe players have gone on to sign with NFL teams, including five-time Pro Bowl selection Darren Sharper.
• Laycock has mentored 34 student-athletes to All-America honors at the College, including a career-high four in 2004 that earned either Sports Network or Associated Press All-America citations (Lang Campbell, Dominique Thompson, Greg Kuehn, Adam O’Connor). Campbell was a consensus First Team All-American (AFCA, Walter Camp, AP, Sports Network) and was also the winner of the 2004 Walter Payton Award.
• Since the NCAA began its academic reform with graduation rates surveys and APR rankings in 2004, the Tribe football program has posted a 100 percent graduation rate three times (2004, 2006, 2007).
• Under Laycock, 11 Tribe football players have been named Academic All-Americans, including the most recent selection of Bryce Lee in 2001.
• W&M has had 62 players earn academic all-conference honors since 1997 under Laycock, including a career-high tying seven in 2007, and one conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Lang Campbell, 2004).