The Cornell football team, under new head coach David Archer, faced their first loss of the season on Saturday at their first Ivy League matchup against Yale.
Archer, who at 30 years old is the youngest Division I football coach in the nation, has so far led the team to a 1-1 record after the Big Red’s homecoming win Sept. 21 over Bucknell. A win against Yale would have been important to not only Cornell, but Archer himself.
Young age, however, doesn’t seem to put extra stress on the coach.
“I don’t feel any additional pressure,” Archer said. “Pressure is something you put on yourself, and this is all a process of learning for myself and the student-athletes I coach. My age doesn’t really change the way I go about teaching.”
Coming off a six-year streak of losing records, in both Ivy League and non-conference games, Cornell still has many of the same team members from last year. But with Archer coming from an assistant coach position and replacing former coach Kent Austin, the team is trying to break that streak.
Archer has also given the team a new way to gear up for games, according to Rush Imhotep, a junior safety from Brooklyn, N.Y. He said that the coach instills a sense of confidence in him and his teammates, and has coupled that with a high level of preparation and practice.
“I’m glad the players feel confident,” Archer said, “because as coaches we have the highest level of confidence in them. I’m not sure how much we are doing differently this year, but we’ve tried to instill more confidence in them and put them in the best positions to be successful.”
Archer has set a number of goals for success in the overall season, and there are also some things he’d like to see his men improve on during the upcoming months.
“We need to get better in every facet of the game,” Archer said following Saturday’s loss at Yale. “We play our longtime rival Colgate this weekend and they are going to be hungry for a win, so they’ll exploit any and all weaknesses they perceive we have. We need to be getting better every day. And I think we are.”
The Big Red will play its next two games home in Ithaca, with non-league Colgate on Oct. 5 and Ivy League challenger Harvard on Oct. 12.