WHITTIER, Calif. – Whittier College Director of Athletics Robert Coleman announced Tuesday morning that BJ Hammer has been relieved of his duties as head football coach of the Poets effectively immediately.
A national search to fill the vacant position will begin in the coming weeks with the intent to secure the coaching roster before the start of spring training and preseason workouts in 2011.
Hammer was hired as the front man of the Poet football team prior to the start of the 2006 season and amassed a 12-33 record in five years.
"We are grateful for coach Hammer's contributions over the past five years, and we wish him every success in his next endeavor," said Coleman.
In 2007, Hammer led the Poets to his signature win while on the sidelines of the purple and gold. Whittier outlasted rival Occidental, 67-61, in the Annual Battle of the Shoes. Despite the four wins during the '07 campaign, WC was still one-game under .500 for the season.
The completion of the 2010 season saw the Poets finish with its 11th consecutive losing season, capped by a disappointing 49-23 loss to the University of La Verne.
"We recognize the progress made with our football program over the last five years, especially in terms of the talented and hard-working students recruited. Coach Hammer and his staff have brought many solid performers – both academically and athletically – to the Whittier community and the football program," said Coleman.
"However, in order to take the team to the next level in competition, we feel that making significant alterations in leadership will allow us to bring fresh perspective and energy to the program, as well as enable new direction for the remaining coaching staff and players, moving forward."
Whittier has a long history of success on the gridiron that has seen 26 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, two 10-win seasons and overall record of 446-408-32 in 101 season of intercollegiate football.