|Washington & Lee athletics photo
Washington and Lee athletic director Jan Hathorn announced that following a national search, Garrett LeRose has been promoted to head football coach effective immediately. LeRose, a 2007 graduate of W&L, had previously served as the program's assistant head coach and coach of tight ends and wide receivers.
He replaces Scott Abell, who left his position at the beginning of January to take a job as head coach at Division I FCS Davidson, a non-scholarship program.
"W&L has, once again, found itself in the position of offering our head football coaching position to someone from within our current staff, and I am excited to offer this promotion to Garrett," said Hathorn. "Our applicant pool was deep and talented, and Garrett rose to the top throughout every stage of the process. As a loyal alumnus, Garrett will continue to bring to our program an unmatched passion for W&L, a tremendous knowledge of football, a commitment to the growth of the student-athletes on the team, and a clear understanding of the way athletics fits into the university's overall educational mission."
D3sports.com learned that two current Division III head coaches were interviewed as finalists for the position
"As both a player and a coach, Garrett has a demonstrated track record of achievement, and his belief in educating our young men about character, leadership and service, uniquely positions him to build upon the recent successes of the program, and move us into the future," Hathorn said. "Our football program is poised to achieve in new ways, and I am confident Garrett can lead us there. I look forward to serving beside Garrett for many years to come."
LeRose recently finished his 10th season as a member of the Generals' coaching staff, following four years as a player in the W&L football program. During his combined 14 years, LeRose has helped the Blue & White attain five Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles, after having won just two across the prior 30 seasons.
"I am humbled and excited to become the next head football coach at Washington and Lee University. I feel privileged that our athletic director Jan Hathorn, dean (Suzanne) Keen, provost (Marc) Connor, and all those involved with the search, saw my vision for the future of the program to be consistent with the traditions and values of Washington and Lee," said LeRose. "Thank you to my family for all of their support and encouragement, I would not be here without them behind me every step of the way. I would also like to thank all of my coaching mentors who prepared me, first as a player, and then as a coach, for this incredible opportunity. The team looks to build off of our great foundation and move into a bright future."
LeRose has served the coaching staff in a number of capacities over the years. He began his coaching career as a student assistant coach for the 2007 season while earning a bachelor of arts in European history. He was hired on staff for the 2008 season, serving as the wide receivers and tight ends coach, and as the team's video coordinator.
In 2011, LeRose switched to defense, working with the defensive backs in addition to a new role as recruiting coordinator and special teams coordinator. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 2015, switching back to offense where he once again worked with the wide receivers and tight ends, while maintaining his role as recruiting coordinator and special teams coordinator.
Since LeRose moved back to the offensive side of the ball in 2015, the Generals have averaged 490.6 yards and 36.7 points per game while claiming ODAC titles in 2015 and 2017. W&L led all of college football in rushing in 2015 and 2016, while also finishing second in Division III last season (403.2 ypg). The 2015 squad produced the school's first undefeated regular season in 54 years.
W&L also claimed ODAC titles in 2010 and 2012, producing one of the best three-year stretches in program history. The Generals won eight games for three straight seasons, compiling a 24-8 record across the three years.
As a player, LeRose was a four-year letterwinner as a quarterback, H-Back and wide receiver. He played in 33 career games, catching 10 passes for 68 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 7 yards and completed 2-of-3 passes for 18 yards. As a senior, he helped lead the Generals to their first ODAC title in 21 years and the program's first-ever NCAA playoff appearance.
W&L will return five starters on offense and six on defense from last season's team that won the ODAC and finished 8-3 overall. The Generals took on 2017 national champion Mount Union in the first round of the NCAA playoffs, falling by a score of 21-0.