2010 – Little Three Champions
2010 – NESCAC Champions
2010 – NESCAC Coach of the Year
2010 -- Appeared in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd (12/27)
Kelton is the first African American head football coach in NESCAC and at Williams.
In his four years at the Ephs' helm Kelton has compiled a record of 19-13 (.593), highlighted by his debut season of 8-0 in 2010 that secured both the NESCAC and Little Three titles. Kelton is the first Eph head football coach to debut with a perfect season.
Kelton came to Williams from Columbia University, where he served as the Lions’ defensive coordinator for two seasons after having served the two previous seasons as secondary coach.
Under Kelton the Columbia Lions fielded one of the Ivy League’s top defensive backfields. Kelton developed DB Tad Crawford ’07, who was a high draft choice in the Canadian Football League. In addition to his on field duties at Columbia, Kelton was the Lions’ recruiting coordinator in the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Kelton has coached on both the high school and the collegiate levels, starting in the fall of 1992 at Wellesley (MA) HS.
Aaron Kelton’s coaching path:
1992-94 -- Wellesley (MA) HS (Asst.)
1995 -- Wayland (MA) HS (Asst.)
1996 -- MIT (Asst.)
1997 -- Clarion University (Asst.)
1998-2000 -- Concord University (Defensive Coordinator)
2001-2005 -- Virginia State (Defensive Coordinator)
2006-2007 -- Columbia University (Defensive Backs)
2008-2009 -- Columbia University (Defensive Coordinator)
2010-present -- Williams College (Head Coach)
|Aaron Kelton on the sideline|
Kelton inherited a Williams team that had finished 6-2 in NESCAC for three consecutive years and turned in the first perfect season by a rookie head coach at Williams in its 125-year history. Kelton’s 8-0 season was just the seventh time Williams had completed a season without a loss or a tie.
Kelton, who hired just one coach to his staff at Williams, was able to come on board and blend a mix of coaches and athletes into a cohesive and unbeatable team in 2010.
Passionate is the word that best describes Kelton and his approach. His Eph players will tell you they've never worked harder and yet, never had more fun. The mutual respect engendered between the coaches and the players was a key ingredient in the Ephs success this fall.
"I just love these kids," said Kelton. "You have to have great players and a great staff to win and I have both. My staff did an excellent job in preparing the team to win each week. I'm thrilled and honored to represent Williams College and all that it stands for and will continue to work hard towards continuing this success."
14 of Kelton’s 2010 Ephs were named All-NESCAC, including 10 First Team members and his senior QB Pat Moffitt, was the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year. Kelton was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year.
Moffitt along with classmates Kevin Rose (guard/center) and Dan Canina (defensive end) were named to the New England Football Writers Div. II/III Team.
Under Kelton the Ephs led NESCAC in 5 of 11 team statistical categories, were second in two and third in two.
The Ephs led NESCAC in scoring (36.6), pass defense (192.2) despite opponents throwing 41.4 times a game, pass defense efficiency (90.3), passing offense efficiency (168.8) and total offense (477.6).
A native of Massachusetts Kelton was born in Boston and graduated from Wellesley [MA] High School, where he was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball, and baseball.
He graduated from Springfield College in 1992 with a B.S. in psychology and lettered all four years for the Pride in football, starting two years at quarterback.
Kelton received four prized NFL Bill Walsh Fellowships, which enabled him to serve as a member of the coaching staff of the Arizona Cardinals n 2009, Indianapolis Colts in 2007, Jacksonville Jaguars in 2008, and the Miami Dolphins in 2013. He also attended the NCAA Expert Coaches Academy in Miami in May 2006.
Kelton is currently working on completing an M.Ed. in integrated studies from Virginia State.
Kelton and his wife Charlotte and daughter Kelsi reside in Williamstown.
|Ephs sing after Kelton's 1st win
9/25/10 33-15 over Bowdoin
What they said about Aaron Kelton when he was hired at Williams:
Norries Wilson, head football coach at Columbia University
“I’m ecstatic that Williams College has selected Aaron. It will be a great loss for us but a phenomenal opportunity for him.
“He will bring a high level of excitement with him, a great intensity and drive to win. With all of that, he will make it fun for the kids.
“Aaron helped us to gain a measure of respectability for our program, and I’m sure he’ll continue in the long line of Springfield College grads and become a great head coach at Williams.”
Mike Delong, 27-year head football coach at Springfield College
“Aaron Kelton is an outstanding young man, who did not talk much about coaching when he was here. Most of our kids who go into coaching go through here as GAs [graduate assistants], but Aaron went back to Wellesley High School to start his coaching career. He took a non-traditional route into coaching and he has just worked and worked his way up the ladder to be a coordinator in the Ivy League and now the head coach at Williams. Hard work and an impressive personal character have characterized Aaron’s career. He’s an outstanding person, and I’m sure he’ll be an outstanding head coach.
“I can still see him running a naked bootleg for a TD against Norwich in the rain. He was a great athlete for us and we’re extremely proud that he’s going to be the next head coach at Williams.”
Mike London, head football coach at the University of Virginia
“Aaron is a great communicator, which is essential in any leadership position. He possesses great energy and enthusiasm and is very dedicated to his coaching. He takes great pride in teaching players how to play the right way and he’s very detail-oriented. He’ll get the best out of all of his players.
“Aaron is a man of great character, who will make an impact on the Williams program through hard work, communication, and preparation.”
Ernest Jones, associate head football coach, University of Buffalo
“I met Aaron about 8-9 years ago when we were both doing the NFL and NCAA minority coaching programs and I was impressed right away. He’s smart, articulate, and with his commitment to his faith he’ll do things the right way and he’ll represent your program very well. Your kids will love him. The alumni will love him and the community will love him. I know his heart and I know his spirit, and when you folks get to know him you will know what a great hire you made.
“Every place I’ve been, and my last stop was at the University of Cincinnati with Brian Kelly (now head coach at Notre Dame), I recommended we hire Aaron. My last offer to him was to be a defensive coordinator, but he told me he really wanted to be a head coach.
“Aaron is a great motivator and he’ll make sure that the young men who play for him do everything they can to be ready to compete and they’ll do things the right way all the time.”
KiJuan Ware, running backs coach, Miami (OH)
“When I visited Springfield College as a prospective student-athlete I saw Aaron’s picture on the wall as an African American quarterback and I said to myself, that’s going to be me.
“Throughout our careers we’ve stayed in constant contact – bouncing ideas and suggestions off each other, talking football, and coaching the game.
“Aaron is a leader in every sense of the word. Every place he’s coached his defensive unit has been nationally ranked and the kids love to play for him. He will make it exciting for the Williams players for sure.
“We’ve been close friends for a long time. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the NESCAC. He’ll bring a new energy to Williams football. I’m going to enjoy following his teams.”