BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin College has announced the hiring of William (B.J.) Hammer II as the 30th head coach of the Polar Bear football program.

Most recently the head coach at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Hammer assumed a program that was 1-29 in the three years prior to his arrival.


Under Hammer, the Gators improved from 1-9 to 3-7 before posting a 6-4 record in 2018.

“With his most recent success as a head coach and proven ability as a defensive coordinator, educator and mentor, B.J. is uniquely qualified to lead our football program in the years ahead, and we are excited to welcome him, Emily and the rest of their family to the Bowdoin community,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan. “B.J.’s passion for developing student-athletes to have an impact not only on the field, but in all aspects of their lives, was evident throughout our conversations and I look forward to his arrival on campus next week.”

“I am thrilled to be the new head football coach at Bowdoin College,” said Hammer. “The moment I set foot on campus I knew it was where I wanted to be. Bowdoin has the perfect combination of academic excellence and high level athletics. My goal is to develop a winning football program that will compete for and win NESCAC championships. I am looking forward to meeting the team and getting to work.”

Prior to his arrival at Allegheny, he spent five years as a highly successful defensive coordinator at Wabash College (Ind.), during which time the program posted a 51-7 record. Under his guidance, the Wabash defense was ranked in the top-five in the country three times. In 2014 Hammer was a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coordinator of the Year Award.

While a student at Wabash, Hammer was a captain of the football team, a two-time USA Football Division III All American and graduated with the single season record for sacks (15) and career record for tackles for a loss (58) as a defensive lineman. He began his coaching career at his alma mater in the fall of 2001, and went on to coach at Heidelberg College (Ohio) and Whittier College (Calif.) prior to returning to Wabash in 2011.

Hammer served as the head coach at Whittier from 2006-2010, where he took over a squad that had won eight games in the previous five seasons and recorded four victories in his first year at the helm.

Women’s hoops

Top-ranked Bowdoin had six players in double figures in a 102-44 win at Maine-Presque Isle on Monday afternoon.

The Polar Bears moved to 16-0 with the win, while the Owls dropped to 5-10.

Bowdoin never trailed, although UMPI stayed within shouting distance for most of the opening quarter. Leading 14-8 after six minutes, the Polar Bears ended the first quarter on a 10-3 run to take a 24-11 lead.

The Polar Bears put the game away in the second quarter, outscoring the hosts, 31-8. Bowdoin connected on 59-percent of its shots in the period as Maddie Hasson scored seven points to give the Polar Bears a 55-19 lead at the break.

Bowdoin surpassed the century mark for the third time this season, ending at 53-percent shooting for the game.

Hasson scored 15 points in just 11 minutes to lead the Polar Bears. Presque Isle native Hannah Graham matched her with 15 points in the win. Samantha Roy had 11 points, four assists, while Abby Kelly, Sela Kay and Moira Train had 10 points apiece. Bowdoin held a 52-23 edge in rebounding, scored 24 second-chance points and had 39 points off turnovers in the win. The Polar Bears also held a 56-6 edge in bench scoring.

The Polar Bears return to action on Saturday with a NESCAC home game against Colby at 2 p.m.

Nordic skiing

The Polar Bears enjoyed a fantastic season-opening St. Lawrence Carnival last weekend in upstate New York.

Bowdoin recorded 290 team points to finish fifth among 13 Nordic teams, trailing only the University of Vermont, Middlebury, Dartmouth and Williams on the weekend.

Elliot Ketchel paced the Polar Bears to a fourth-place showing in the men’s 10K skate and fifth-place finish in the 10K classic in weekend action. Ketchel placed seventh in the skate (27:42.2) and ninth in the classic (29:45.6).

Christian Gostout was 23rd in the skate (28:58.2) and 24th in the classic (30:38.5) for Bowdoin.

Renae Anderson was outstanding for Bowdoin in the women’s 10K classic, leading the team to a fourth-place finish overall in the vent. She was ninth in 35:41.5, followed closely by Gabrielle Vandendries in 16th (35:57.6).

Anderson was 22nd in the women’s 5K skate (16:42.8) with Vandendries in 35th (17:14.8).

The Polar Bears will return to action this weekend at the UNH Carnival hosted in Jackson, New Hampshire.

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