Military Bowl has a definite Williams feel to it

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There are lots of college football bowl games. Most will be forgotten by New Year's Day, and some you might not even know existed.One bowl, the Military Bowl, could be called the Farley Bowl or the Six Degrees of Williams College Bowl. That's because when Wake Forest plays Temple on Tuesday afternoon, both coaches have direct connections to the Division III school in Williamstown.Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson never coached at Williams, but he did play for Bob Odell and Dick Farley, graduating in 1989. Clawson, a defensive back, had Farley as a position coach.Ed Foley is the interim head coach at Temple, who is coaching because Matt Rhule took the Baylor job. Foley, a Bucknell graduate, was the offensive line coach for Farley at Williams in 1994, one of the seasons where the Ephs went 8-0.A disclaimer: I am a Temple graduate and will be pulling for my school.Now there are a lot of bowl games that have had head coaches with connections facing each other. I can't imagine there's another one where the two head coaches have NESCAC and Williams ties."There's not a lot of guys from Williams who get into college coaching," said Clawson, when I reached him at his office in Winston-Salem, N.C."I recommended Ed to Coach Farley, and that was one of the reasons he got the job there," said Clawson. "I recommended him highly and thought he would be a great fit. I'm sure Coach Farley was very happy with the job he did."Clawson and Foley go all the way back to UAlbany, where both were graduate assistant coaches under Bob Ford."Ed and I were at each other's weddings. He was one of my very first hires when I was the head coach at Fordham," said Clawson. "I hired Ed as my offensive coordinator the day I was offered the job."Farley and Clawson were a team from the start of Clawson's Williams career. So I asked if he still hears Coach Farley's voice in his ear during football games."It's more on the practice field," said Clawson, who recruited Farley's son, Scott, to Villanova. "Dick was also my position coach, because I played in the secondary. Dick is a guy I talk to probably at least once a month during the season."A lot of the things he said resonated."What does the Wake Forest coach take from his old coach?"Dick's style was to be very honest with us," said Clawson. "He coached us. He made us better players, he held us accountable. Whether you're coaching at Williams or in the ACC, there are a lot of life lessons to be learned from being a college athlete."Foley spent only one year with Farley, but as he prepares Temple for the Military Bowl, he hears Farley in his ear as well."I do. When you coach for as long as I have, you take a little piece of everybody with you," said Foley, when I reached him in his Philadelphia office."One of my biggest memories of Dick, because we have conversations all the time to this day, is about how hard we're going to practice, whether we're going to put pads on today, or are we running the kids too hard," Foley said. "Dick was always one of those guys who thought the kids need to play football. They need to play the game of football, and they need to get out and scrimmage."Clawson has been a head coach for a while, and Foley only spent two years as the head coach at Fordham, replacing Clawson when he left for Richmond. The interim coach is ready to go."It's going to be a thrill. It's going to be like a dream come true for me," said Foley. "I don't have the pressure of having to be the head coach, because I'm not going to be the head coach the next day. I just go out and do what I do." And I can't forget Williamstown's Jake Benzinger, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman at Wake Forest. Clawson told me that he's doing well."We thought he'd have a frame that we could develop into a very good offensive tackle for us. He's right on schedule," Clawson said. "We redshirted him the first year. This year, he's been on the two-deep and played a little bit. I think next year, he has a chance to start for us. He's just got to continue to get stronger and learn his technique."Benzinger is listed as the backup left tackle on Wake's two-deep. Benzinger played in 97 plays for Wake Forest. He started at left tackle in a 38-21 win over Delaware and played in 10 of Wake's 12 games."He's a great kid and has a really great work ethic. I think he's going to end up being a very good player for us."So keep an eye out for No. 73.Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253, or hherman@berkshireeagle.com. On Twitter: @howardherman


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