Football & Asst. Lacrosse Coach
This is Bob Ritter’s 13th season as head coach of the Middlebury College football program and as the Michael “Mickey” Heinecken Coaching Chair. After finishing 7-1 in 2012, Ritter now owns a 57-39 career mark with the Panthers, holding the second-best winning percentage (.594) in program history. In 2007, Ritter earned NESCAC and AFCA Region I Coach of the Year accolades after winning the NESCAC Championship with a 7-1 record.
As the head coach for the Panthers, Ritter mentored 78 All-NESCAC selections and 43 NESCAC players of the week, while seeing his players break 45 school records. Seventy-seven players have earned All-NESCAC Academic honors during his tenure, 15 more were tapped as Academic All-Region picks, and one was named a National Scholar-Athlete. Several players earned All-American status, while one former Panther, Steve Hauschka, plays in the NFL.
Beyond head coaching duties, Ritter serves as the quarterback coach for one of the most prolific passing offenses in the country. During the past four seasons, his quarterbacks have led the nation in completions per game: In 2012, McCallum Foote (32.00/game); 2011, Foote (32.43); 2010, Donald McKillop (31.50); 2009, McKillop (32.75). The prolific quarterback tandem of Foote and McKillop peppered the school and NESCAC record book, appearing first or second all-time for Middlebury 29 times, while holding 10 top-two spots in conference passing annals.
The Holden, Massachusetts, native began his coaching career immediately following his graduation from Middlebury in 1982. The freshly minted economics major joined Mickey Heinecken’s coaching staff that fall, spending six years as the defensive coordinator. Following his six years at Middlebury, Ritter accepted a coaching position at Tufts University as the men’s lacrosse head coach and assistant football coach, where he worked as both the offensive and defensive coordinator for the Jumbos’ football team.
In the fall of 1996, Ritter returned to Middlebury to serve as an assistant football and assistant men’s lacrosse coach. He was named the head coach of the football program in December 2000, following Heinecken’s retirement.
Ritter, who continues to work as an assistant coach in the spring for the three-time NCAA Championship men’s lacrosse team, stays active in the local community, assisting in several local community-outreach projects, and is a member of the town’s school board.