Asst. Football - Off. Coord. & Asst. Athletic Communications
The veteran coach returns for his 13th season at Middlebury and his fifth season as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator. Since 2009, the Middlebury offense owns 10 first-place spots in the national rankings, while holding 19 more spots in the top 10 for offensive production. This is Early’s ninth season leading the offensive line and the field-goal unit. (In 2005–06, he coached future NFL place-kicker Steven Hauschka, '07.) Arriving at Middlebury in 2001, he spent his first four seasons coaching the defensive line before taking over offensive line duties in 2005. During his tenure on offense, Early developed several All-NESCAC players, as well as two All-American offensive linemen.
After a record-breaking 2012 season, Early garnered national acclaim, earning the prestigious AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Award for his efforts on the field and in the community. The prolific Panther offense set 13 school records in 2012, leading all of NCAA Division III football in three categories: Zach Driscoll’s individual receiving yards per game (141.75), McCallum Foote’s completions per game (32.00), and the offensive led the nation allowing the fewest tackles for loss per game (2.63). The offense earned a pair of second-place finishes nationally: Driscoll’s 10.38 receptions per game and team passing yards (371.38), while sitting in the top 15 in 10 more offensive categories.
He began his collegiate coaching career in 1996 at the University of Chicago, working with the tight ends. Following two years in Illinois, Early moved to Hamilton College where he coached the receivers and assisted with the special teams, while working as an assistant for the Continental baseball program. In 1999, he moved on to coach the wide receivers at Brockport before going to Swarthmore College in 2000 to coach the running backs and assisting with special teams.
The Schenectady, New York, native graduated from the University at Albany with a degree in rhetoric and communication, holding a master’s degree in education from Peru State. Beyond the winter and spring seasons where Early works as an assistant in the Athletic Communications Office, managing game statistics and press releases for numerous sporting events at Middlebury, he is an adviser for Middlebury’s student-based Newman Club.