Lehigh football: Former defensive coordinator Tom Gilmore named head coach – Allentown Morning Call


It took awhile, but the Lehigh football program evidently got its man.

The Mountain Hawks have named Tom Gilmore, a former defensive coordinator with the program and the former head coach at Holy Cross, as the 29th head coach in school history.

A press conference to introduce Gilmore has been set for this afternoon at the Cundey Varsity House.

Gilmore replaces Andy Coen, who led the program for 13 seasons before resigning on Dec. 7 due to his need to address a diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

“Our search attracted a large and highly qualified pool of applicants,” Lehigh Dean of Athletics Joe Sterrett said. “We spoke with more than a dozen candidates, all of whom were capable of being our head coach, and we felt several of them could have been outstanding in that role. However, Tom Gilmore had direct and successful experience at Lehigh and in our league, and was the candidate we felt would be most able to make a smooth and rapid transition. He is highly respected by his peers, a very effective recruiter, and has demonstrated a commitment to academics, student athlete development and strong alumni relations.”

Gilmore, 54, spent 14 seasons as the head coach at Holy Cross, posting a record of 72-81 overall, 41-40 in the Patriot League.

He was relieved of the position seven games into the 2017 season and following a 32-0 loss to Yale.

Gilmore spent the 2018 season at Wake Forest working under former Lehigh assistant Dave Clawson and with former Mountain Hawks head coach Kevin Higgins.

He was a defensive analyst and later elevated to outside linebackers coach following an in-season change in defensive leadership.

Wake Forest went 7-6, capping its season with a 37-34 win over Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl.

Prior to becoming head coach at Holy Cross in 2004, Gilmore spent four years at Lehigh as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. From 2000-03, Lehigh went 39-9 and posted back-to-back undefeated regular seasons in 2000-01 and won two Patriot League titles and I-AA playoff games.

Prior to coming to Lehigh, Gilmore coached at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and spent eight years at Dartmouth.

“Tom Gilmore is an outstanding coach,” said Higgins, who brought Gilmore to Lehigh in 2000. “He is very knowledgeable and has a tremendous work ethic. He is a relentless recruiter with a wealth of information on the Patriot League.”

Coen in a release said: “I want to congratulation him on being the head football coach at Lehigh. Tom’s teams at Holy Cross were always prepared and played hard. He knows the Lehigh community well after spending time here under Kevin Higgins and Pete Lembo. He is aware of Lehigh’s great football tradition and I am sure he will continue to lead this program in the right direction.”

kgroller@mcall.com

Twitter @KeithGroller

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