BRUNSWICK, Maine – 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, 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.
Hammer replaces JB Wells, who spent four seasons as the Polar Bears head coach. Bowdoin was 3-31 in his four seasons, including 1-8 this past fall.
"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 athletic director 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, 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 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 and Whittier prior to returning to Wabash in 2011. Hammer served as the head coach at Whittier from 2006 through 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.