End of an Era: Marty Favret will retire after Tigers’ current season

Published 2:56 am Monday, August 21, 2023

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A Hampden-Sydney legend will say goodbye after this season. On Sunday, Aug. 20, head football coach Marty Favret said his 24th season will be his last. 

“For nearly a quarter century, I’ve had the best job in college football,” Favret said in a statement. “Awaiting grandchild number two in December, I am ready to focus my time on something other than ‘third and five’,” Favret said. “I am proud of where our program stands today and I look forward to channeling all my energy on coaching the talented 2023 Tigers this fall and getting this special group (to) a championship level.” 

Favret will retire with a number of achievements. He stands as the all-time winningest coach in program history at 145-86. During his time at Hampden-Sydney, the Tigers have had 15 winning seasons, with five Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championships and six appearances in the NCAA Division III Football Championship. He’s also the longest-tenured collegiate football head coach in the Commonwealth. 

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In his retirement statement, Favret looked back on the beginning, thanking Hampden-Sydney officials for taking a chance and trusting him with the team. 

“I want to thank Gen. Sam Wilson, Joe Bush and others for selecting a relative no-name 24 years ago to take over the football program at such an amazing place,” Favret said. “When I took the job, I had no idea how passionate the alumni base and Hampden-Sydney community were and they have been instrumental in our success and ability to run a first class program. I have also been blessed to work with unique and talented student-athletes and coaches that have truly made every work day a joy. My players have made this the most satisfying chapter of my professional life.” 

The impact of Marty Favret

Members of the Hampden-Sydney community reflected Sunday on Favret’s impact on the school, saying he did more than just win football games. 

“There’s a saying, ‘the people make the place’ and nowhere is this more true than at a small college,” said Hampden-Sydney President Larry Stimpert. “Not only is Marty Favret the winningest football coach in the history of Hampden-Sydney athletics, but he has, for 23 years, helped the college fulfill its mission to form good men and good citizens by coaching and mentoring thousands of the college’s student-athletes.” 

Stimpert added that alumni tell stories of Favret’s influence, saying that’s a tribute to his talents as a leader and role model. Hampden-Sydney Director of Athletics Chad Eisele said beyond the players, Favret also impacted the staff. 

“As a husband, father, colleague, friend and mentor, Marty has touched the lives of hundreds of us that have called the Hill home in such a positive way,” Eisele said. “His legacy and influence will last far beyond his 24 years as our football coach.” 

His track record on the field isn’t likely to be matched anytime soon, Eisele added. 

“The level of success Marty has had at Hampden-Sydney over the years is remarkable,” Eisele said. “Marty is the all-time winningest football coach here and that is a record that is very unlikely to be broken.”

What happens next? 

Stimpert encouraged members of the community to let Favret know how they feel over the next few months. 

“We look forward to an exciting final season to bring Marty’s remarkable football coaching career at Hampden-Sydney to a close,” Stimpert said. “During the next few months, I encourage every member of our college community to find an opportunity to thank Marty for his dedicated service and to congratulate him on his retirement.” 

Eisele said the college will conduct a national search to find Favret’s successor. 

A look at Favret’s accomplishments 

  • All-time winningest football coach in school history (145-86)
  • Most ODAC wins in school history (95-51)
  • Six NCAA Division III Playoff appearances
  • Five ODAC Championships
  • Five-time ODAC Coach of the Year (2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
  • 15 winning seasons and 18 seasons at .500 or better
  • 10 eight-win seasons, including one 10-win season, and three nine-win seasons
  • His 145 career wins rank 14th among active Division III head coaches (first among ODAC head coaches)
  • His 95 career ODAC wins are the most among active ODAC head coaches
  • Coached 25 All-America selections, including four two-time All-Americans
  • Coached four Academic All-America® selections, including one two-time Academic All-America®
  • Coached one William V. Campbell Trophy® finalist
  • Coached eight William V. Campbell Trophy® semifinalists
  • Coached nine Gammon Cup winners
  • Coached 114 First Team All-ODAC selections (1-four-time, 7-three-time, 16-two-time)
  • Coached five ODAC Offensive Players of the Year
  • Coached three ODAC Defensive Players of the Year
  • Coached five ODAC Rookies of the Year
  • Coached three ODAC Football Scholar-Athletes of the Year
  • Coached one ODAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year