Colin Healy ‘25
Fans of Crusader football were given a welcome surprise announcement on January 26, as it was announced that head coach Bob Chesney had agreed to a restructured contract with the school. In February of last year, Chesney signed a five year extension with HC to retain him through the 2026 season. With the restructured deal, Chesney is inked for an additional season.
It’s obvious that the success of Holy Cross football these past few years is a result of coach Chesney’s direction. When Chesney took over in 2018, he inherited a struggling program that had gone without a Patriot League championship since 2009. Coming from nearby Assumption College, Chesney assumed the task of elevating the program into a competitive powerhouse and restoring Holy Cross’ rich football tradition. In his five year tenure thus far, he has done just that.
Fresh off their fourth straight Patriot League championship, the Crusaders find themselves as a top 10 FCS football team in the nation. The program’s rapid ascent through the rankings has landed Chesney multiple Patriot League Coach of the Year awards, as well as increased exposure and recognition for HC football.
What’s more important is that the ascent through the rankings is not over. The past three seasons have seen the Crusaders finish in a better position than the year before. The 2022 campaign included an undefeated regular season, the program’s first since 1991, as well as becoming the first team in program history to win 12 games.
It has been evident for a long time that it would be in HC’s best interest to keep Chesney in place as head coach for a long term period. Thankfully, this was recognized last year when Chesney signed the extension in February. This recent restructuring of that extension is icing on the cake. Thankfully, this should finally end the rumors about Chesney leaving Worcester for Boston College.
Chesney has always made clear that he is all in at Holy Cross. The mutual respect and appreciation of one another between Chesney and the school is what has allowed the football team to reach new heights these past few seasons. Chesney’s love for Holy Cross has allowed him to connect with current and former players, as well as recruit future players. The buy in by members of the program has been at 100%. With such passion roaming the sidelines at Fitton Field, it made the decision for HC to extend Chesney a no-brainer.
With Chesney committed to Holy Cross, and vice-versa, views can shift towards sustained success in the future. Last season ended in a quarter final defeat to eventual national champion South Dakota State. Despite such a deep run to the quarters, there’s no doubt that HC football is in the mood for more. The team has a legitimate shot at winning a national championship. It is because of Bob Chesney that this is a realistic goal. It was not six years ago. And that’s exactly why retaining Chesney as head coach is right for the program. Chesney is in HC’s corner, and the HC community in his.
Fitton Field will lie dormant until September, but anticipation for the next season of HC football is already building. So, when Fitton comes back to life this fall, the energy in the building will be felt on a nation-wide level. The Chesney era at Holy Cross is well underway, and it’s here to stay. It’s possible the look forward has never looked better.
Featured image courtesy of goholycross.com
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