ITHACA, N.Y. (CORNELL ATHLETICS)– Dr. Nicki Moore, the Meakem Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education, announced Sunday that there will be a change in leadership of the Cornell Football team, effective immediately. David Archer ’05, a former Big Red captain and the longest-tenured head football coach at Cornell in more than 60 years, has spent the past 11 years at the helm of his alma mater.
Moore stated, “David Archer has dedicated tremendous energy and passion into trying to make Cornell a winning football program since he arrived as a student-athlete in 2001. The university, department, and program have benefited greatly from his commitment to student-athlete welfare and advocacy in enhancing their experience.” Moore continued, “David has become a trusted colleague and advisor to me since I took the helm 11 months ago, and I am deeply grateful for the time we have had to work together. He will always be a cherished member of the Big Red family, and we thank him for the many positive contributions he has made in leading the program.
A national search for Archer’s successor will begin immediately, assisted by Parker Executive Search. Associate head coach and The John B. and Ann M. Rogers ’45 Defensive Coordinator Jared Backus will serve as the team’s interim head coach.
Archer ranks as one of the longest-tenured head coaches in Cornell history and one of the most impactful on and off the field. Archer became the nation’s youngest Division I head coach when he was named to the position in January 2013 and then spent 11 years directing the Big Red, including successfully navigating the program through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Big Red tied for fourth in the Ivy in 2019, its best finish since 2006, and handed conference champ and 12th-ranked Dartmouth its lone loss of the season, giving Cornell its first win over a ranked Ivy team on the road since 1950 (No. 13 Penn) and its highest ranked opponent overall since 1939 (No. 4 Ohio State). The Big Red went 5-5 in 2022, matching the program’s best win total since 2005, and was unbeaten in non-conference play for the first time since 2007. It defeated the eventual Ivy champion in two of the past four seasons.
Cornell finished 3-7 on the season.