William & Mary’s Laycock seeking victory No. 201

William & Mary football coach Jimmye Laycock was driving to

work on Tuesday morning when he heard something rolling around

behind him in his SUV.

It was the game ball his team gave him after the Tribe (11-2)

dominated third-seeded Southern Illinois 24-3 Saturday in the

Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals – the 200th win of

Laycock’s career.

“It fell off the back seat onto the floor,” Laycock said with

a laugh. “I thought, ‘What the heck was that?’ I looked back and

there was the ball, so I brought it into the office this morning.

I’m sorry. I wish I could come up with a better story for

you.”

It’s not a bad story, just lacks any celebratory punch.

Which Laycock hasn’t made any time to do.

After his players gave him the game ball, rather than savoring

the milestone on the trip home, the 61-year-old was already back to

work. He is still game-planning for No. 201 on Friday night at No.

2 Villanova (12-1).

Laycock became just the 13th coach at the FCS level to get to

200 wins. His career record is 200-140-2 makes him the winningest

coach at a place where Marv Levy and Lou Holtz also roamed the

sidelines.

“It certainly is a significant milestone in anybody’s coaching

career, and to do it at one school … is probably unique,”

Laycock said on Tuesday. “It’s a nice thing to have, and if you’re

going to have a milestone win, it’s pretty neat to have it in such

a big game like we had it.”

Right tackle Keith Hill said of the milestone: “It’s not right

to call it icing on the cake, because it’s so much more. You could

call it the perfect storm.”

It is just the second trip to the semifinals for the Tribe in

Laycock’s 30 years as coach, and bears some similarities to the

last one, in 2004. Then, they played Colonial Athletic Association

rival James Madison, and Friday’s game is also against a CAA

rival.

Laycock has spent the week watching film and looking for things

that will help reverse his team’s fortunes against Villanova – they

lost 28-17 to the Wildcats on Oct. 3.

“It just shows he wants more out of this season than 200

wins,” linebacker Evan Francks said. “He wants to beat Villanova.

I know he does … we all do.”

Hill said the second-seeded Wildcats are the right opponent at

the right time – it’s a chance for the Tribe to get a shot at the

title while righting one of the few wrongs this season.

“I want to play these guys again,” he said. “The feeling of

not doing what you know you can do – more than proving it to them,

you want to prove it to yourself.”

For Laycock, a win against Villanova would be just another step

toward a larger goal. He delivered the message again in the locker

room in Illinois.

After the team captains presented him with the game ball, the

players were celebrating the milestone when Laycock interrupted

them.

“You want to see me happy,” he said, “let’s get 202.”

That, of course, would mean a national championship.