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
“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
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
“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
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
“You want to see me happy,” he said, “let’s get 202.”
That, of course, would mean a national championship.