Celebrating 110 years of Student Journalism

BJ Hammer ’01 Returns Home

PATRICK MCAULEY ‘20 | SPORTS EDITOR • Every Wabash man, freshman or senior, possesses goals. Scholastic goals, athletic goals, and career goals. For one Wabash man, those goals included the rebuilding of a college football program and taking a team’s defense to the next level on a national stage. William Hammer ‘01 now resides in Meadville, Pennsylvania as the head football coach at Allegheny.

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BJ Hammer ’01 (Courtesy of Allegheny Athletics)

During his time at Wabash, Hammer enjoyed spreading his time out over studying history and playing on the football team of which he was a captain during his senior year. His career on the field was not average, either. Hammer earned All-American status twice and received the 2001 Pete Vaughn Award, which is an annual award bestowed upon the top Wabash athlete in the senior class. Hammer’s younger brother, Blair Hammer ’03, also spent some time on the team, which gave the pair a year to bond together at the collegiate level. They both tied for the most career sacks in Wabash football history.

After graduating from Wabash, Hammer decided to head into
the world of college coaching. The Wabash alumnus spent eight seasons at Whittier College, a small liberal arts school just outside of Los Angeles, California. For the first few seasons, Hammer was the defensive coordinator before taking the position of head coach. When he joined the program in 2003, the team only had thirteen players. After a few years of Coach Hammer’s impact, the roster developed to include over one hundred young men who wanted to dive head first into the college football culture. In 2009 and 2010, Whittier’s offense was second in the All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

 

Hammer returned to Wabash in 2012 and further developed the defensive teams. During his first season as defensive coordinator, Wabash ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense with one player earning the NCAC Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2014, Hammer received a spot as a finalist for the DIII Coordinator of the Year Award. That year, his defense led the nation in quarterback sacks and rushing. Four players were All- Americans under his coaching.

Hammer was named the 34th head coach at Allegheny in 2016. The program took major leaps in the first few seasons. One of Coach Hammer’s wide receivers earned all NCAC honors for setting an all-time high for catching yards. One of his quarterbacks, Logan Lee, set school records in a variety of categories.

Coach Hammer returns to Wabash this weekend as the Little Giants take on the Allegheny Gators (5-3) at 1 p.m. this Saturday. The Bachelor welcomes the son
of Wabash back to campus this Saturday at the game.