Matt Coyne has been hired to be the head football coach at Bates College, the school announced in a news release Tuesday.

Coyne comes to Bates after a stint as defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, which is a New England Small College Athletic Conference foe of the Bobcats. The Bristol, Connecticut native and 2012 Wesleyan graduate spent the past five seasons as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and this past season he served as the team’s special teams coordinator.

New Bates College football head coach Matt Coyne. Submitted photo

“I am extremely grateful and honored to be selected as the next head football coach at Bates College,” Coyne said in the release. “It is an incredible opportunity to work with this group of exceptional student-athletes while representing one of the leading institutions in the country. …

“We are going to build a championship culture that our campus, community and alumni will be proud to support.”

Coyne played quarterback at Wesleyan and has coached both side of the ball, including stints as an offensive and defensive coordinator.

“Matt’s experience as a player and coordinator in the NESCAC, as well as his impressive football acumen, impressed everyone on the hiring committee, from students to coaches to alumni, and his ability to inspire and lead makes him the perfect person to take Bates football into the future,” Bates College Director of Athletics Jason Fein said.


Coyne is the 22nd head football coach in the Bates football program’s history. He replaces Ed Argast, who was the Bobcats’ interim head coach last season after former head coach Malik Hall left the program and the college in late July. Arghast led the team to a 3-6 record, the program’s first three-win season since 2016.

“While we are eager for Matt to get to work, I’d like to acknowledge the hard work of our entire staff during the 2021 campaign, led by interim head coach Ed Argast,” Fein said. “They set up this program for a very bright future.”

After graduating from Wesleyan, Coyne transitioned to the Cardinals’ coaching staff as wide receivers coach from 2012-14.

He then was hired by Oberlin College in Ohio, starting as the quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator. In 2016, he was promoted to offensive coordinator.

In 2017, he returned to Wesleyan and worked on the other side of the ball as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

“We were impressed with his drive and preparation to be a head coach at the collegiate level,” Fein said. “He took on a defensive coordinator role at Wesleyan in order to complement his experience on the offensive side of the ball. He strategically put himself in the right position to lead a collegiate program.”

Under Coyne last season, Wesleyan’s defense ranked third in the NESCAC, allowing 18.4 points per game. The Cardinals’ allowed 24 points in a 27-24 win over Bates in Lewiston last season.

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