W&L Names Scott Abell Head Football Coach
Washington and Lee Director of Athletic Jan Hathorn announced that Scott Abell has been promoted to head football coach effective immediately. Abell had previously served as the program’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.
“It’s not often that an institution is in the position of having the right person for the job already on our staff, yet W&L finds itself in that exact, and wonderful, situation,” said Hathorn. “Thus, it is with excitement and enthusiasm that we name Scott Abell as our new head football coach. Like his predecessors, Scott brings to our program a great knowledge of football, a commitment to the student-athletes on the team, and an understanding of how athletics fits into the overall mission of Washington and Lee. Scott has a proven track record of success, which has already been demonstrated in his four years on our staff, yet even more importantly, Scott’s belief in teaching our young men about responsibility, leadership and the value of hard work is what makes this such a perfect hire. We have full confidence in Scott’s ability to lead this program into the future, with its great tradition of success, on and off the field. I look forward to serving alongside Scott for many years to come.”
“Words cannot express my excitement for this opportunity,” said Abell. “Washington and Lee is one of the premiere universities in the country, with a rich tradition of academic and football excellence. I look forward to representing the university, our proud alumni and our players.”
“I am grateful to Coach Miriello for the opportunity he gave me as offensive coordinator four years ago,” he added. “I am also thankful for the confidence that Athletic Director Jan Hathorn, President Ken Ruscio and our university administration has instilled in me to lead the program.”
Abell arrived at Washington and Lee as offensive coordinator prior to the 2008 season and helped transform the Generals’ offense into one of the best in Division III. W&L averaged 302.8 yards and 23.6 points per game during the 2008 campaign and saw those numbers increase each season under Abell’s leadership. The Generals improved to 23.8 points and 311.2 yards per game in 2009 and then jumped to 35.3 points and 438.8 yards per game as W&L won the ODAC title in 2010. Along the way, the Generals set records for rushing yards and scoring, producing six of the top 10 team rushing performances in conference history in finishing 8-3 overall.
Abell was promoted to assistant head coach prior to the 2011 season and W&L again set numerous offensive and scoring records as the Generals finished third nationally in total offense (491.8 ypg), fourth in rushing offense (331.8 ypg), sixth in passing efficiency (171.7 rating) and 17th in scoring (38.9 ppg). Washington and Lee finished the year 8-2 overall, the program’s first back-to-back 8-win seasons in 50 years.
“I am excited about the current state of our program and eager to accept the challenges of taking the team to the next level,” stated Abell. “The ODAC conference is one of the toughest and most balanced in the country and I know our team will be ready to fight for the ODAC title each and every year.”
“I am so thankful for the support that my family has always given me in my endeavors as a coach,” he said. “God has blessed me many times through my life and I feel blessed today to be named Head Football Coach at Washington and Lee University.”
Abell came to W&L following six seasons as the head coach at Amherst County High School. During that time he compiled a 60-12 overall record and won three Seminole District Titles, while leading the Lancers to the 2006 and 2007 Virginia Group AA, Division 4, State Championship. Three times he was named the Seminole District and Virginia Region III Coach of the Year, while he received the State Coach of the Year Award after each of his final two seasons.
Abell, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and linebackers coach and strength and conditioning coach at Amherst County, is also the co-founder and co-director of the Central Virginia Coaches Clinic, a well-respected camp for over 150 high school coaches.
Prior to taking over at Amherst County, Abell spent four seasons as the head football coach at Liberty High School, turning an 0-10 team in 1998 into a Seminole District Champion in 2001. He has also been an assistant football coach and physical education teacher at Altavista High School (1996-97), Western Albemarle High School (1994-96) and Albemarle High School (1993).
Abell is a 1992 graduate of Longwood College with a bachelor of science degree in physical education and health. He also attained a master’s degree in administration/supervision from Lynchburg College in 2007.