The 2018 season marks the ninth year for Chris Robertson as head coach of the WPI football program.
2017 was a magical year for Robertson and his Engineers. The Crimson and Gray finished the season 9-2 with a seven-game winning-streak and a New England Bowl trophy. The nine wins tie the 1992 team that went to the NCAA tournament for the most wins in a single season and the bowl triumph was the first postseason win in the 128 years of WPI Football.
WPI had a successful debut during the inaugural season of NEWMAC of football, finishing second in the eight-team conference with a 6-1 record. The Engineers have now produced three consecutive winning seasons for the first time in a quarter century with two of their four all-time postseason berths earned in 2015 and 2017.
The Engineers finished strong in 2016 at 6-4 in their final year of the Liberty League, losing four contests by a combined total of 17 points. The Boynton Hillers earned their third consecutive victory over Union as well as an exciting come-from-behind victory at Rochester. The Engineers also defeated cross-town rival Worcester State for their second consecutive victory over the Lancers, while in a future NEWMAC contest, WPI beat the Norwich (40-17) for the second consecutive season.
Postseason accolades have become a staple to the Engineers as the first eight seasons have seen dozens of players earn all-conference and all-region honors. Spencer Herrington took home 2017 NEWMAC Special Teams Athlete of the Year while Ernie Mello and Brian Murtagh were named D3football.com All-Americas and Aaron Champagne, Ehab Hamdan and Will Pope earned CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades. The team has enjoyed tremendous success in the classroom under Robertson’s watchful eye, taking home the most academic all-conference selections over the past seven seasons.
Prior to becoming 18th head coach to roam the sidelines of the Engineers, Robertson led a resurgence at Salve Regina. As the Seahawks first full-time head coach, he increased the win total nearly 50% over the previous four year period. A tireless recruiter, Robertson’s efforts resulted in a roster growth of 60 players in 2006 to 94 in 2009. In his final season at Salve, Robertson finished 4-4 in the New England Football Conference Boyd Division and placed seven players on the All-Division team. Just as impressive was the success in the classroom as Salve Regina placed 25 student-athletes on the NEFC All-Academic team.
A defensive coach by trade, Robertson’s squads at both schools have drawn national recognition. In 2009 his Salve Regina team allowed the nation’s fewest yards passing per game only to see his WPI Engineers turn the trick in 2010 in his first year back as Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator.
During his first stop at WPI, Robertson served as both the defensive coordinator and the head coach of the baseball team. On the gridiron, 15 of his players earned Freedom Football Conference or Liberty League All-Conference honors while four players distinguished themselves with All-New England and All-ECAC accolades. Robertson’s baseball teams earned the program’s first ECAC selections and post-season berths in over 100 years of Engineer Baseball, participating in the championships in both 2000 and 2004.
Robertson originally arrived on Boynton Hill after serving three years as an assistant under Ed Zaloom at Siena. In 1998 he was the Saints defensive coordinator after a two-year stint as linebackers coach. The 1996 graduate of the University of Albany was a three-year starter and captain of the football team. While playing for the Great Danes, the Deposit, NY native was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. The mathematics major also received his master’s degree in educational psychology from Albany.
“The WPI community is like no other place I’ve ever been around,” remarked Robertson. “When you combine the world-class reputation of the academics with the state-of-the-art athletic facilities, we are able to attract the highest level of student-athletes who are looking for the very best academic, athletic, and social experience in college.”
Robertson resides in Grafton, MA with his wife, Kristin, twins Jake and Danielle, daughter Molly and yellow lab Slider.