Legendary Mount Union coach Larry Kehres steps down
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]n era of dominance unlike any other seen in college football came to an end Wednesday as legendary Mount Union coach Larry Kehres announced his retirement from coaching effective immediately.
Kehres will remain the school’s athletic director. His son, Vince Kehres, a veteran assistant on the Mount Union staff, will be charged with following in his father’s footsteps as the Purple Raiders’ head coach.
During his 27 as Mount Union’s coach, Kehres’ teams ruled NCAA’s Division III, winning an unprecedented 23 Ohio Athletic Conference Championships and 11 National Championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012). His teams played in five more D-III championship games and finished the regular season undefeated 21 times.
Kehres has a career coaching record of 332-24-3, and his .929 winning percentage is the highest in the history of college football. No. 2? Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne (.881).
A 1972 Mount Union graduate, Kehres is in his 39th year working at his alma mater. He began as an assistant football coach and professor in 1974, then became the school’s head swimming coach. He was named athletic director in 1985 then assumed head football coaching duties in 1986.
“The best part of the job was developing relationships with players and continuing those relationships following their graduations,” commented Kehres. “Coaching the Purple Raiders has been a tremendous experience for my family. We have shared many great experiences with our players, fellow coaches, trainers and their families. We plan to continue to enjoy working with Mount Union coaches and athletes.”
“Coach Kehres has been an incredible success, not only in winning football games and national championships at an unprecedented level, but also in positively shaping the lives of countless student athletes,” Mount Union president Dr. Richard Giese said. “His impact on Mount Union has been dramatic, and the entire Raider family will clearly miss him on the sideline.
“Larry, his wife Linda, and the Kehres family are a special part of the fabric that makes Mount Union unique, and we are indeed grateful. We are pleased that Larry will still be leading our entire, highly successful athletic program as director of athletics, and we are appreciative for both what he has done and what he will continue to do for Mount Union.”
Vince Kehres has spent the past 13 seasons as a Mount Union assistant, including the last eight as defensive coordinator.
The 1998 Mount Union graduate has been part of 10 of the Purple Raiders national championships as either a player (2) or a coach (8).
His 2012 defense led the nation in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense, and posted six consecutive shutouts.
“Obviously Mount Union football has been a part of my entire life,” Vince Kehres said. “I have a passion for coaching and working with young men and I can think of no better place to do that then at Mount Union. I promise this program will continue to uphold the values and ideals that have made Mount Union what it is in the world of college football.
“Our mission remains the same — bring quality young men to this place and allow them the opportunity to grow and be successful on and off the field.”
Photo credit: Columbus Dispatch