WACO, Texas -- University of Mount Union football coach Larry Kehres has been named American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year for a record seventh-straight season and record 17th time overall.
A 1971 graduate of Mount Union, Kehres is 330-24-3 (.929) in his 27th season at his Alma mater. Kehres is one of the most successful coaches in all of college football, as under his tenure, the Purple Raiders have claimed 23 Ohio Athletic Conference championships, including the last 21 in a row and 10 NCAA Division III National Championships.
He is one of only 10 coaches in the history of college football to win over 300 games and is the active wins leader in all of college football at 330.
His 17 regional coach of the year awards places him five ahead of Penn State's Joe Paterno (11). This is also is a record seventh-straight season he has won the award besting the previous record of five held by Mel Tjeerdsma (Northwest Missouri State) and Bob Devaney (Nebraska).
It is also the record 18th honor for Mount Union (Ken Wable won the award in 1985) which places the school ahead of the 15 by Nebraska (Bob Devaney-7, Tom Osborne-7, Frank Solich-1).
The other NCAA Division III regional winners are Mike Cragg (Hobart, N.Y.), Tom Watts (Ohio Wesleyan), Pete Fredenburg (Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas) and Pat Cerroni (UW-Oshkosh).
The winners are selected by active members of the AFCA who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions. Five winners in each division of football (FBS, FCS, NCAA Division II and III along with the NAIA) will be honored and a National Coach of the Year in each division will be named at the AFCA Convention this coming January.
Most Awards: Mount Union's Larry Kehres (1986-90-92-93-96-97-99-2000-01-02-06-07-08-09-10-11-12) has the most district/regional honors in AFCA history, extending his record to 17 awards this year. Penn State's Joe Paterno (District 2: 1967-68-71-72-73-77-78-82; Region 1: 1985; Region 3: 1994-2005) is second with 11 District/Regional Coach of the Year honors. Following Kehres and Paterno is Bloomsburg's Danny Hale with 10 awards (College Division I, Region 1 1986-87-88-94-95; Division II, Region 1, 2000-01-05-06-08). Hale won his first three awards while at West Chester. Seven coaches have won the award seven times: Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State; Jim Butterfield, Ithaca; Carmen Cozza, Yale; Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, Nebraska; Tubby Raymond, Delaware and Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio), Michigan. Six coaches have won Regional honors six times: Vince Dooley, Georgia; Pete Fredenburg, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Roy Kidd, Eastern Kentucky; John McKay, USC; Jerry Moore, Appalachian State; and Darrell Royal, Texas.
Most Winners by School: Mount Union-18 (Ken Wable-1, Larry Kehres-17); Nebraska-15 (Bob Devaney-7, Tom Osborne-7, Frank Solich-1); Penn State-12 (Rip Engle-1, Joe Paterno-11); North Dakota State-11 (Darrell Mudra-1, Ron Erhardt-4, Jim Wacker-1, Don Morton-3, Earle Solomonson-1, Craig Bohl-1); Texas-11 (Darrell Royal-6, Fred Akers-2, David McWilliams-1, Mack Brown-2); USC-10 (John McKay-6, John Robinson-2, Pete Carroll-2); Wittenberg-10 (Bill Edwards-3, Dave Maurer-4, Ron Murphy-1, Joe Fincham-2); Alabama-9 (Bear Bryant-4, Bill Curry-1, Gene Stallings-2, Mike Shula-1, Nick Saban-1); Michigan-9 (Bump Elliott-2, Bo Schembechler-6, Lloyd Carr-1); Arkansas-8 (Frank Broyles-4, Lou Holtz-1, Ken Hatfield-1, Houston Nutt-2); Ithaca-8 (Jim Butterfield-7, Mike Welch-1); New Hampshire-8 (Clarence Boston-1, Jim Root-1, Bill Bowes-3, Sean McDonnell-3); Ohio State-8 (Woody Hayes-4, Earle Bruce-1, John Cooper-3); Oklahoma-8 (Chuck Fairbanks-3, Barry Switzer-2, Bob Stoops-3); Texas A&M-Kingsville-8 (Gil Steinke-2, Ron Harms-5, Bo Atterberry-1); Yale-8 (Jordan Olivar-1, Carmen Cozza-7).
Consecutive Years: Mount Union's Larry Kehres is the only coach to win district/regional honors in seven consecutive years, winning in Division III from 2006-12. Northwest Missouri State's Mel Tjeerdsma and Nebraska's Bob Devaney are the only coaches to win district/regional honors in five consecutive years. Tjeerdsma earned the honor in Division II from 1996-2000. Devaney earned the honor in the AFCA's old University Division (1962-66). Carroll's Mike Van Diest joins Trinity's (Texas) Steve Mohr, North Dakota State's Ron Erhardt and Kehres as the only men to win the award four years in a row. Van Diest earned the honor in NAIA from 2007-10, while Kehres won his four in a row from 1999-2002 in Division III. Erhardt earned district honors in the AFCA's old College Division (1967-68-69-70) while Mohr earned the honor in Division III (1996-97-98-99). Thirteen coaches have earned district or regional honors three years in a row. Ithaca's Jim Butterfield (1978-79-80 and 1984-85-86) earned the award in three consecutive years on two different occasions.