Larry Kehres

Larry Kehres

In 2020, Larry Kehres (Care-Us) is in his 46th year working at Mount Union and has been the director of athletics since 1985.

He returned to his alma mater in 1974 as assistant football coach and started the swimming program as its first head coach.  In 1985, he was named director of athletics and in 1986 he added head football coach duties which he continued until 2013.

In his 27 years as head football coach, he built one of the most successful programs in all of college football and college sports in general.

His teams have won 23 Ohio Athletic Conference Championships (1986, 1990, 1992-2012) while posting 21 undefeated regular seasons (1986, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995-2004, 2006-2012) and claiming 11 NCAA Division III National Championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012).

From 2000-2013, Kehres compiled a record of 182-7 with seven national championships.

In total, Kehres' career coaching record of 332-24-3 (.929) makes him one of only 10 coaches in the history of college football to win at least 300 games.  

For his efforts, he was named American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year a record 17 times, AFCA National Coach of the Year eight times, OAC Coach of the Year six times and in 2008 became just the second-ever NCAA Division III winner of the Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year award.

In 2017, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

The coaching awards are not the only signs of respect his peers have for him as he has been an active member of the AFCA who has served on the board of directors and competed a term as AFCA president.  He also lent his coaching talents to international competition in the summer of 2011 as he served as offensive coordinator for the US National Football team as they won the gold medal in the World Championships in Austria.

Kehres grew up just a few minutes north of Mount Union's campus in Diamond, Ohio, graduated from Ravenna Southeast High School. He came to Mount Union and played quarterback on the football team and earned a business administration degree in 1971.

He served as a graduate assistant coach at Bowling Green State University in 1971-72, earning a master's degree in health and physical education. In 1973, Kehres got his first head coaching job as the football coach at Johnstown Monroe High School in Johnstown, Ohio.

He returned to Mount Union the following year, spending the next 11 seasons as an assistant coach, serving mainly as the offensive coordinator before taking over as head coach prior to the 1986 season.

His successes were not been limited to the football field.  He started and coached the Mount Union swim program from 1974-86.  In 1985, he was named director of athletics and in 1991, Mount Union became the first institution in the history of the OAC to claim both men's and women's all-sport trophies in the same season -- a feat they repeated in 2012-13 and 2013-14.  

Under Kehres' watch, Mount Union has won 13 of its 15 OAC men's all-sports trophies and four women's all-sports trophies while in 2014 the Raiders were tops in Ohio and finished 19th out of 444 NCAA Division III schools in the Learfield Directors Cup standings ranking athletic department success.

He has overseen and aided in the expansion of varsity sports -- currently at 24, increased the athletics staff and led an aggressive plan to enhance and create some of NCAA Division III top facilities including the $17-million expansion and renovation of the Timken Physical Education Building and Peterson Field House.

Kehres is also an associate professor of physical education and values what his students have accomplished in the classroom. 

In his time as head coach, Mount Union had 18 Academic All-Americans, three national finalists for the Campbell Trophy otherwise known as the Academic Heisman.  In 2008 quarterback Greg Micheli was named Academic All-American of the Year and a recipient of the NCAA Top VIII Award given to the top student-athletes in the nation, in 2009 punter Jay Carpenter became NCAA Division III football's first winner of the NCAA Elite 90 Award given for academic excellence in championship competition and in 2012 safety Nick Driskill was the NCAA Division III football Academic All-American of the Year.

He and his wife, Linda, have three grown children, Vince, Faith and Jan and seven grandchildren. They reside in Alliance.

Larry Kehres as Head Football Coach at Mount Union

  • Overall Record: 332-24-3/.929
  • OAC Record: 228-8-3
  • Overall Home Record: 188-9-3
  • Overall Road Record: 131-10
  • Neutral Site: 11-5
  • Playoff Record: 78-13
  • 220 All-OAC First Team selections
  • 260 All-American selections
  • 5 winners of the Gagliardi Trophy given to the top all-around football player in NCAA Division III