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SHSU hires K.C. Keeler as new head football coach

Sports Editor

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 21:01

K C Keeler

Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

K.C. Keeler speaking at a press conference on Friday, Jan. 24. He led Delaware University to a national championship in 2003 followed by two other runs to the championship in 2007 and 2010.

Former Delaware University head coach K.C. Keeler has been named as Sam Houston State University’s new head football.

Keeler’s hire comes two weeks after previous SHSU head coach Willie Fritz accepted the head coaching position at Georgia Southern. Keeler accepted the position during a press conference Friday afternoon.

Although Keeler hasn’t coached since his 5-6 finish at Delaware in 2012, Director of Athletics Bobby Williams said Keeler is the right man to move the Bearkats back on a championship track.

“I’m excited for his new opportunity and his departure led us to a new opportunity as well,” Williams said.

Williams said the search process took about two weeks with urgency to find a coach before National Signing Day Feb. 5.  Williams added he had a set criteria that included national championship experience when interviewing the top five finalists.

Criteria Keeler meets.

In 2003, the 57-year old took the Blue Hens to the Football Championship Subdivision National Championship to defeat Colgate University 40-0. Keeler visited the national championship in 2007 and 2010.

“Once I made that decision, I was glad I was done,” Williams said.

After being fired from Delaware in 2012, Keeler said he didn’t plan to coach until his wife told him she wanted to coach again and how she missed the connections the two made with his team.  Keeler said he envisions SHSU’s football team getting involved with the community to have a broader impact off the field.

With one recruiting weekend left, Keeler reiterated his priority to recruit players as he continues to piece together his coaching staff.

“We're here to relentlessly pursue being the best football program in the country,” he said. “I care about who they are right now and where they're going.”

Keeler said he’s going to expand on Williams’s expectation for a national championship-caliber team and pursue exceptional recruits.

“I’m here to win championships,” Keeler said. “National championships.”

Keeler spent nine seasons at Rowan University before heading over to Delaware for 11 seasons. Keeler said he isn’t planning on a short four-year run at SHSU like Fritz.

“I’m here for the long haul,” he said.

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