End of an era at Mount Union

Mount Union head football coach Vince Kehres, shown here talking to defensive back Harry Bowker during the Raiders playoff game with North Central on Nov. 30, will take an assistant position with the University of Toledo. (Salem News/Ron Firth)

ALLIANCE — A Kehres family member has been a given on the Mount Union football sidelines for decades.

Now, the Purple Raiders will have to adjust to a new reality.

In a stunning move on Monday, Mount Union head football coach Vince Kehres, 43, accepted a defensive assistant position with the the University of Toledo.

The Toledo Blade reported that he will join West Branch High School graduate Jason Candle’s staff as either an assistant head coach and linebackers coach or a defensive coordinator.

On top of that, longtime Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Terry Pluto reported that athletic director and Purple Raider icon Larry Kehres will take a buyout and retire in June.

Vince Kehres has a record of 95-6 in seven seasons on the job and has led Mount Union to a pair of national championships in 2015 and 2017, seven NCAA playoff appearances, six Ohio Athletic Conference titles and five national championship game appearances. He is a three-time OAC Coach of the Year, three-time Lee Tressel Ohio College Coach of the Year and the Columbus Dispatch Ohio College Coach of the Year.

Prior to becoming head coach, he spent 13 seasons as an assistant football coach and eight as Mount Union’s defensive coordinator.

He has been a part of 12 of Mount Union’s 13 national championships as either a player (2) or coach (10).

A 1998 graduate of Mount Union, he was a four-year letterwinner (1994-97) at defensive end for the Purple Raiders, a member of two national championship teams (1996 & 1997) and earned All-OAC honors during his senior year 1997.

College Football Hall of Famer Larry Kehres is in his 46th year working for Mount Union and has been the director of athletics since 1985. In 27 years as head football coach, Larry Kehres went 332-24-3 with 11 NCAA Div. III national championships.

In the coming the days, Mount Union will begin the process of searching for a new head football coach. The institution expects to get the search underway promptly in order to ensure a smooth transition and continue its tradition of excellence.


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