2016 EDDIE ROBINSON AWARD WINNER
In three seasons as head coach at Sam Houston State University, K. C. Keeler directed the Bearkats to an 34-10 record that includes seven victories over top 10 ranked opponents and seven wins in NCAA post-season action. His SHSU teams have made the playoffs in each of his three seasons at the helm, including back-to-back FCS semifinals appearances in 2014 and 2015 with a pair of Southland Conference championships.
In 2016 he led the Bearkats to their second conference title in three seasons and a national No. 1 ranking for the final six weeks of the regular season on their way to being the nation's lone unbeaten team entering the FCS playoffs. That run helped him become the first Bearkat coach to claim the Eddie Robinson Award as the top head coach in the FCS in a season that also saw Sam Houston's quarterback, Jeremiah Briscoe, earn the Walter Payton Award as the nation's top offensive player.
During 23 years as a head football coach, Keeler has produced a record of 208 victories, only 83 losses and one tie. His teams at Rowan University, Delaware and Sam Houston State have combined for 14 NCAA post-season playoff appearances, nine conference championships and played in eight national championship games.
Keeler was named as Sam Houston’s 15th head football coach on January 23, 2014. He has coached five National Football League draft picks including Super Bowl XLVII MVP quarterback Joe Flacco. He has tutored 76 All-America players and 21 student-athletes who have earned either national or district CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
As head coach at Delaware, Keeler rolled up an 86-52 record in 11 seasons from 2002 to 2012. His Fightin’ Blue Hens won the FCS national championship in 2003 and reached the national championship game in 2007 and 2010. His squads won Atlantic 10 Conference titles in 2003 and 2004 and the Colonial Athletic Association championship in 2010. Delaware went 11-3 in the program’s four trips to the FCS playoffs.
At Rowan University in Glassboro, N. J., Keeler produced an 88-21-1 record from 1993 to 2001 that included seven NCAA Division III playoff appearances including five trips to the National Championship game. His teams posted a 21-7 record in NCAA Division III playoff action.
Among Keeler’s coaching honors are selections as AFCA FCS National Coach of the Year, Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, Maxwell Club Tri-State Coach of the Year and the All-America Football Foundation Johnny Vaught Head Coach Award.
Keeler began his coaching career as an assistant at Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1981, then moved to Rowan University in 1986. He was named head coach at Rowan in 1993.
The Profs won four New Jersey Athletic Conference championships and finished as runner-up in the league twice in Keeler’s nine seasons.
Keeler was a four-sport letterman at Emmaus, Pa., High School. He earned all-league honors and was football team captain as a tight end and linebacker.
He played linebacker for head coach Tubby Raymond at Delaware from 1978 to 1980, helping lead the Blue Hens to the 1979 NCAA Division II national championship. In 1980, he signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kurt Charles “K. C.” Keeler was born July 26, 1959, in Emmaus, Pa. He and his wife Janice are the parents of daughter Kate and son Jackson.
K. C. KEELER HIGHLIGHTS
• Keeler's 208 career wins rank No. 10 among 597 head coaches at all NCAA levels (FBS, FCS, DII, DIII)
• The Bearkat head coach ranks No. 63 in victories in the history of college football
• He claimed the Eddie Robinson Award as the top coach in the FCS for the first time in 2016, becoming the first Bearkat head coach and third in the history of the Southland Conference to win the award
• He earned his 200th career win in 2016, making him the 12th youngest and ninth fastest head coach to get to that mark in college football history
• Only head football coach ever to take three different programs to semi-final appearances in NCAA post-season action
• Won 39, Lost 13 in NCAA post-season playoff games (18-6 in FCS playoffs)
• Most National Championship game appearances of any current football coach (8), the second most in college football history
• Keeler's teams have made 14 NCAA playoff semifinals appearances in 23 seasons
• Keeler has the highest number of NCAA post season wins among all active FCS head coaches
• The head coach has the highest post-season playoff winning percentage among all active FCS head coaches
KEELER COACHING ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• NCAA Division I FCS National Champions
• NCAA Division I FCS National Finalists
2003, 2007, 2010
• NCAA Division I FCS Playoff Appearances
2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016
• NCAA Division II National Finalists
1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999
• NCAA Division II Playoff Appearances
1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001
• Lambert Cup
1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2010
• Southland Conference Champions
• ECAC Team of the Year
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2010
• CCA Conference Champions
• Atlantic Ten Conference Champions
• New Jersey Athletic Conference Champions
1993, 1995, 1997, 2001
• No. 1 Total Offense team in the nation
2001 (528 yards per game)
2014 (551 yards per game)
2016 (547 yards per game)
K. C. KEELER COACHING HONORS
• Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year
• Southland Conference Coach of the Year
• AFCA National Coach of the Year
• Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year
• Field Turf Coach of the Year
2010, 2007, 2003
• Maxwell Club Tri-State Coach of the Year
• All-American Football Foundation Johnny Vaught Coach Award
• Frank Leahy Coach of the Year Award
2001, 1997, 1995
• New Jersey Athletic Conference Coach of the Year
• Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Finalist
• Gloucester County Hall of Fame
• Stan Lomax-Irving Marsh Division III Coach of the Year
Overall Record: Won 208, Lost 83, Tied 1
New Jersey Athletic Conference
Year W-L Conference Post Season
1993 11-2 1st Div. III Championship Game
1995 10-3-1 1st Div. III Championship Game
1996 10-3 Div. III Championship Game
1997 11-1 1st Div. III Semifinals
1998 10-3 Div. III Championship Game
1999 12-2 4-1 2nd Div. III Championship Game
2000 7-2 5-1 2nd
2001 11-2 5-1 1st Div. III Semifinals
Record at Rowan: Won 88, Lost 21, Tied 1
Atlantic 10 Conference
2002 6-6 4-5 6th
2003 15-1 8-1 1st FCS National Champions
2004 9-4 7-1 1st FCS Quarterfinals
2005 6-5 3-5 3rd
2006 5-6 4-5 4th
Colonial Athletic Association
2007 11-4 5-3 3rd FCS Championship Game
2008 4-8 2-6 5th
2009 6-5 4-4 4th
2010 12-3 6-2 1st FCS Championship Game
2011 7-4 5-3 5th
2012 5-6 2-6 8th
Record at Delaware: Won 86, Lost 52
Year W-L Conference Post Season
2014 11-5 7-1 1st FCS Semifinals
2015 11-4 7-2 2nd FCS Semifinals
2016 12-1 9-0 1st FCS Quarterfinals
Record at Sam Houston: Won 34, Lost 10