K. C. Keeler was introduced as Sam Houston’s 15th head football Coach before a packed news conference Friday at the Ron Mafrige Field House.
The veteran of 20 seasons as a head football coach who brings an overall record of 174-73-1 to Huntsville made clear his goal for the Sam Houston program.
Head Coach News Conference“We’re here to win a national championship,” Keeler said. “I’ve played for 10 national championships, two as a player and eight as a coach. It’s a challenge. But it’s something our players need to know about me. We’re here to be the best.”
Keeler teams at Rowan University and Delaware have made 13 NCAA tournament appearances and eight trips to national championship games.
His 2003 Delaware squad won the FCS national championship in 2003. The Blue Hens reached the FCS Championship Game in 2007 and 2010. Delaware compiled an 11-3 record in NCAA playoff competition.
“We’re going to have a mission statement and each player will have a copy of that statement,” Keeler said. “We’re going to relentlessly pursue excellence. And we will measure that excellence in three ways. First, academic excellence. Second, social responsibility. And, third, win national championships.”
The new coach’s first priority is recruiting.
“I’m very excited to start talking to recruits,” Keeler said. “Our coaches have done a great job of identifying talent. Now we have to keep that talent. One of the things that is impressive is that a lot of these guys have stayed with Sam Houston when everyone was coming in here and trying to pilfer them. That speaks volumes about where this school is. If this university wasn’t where it is academically and the players knew that, they’d just go somewhere else. But this is where they want to go to school.”
During his 11 seasons at Delaware, the Blue Hens rolled up an 86-52 record. Keeler’s teams won Atlantic 10 titles in 2003 and 2004 and the Colonial Athletic Association championship in 2010.
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.