The coach with the best winning percentage in college football history is stepping down.
University of Mount Union announced Wednesday morning that Larry Kehres will remain as the Alliance, Ohio, school’s athletic director but is handing the coaching reins to his son, Vince.
In 27 seasons, Kehres posted an astounding record of 332-24-3 and won 11 NCAA Division III national championships, the last of which came last season. Mount Union has advanced at least to the semifinals in the Division III playoffs every year since 1995.
Mount Union last lost a regular-season game in 2005. The program’s winning streaks of 55 and 54 stand as the longest in college football history, too.
Kehres is fifth on the all-time wins list behind John Gagliardi, Eddie Robinson, Bobby Bowden and Pop Warner. His .929 winning percentage ranks well ahead of names like Knute Rockne, Tom Osborne, Barry Switzer and Urban Meyer.
“The best part of the job was developing relationships with players and continuing those relationships following their graduations,” Kehres said in a statement released by the school. “Coaching the Purple Raiders has been a tremendous experience for my family. We have shared many great experiences with our players, fellow coaches, trainers and their families. We plan to continue to enjoy working with Mount Union coaches and athletes.”
In 27 seasons, his teams won 23 Ohio Athletic Conference championships (1986, 1990, 1992-2012) while posting 21 undefeated regular seasons and winning national championships in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2012.
In the past five years wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts became the first Mount Union players to be selected in the NFL Draft. This year, four Mount Union players signed undrafted free-agent contracts with NFL teams and another has a tryout this weekend. Construction on press-box expansion at Mount Union Stadium is underway and has been funded, in part, by Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who was Larry Kehres’s roommate when both played at Mount Union. University of Toledo head coach Matt Campbell also played and coached under Kehres.
Vince Kehres is a 1998 Mount Union graduate. He played on two national championship teams and has been on the coaching staff for eight others.
“I promise this program will continue to uphold the values and ideals that have made Mount Union what it is in the world of college football,” Vince Kehres said.