Mount Union Purple Raiders football
First season1893
Athletic directorMike Parnell (interim)
Head coachGeoff Dartt
2nd season, 17–1 (.944)
StadiumMount Union Stadium
(capacity: 5,600)
LocationAlliance, Ohio
NCAA divisionDivision III
ConferenceOhio Athletic Conference
All-time record758–386–37 (.657)
Playoff appearances31 (NCAA D-III)
Playoff record104–18 (NCAA D-III)
Claimed national titles13 (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2017)
Conference titles30
RivalriesJohn Carroll Blue Streaks
Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks
Consensus All-Americans123
ColorsPurple and white[1]
   
Fight songOn, Mount to victory!
MascotMUcaw
Marching bandPurple Raider Marching Band
Websiteathletics.mountunion.com

The Mount Union Purple Raiders football program represents the University of Mount Union in college football at the NCAA Division III level as members of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC). Mount Union have played their home games at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio since 1913, which makes it the oldest college football stadium in Ohio. The Purple Raiders have claimed 13 NCAA Division III Football Championship and 30 OAC titles and have 12 undefeated seasons.[citation needed]

Mount Union's first game was an 18–0 loss at home to Kenyon College, from Gambier, Ohio, on November 7, 1893. The first program victory came 11 days later in a 20–0 win over Salem University in Salem, West Virginia. The team competed as an independent from 1893 until 1913, and joined the OAC in 1914.[citation needed]

The Purple Raiders played in the OAC for 71 years before winning their first conference title, which came in 1985 under coach Ken Wable. Since then, the program has won 30 titles in 35 years, including a 24-year streak from 1992 to 2015. During this run, the Purple Raiders went 214–2 versus OAC opponents. The title-streak spanned two coaches, Larry Kehres and Vince Kehres. John Carroll University ended the streak by winning the OAC title in 2016 when they beat Mount Union 31–28 on November 12, 2016.[citation needed]

History

See also: List of Mount Union Purple Raiders football seasons

Beginnings (1893–1913)

The first football game played by Mount Union was on the school's baseball field on November 7, 1893 against Kenyon College.[2] In their first year they went 1–2, with their lone win coming against Salem University. The following season, the team had their first coach, Coach Davis, who led them to a 4–5 record. In 1895 and 1898 the team failed to field a team, but was able to have their first winning season, under Coach Battles in 1899, with a 5–1–1 record.

It wasn't until 1903 and 1904 that the program maintained a head coach for two consecutive years, which was Pearl Sommerville, who went 4–11–1 in his two seasons. The program built stability when Robert Dawson took over as coach in 1909 and oversaw the program as it joined the Ohio Athletic Conference(OAC) in 1914.

A growing program (1914–1961)

In addition to Dawson's eight-year tenure and a transition to the OAC, Mount Union Stadium was built which gave the program a permanent home and even more stability. Over the course of Dawson's career, he went 49–24–4 (10–7, OAC).

From 1920 to 1921, Mount Union was coached by Eddie Casey, who went on to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968. Following his time at Mount Union, he coached Harvard, the National Football League's Washington Redskins, and the American Football League's Boston Bears.

John M. Thorpe coached the Purple Raiders from 1922 to 1931, compiling a 55–32–7 (42–22–4, OAC) record. During his tenure, he served as both head coach and athletic director for the school. He was followed by Harry Geltz (1932–1941), who was unable to match his long-term success and left the program in 1941, when he went 1–15–1 (0–11, OAC) in his final two years.

Pete Pederson was hired in 1942, but after one season the program was suspended due to World War II. The program remained suspended for three seasons and returned under Pederson in 1946. Pederson left after the 1949 season to take over as head coach at Marshall.

Ken Wable era (1962–1985)

Ken Wable was hired as the head coach for the Purple Raiders in 1962. He had previously served as an assistant coach at Wake Forest, Muskingum, and Cornell. Wable coached at Mount Union for 24 seasons, where he went 123–95–2. Beginning in 1979, Wable coached the team to a winning record of 7–2, and every season since, the program has maintained a winning record. Wable was named OAC Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1985. In 1985, he led the Purple Raiders to their first conference title and first berth in the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs.

Larry Kehres era (1986–2012)

Larry Kehres became the athletic director at Mount Union. In 1986, he took over as head football coach. His teams have won 11 NCAA Division III Football Championships (1993, 1996–1998, 2000–2002, 2005–2006, 2008, 2012).

Kehres' teams hold several NCAA records. In addition to owning the two longest winning streaks in NCAA history, 54 wins in 1996–1999 and 55 wins in 2000–2003, the Mount Union Purple Raiders won a conference title in 23 of his 27 seasons; at Kehres' retirement, Mount Union had an ongoing streak of 21 conference titles. During his tenure, Kehres only lost eight games and tied three times in conference play. From 1994 to 2005, his squads won 100 consecutive games against Ohio Athletic Conference opponents. The 1994 season was the last under his tenure in which the Purple Raiders lost more than one game. Finally, his record of 72–3 (.960) in his final five seasons is the best in college football history, surpassing Tom Osborne's 60–3 (.952) in his final five seasons at Nebraska.

Kehres is 3–1 against college football's all-time winningest coach, John Gagliardi, having beaten Gagliardi's St. John's squads twice in playoff match-ups and traded wins in the national title game in 2000 and 2003.

In 2009, Kehres was named first vice president of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). He was elected President of the AFCA in January 2010. In 2013, Kehres retired after 27 years as head coach to become the Athletic Director of Mount Union.

Vince Kehres era (2013–2019)

Vince Kehres, who had previously served as defensive coordinator, was hired as the next head coach of Mount Union on May 8, 2013, replacing his father. During his time as coach Vince went 95–6 winning six OAC titles and two national titles in his seven years. He was named OAC Coach of the year three times. On January 13, 2020, it was announced that Vince was leaving the program to take a position with the Toledo Rockets. All together, Vince spent 13 years with Mount Union, eight of which were as defensive coordinator.[3] He leaves the University with the highest winning percentage in program history.

Head coaching history

Name Seasons Years Games Record Winning pct Conf. titles Nat'l titles
Geoff Dartt 2020–2021 2 18 17-1 .944 2 0
Vince Kehres 2013–2019 7 101 95–6 .941 6 2
Larry Kehres 1986–2012 27 359 332–24–3 .929 23 11
Ken Wable 1962–1985 24 220 123–95–2 .564 1 0
Duke Barret 1956–1961 6 52 15–37 .288 0 0
Nelson Jones 1950–1955 6 50 18–29–3 .390 0 0
Pete Pederson 1942, 1946–1949 8 43 22–20–1 .523 0 0
Harry Geltz 1932–1941 10 87 34–45–8 .437 0 0
John M. Thorpe 1922–1931 10 94 55–32–7 .622 0 0
Eddie Casey 1920–1921 2 17 7–9–1 .441 0 0
George O'Brien 1917–1919 3 23 9–14 .391 0 0
Robert Dawson 1909–1916 8 77 49–24–4 .662 0 0
H. B. Emerson 1908 1 10 5–4–1 .550 0 0
E. J. Stewart 1907 1 11 9–2–0 .818 0 0
Harry Pierce 1906 1 8 2–5–1 .313 0 0
Roy Beechler 1905 1 8 2–6 .250 0 0
Pearl Sommerville 1903–1904 2 16 4–11–1 .281 0 0
Frank Halliday 1902 1 9 6–3 .667 0 0
Campbell 1901 1 11 5–5–1 .500 0 0
Wendell H. Phelps 1900 1 6 1–4–1 .250 0 0
Melvin L. Battles 1899 1 7 5–1–1 .786 0 0
Joe L. Stamp 1897 1 7 2–4–1 .357 0 0
Albert J. Norton 1896 1 8 3–4–1 .438 0 0
Herbert C. Davis 1894 1 9 4–5 .444 0 0
Jerome Dodson 1893 1 3 1–2 .333 0 0
TOTAL 1893–present 129 1252 825–388–38 .675 32 13

Championships

Through the 2021 season, the Purple Raiders have won 32 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) titles. They won their first OAC title in 1985 and repeated in 1986, followed by a third title in 1990. Beginning with their 1992 OAC championship, the team won 24 consecutive OAC titles, with their 2015 championship being the final in the streak.[4]

Ohio Athletic Conference championships
Year Coach Conf. record
1985 Ken Wable 8–0
1986 Larry Kehres 8–0
1990 Larry Kehres 9–0
1992 Larry Kehres 9–0
1993 Larry Kehres 9–0
1994 Larry Kehres 8–1
1995 Larry Kehres 9–0
1996 Larry Kehres 9–0
1997 Larry Kehres 9–0
1998 Larry Kehres 9–0
1999 Larry Kehres 9–0
2000 Larry Kehres 9–0
2001 Larry Kehres 9–0
2002 Larry Kehres 9–0
2003 Larry Kehres 9–0
2004 Larry Kehres 9–0
2005 Larry Kehres 8–1
2006 Larry Kehres 9–0
2007 Larry Kehres 9–0
2008 Larry Kehres 9–0
2009 Larry Kehres 9–0
2010 Larry Kehres 9–0
2011 Larry Kehres 9–0
2012 Larry Kehres 9–0
2013 Vince Kehres 9–0
2014 Vince Kehres 9–0
2015 Vince Kehres 9–0
2017 Vince Kehres 9–0
2018 Vince Kehres 9–0
2019 Vince Kehres 9–0
2020 Geoff Dartt 4–0
2021 Geoff Dartt 9–0

Through the 2018 season, Mount Union has won 13 Division III National Championships and has 21 total appearances in the Stagg Bowl, including 12 consecutively, along with 30 playoff appearances.[5]

Stagg Bowl appearances
Year Opponent Outcome
1993 Rowan W 34–24
1996 Rowan W 56–24
1997 Lycoming W 61–12
1998 Rowan W 44–12
2000 St. John's (MN) W 10–7
2001 Bridgewater W 30–27
2002 Trinity W 48–7
2003 St. John's (MN) L 6–24
2005 Wisconsin–Whitewater W 35–28
2006 Wisconsin–Whitewater W 35–16
2007 Wisconsin–Whitewater L 21–31
2008 Wisconsin–Whitewater W 31–26
2009 Wisconsin–Whitewater L 28–38
2010 Wisconsin–Whitewater L 21–31
2011 Wisconsin–Whitewater L 10–13
2012 St. Thomas (MN) W 28–10
2013 Wisconsin–Whitewater L 14–52
2014 Wisconsin–Whitewater L 34–43
2015 St. Thomas (MN) W 49–35
2017 Mary Hardin–Baylor W 12–0
2018 Mary Hardin–Baylor L 16–24

Individual awards and achievements

NCAA Division III Player of the Year

Mike Gregory/Bob Packard Award

Awarded to the OAC's Most Valuable offensive back and offensive lineman. The award was renamed in 2008.

OAC Defensive Player of the Year

Paul Hoernemann Award

Awarded to the OAC's most valuable defensive lineman

Ed Sherman Award

Awarded to the OAC's Most Valuable Receiver

Bill Edwards/Gene Slaughter Award

Awarded to the OAC's most valuable or top linebacker. The award was renamed.

Lee J. Tressel Award

Awarded to the OAC's most valuable defensive back.

Ken Wable Award

Awarded to the OAC's top offensive lineman.

Clyde A Lamb Award

The Clyde A. Lamb Award is presented annually to the top male and female senior scholar-athlete at each Ohio Athletic Conference institution.

First Team All-Americans

Notable alumni

References

  1. ^ University of Mount Union Identity Program (PDF). Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  2. ^ "Artstor".
  3. ^ "Mount Union Head Coach Vince Kehres leaving Purple Raiders for Toledo". WKBN.com. January 13, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  4. ^ "John Carroll ends Mount Union's 112-game regular-season win streak". ABC News. ESPN. November 12, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "Year-by-Year Results". Mount Union Athletics website. University of Mount Union. 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.