Keller Selected As Head Football Coach at CU
CONTACT: Greg Quick, Director of Athletics
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Keller Selected As Head Football Coach at CU
Athens, W.Va. – Concord University is pleased to announce the hiring of Mike Kellar as its 17th head football coach.
Kellar comes to Concord following a successful five-season stint as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at California University of Pennsylvania. The Vulcans reached the NCAA Division II national semi-finals in 2007 and 2008. They have won or shared the championship of the competitive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division the last four seasons. The Vulcans compiled a record of 41-8 in that time.
“Mike Kellar is one of the bright young stars in the coaching profession,” said Greg Quick, Concord’s Director of Athletics. “He has distinguished himself as an excellent strategist and an accomplished recruiter. Mike, his wife, Missy, and their family will be welcome additions to our community.”
A native of Shinnston, W.Va., Kellar is familiar with the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He was the starting quarterback for both Glenville State College and Fairmont State College in the early 1990s. He began his coaching career at FSC in 1994.
Kellar rose through the ranks during his eight seasons at Fairmont State, finishing as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The Fighting Falcons were West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference co-champions in 2000 and led the WVIAC in total offense in 2001.
Kellar spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Northern Michigan University.
“My goal as a coach is to graduate students and to win, in that order,” Kellar says. “To be a great coach you must be a good leader, teacher, and be committed to a standard of excellence. As head coach I am leader of the program. I plan to lead by holding my staff, my players and myself to a higher standard.”
California University of Pennsylvania recently completed a 12-2 season in which it led the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) in total offense (449.6 yards per game), passing efficiency (162.6), third-down conversion percentage (46.4) and first owns (252). The Vulcans averaged 35.6 points per game and scored 40 or more points in a game seven times.
California of Pennsylvania led the PSAC in total offense and rushing offense in 2006 and in scoring offense in 2005. The Vulcans set a school record for points per game in 2004 (36.5), then topped the record in 2005 (42.1).
Thirteen different Vulcans players earned First Team All-PSAC honors during Kellar’s five seasons at California of Pennsylvania, including two-time conference Player of the Year, Antoine Bagwell. While a coach at Fairmont State, Kellar helped guide 12 different players to the WVIAC All-Conference First Team, among them quarterback Bryan Harman, the WVIAC’s Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001.
Even with his proven history as offensive coach, Kellar says, “The first thing I will do system-wide is establish special teams. The quickest way to lose a game is by having special teams’ breakdowns. We will put our best athletes on special teams. We will practice special teams every day.”
As for defense, Kellar says, “My philosophy is simple: Stop the run at all costs. Once you make a team one-dimensional, then they are easy to stop. I will always believe that if you stop the run you can win the game. We will recruit guys who can hit, run and cover.”
Regarding his specialty, Kellar has stated his primary goal on offense is, obviously, to score. After that, his other main goals are to move the ball “far enough that the opposition has to move the ball 80 yards to score on us” and control the game. “We will do this,” Kellar says, “by being balanced, controlling tempo with our ‘no-huddle’ and by being multiple with our formations and our personnel groupings.”
No football program can succeed without talented players. With that in mind, Kellar says, “Recruiting will be the foundation of our program. My mission is to recruit student-athletes who have the physical ability to compete for national championships. In addition, our recruiting efforts will focus on student-athletes who possess a strong work ethic, who are determined to succeed in the classroom and who will lead by example.
“If recruiting is the foundation of the program, then player development is the floor. Working with and developing skills are the essence of coaching. It is my goal that every student-athlete who comes to our program will leave having become the best player, student and person he could be.”
Kellar comes to Concord highly recommended. Among those supporting his candidacy are California of Pennsylvania Head Coach John Luckhardt (who has 194 career victories), former Fairmont State Head Coach Doug Sams (1996 WVIAC Coach of the Year), former West Virginia University and current University of Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez (WVIAC Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994) and Florida State Offensive Coordinator/Head-Coach-In-Waiting Jimbo Fisher.
The 37-year-old Kellar is married to Missy, a native of Grafton, West Virginia. They have four children – one daughter, Deidra, and three sons, Jarrod, Anthony and Jacob.
Concord University will formally introduce Kellar as head football coach at a media conference at the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center, Friday, December 12 at 10 a.m. All media and the public are invited to attend.