Greensboro, NC (3/1/05) -- Kevin Kiesel was introduced as Guilford College's 22nd head football coach at a press conference Tuesday morning in Guilford's Hege Library. Athletic Director Marion Kirby made the announcement, which ended a two-month national search to replace Mike Ketchum, who resigned the Quakers' football job after 14 seasons.
"We were looking for someone who not only was a good football coach, but a good fit for Guilford College," Kirby said. "Guilford is unique in its expectations, demands, mores and traditions. We feel we got the person most appropriate to invigorate our football program and bring organization and new life into it."
Chosen from over 100 applicants, Kiesel (KEE-sul) said he looks forward to working at Guilford. "The thing about coaching at a school like Guilford College is that you're dealing with highly motivated people," he said. "You don't enter these halls to be a student unless you're highly motivated. You had to be highly motivated when you were little to have the class rank and the grades to become a student here. Highly motivated people can be asked (to meet) expectations and they can reach them. That's how you win football games. I'm excited to work with these young men."
Kiesel brings a 64-59-1 career record and 12 years of head football coaching experience to the Quakers. The 1981 Gettysburg graduate spent the past four seasons directing NCAA Division II Millersville in Lancaster, PA, where the Marauders went 15-27, including 5-5 in 2004. Nine student-athletes from the 2004 unit earned first or second team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors and the Marauders' passing offense ranked second in the league. Off the field, Kiesel instituted successful academic and fund-raising programs that raised the team's grade point average and aided retention rates.
Kiesel impressed Guilford's search committee with his track record of developing non-scholarship programs. He made his head-coaching debut in 1993 at Albright where he inherited an 0-10 unit. By the time he left, the Lions went 15-15-1 in three seasons, including 8-3 in 1995. Albright won the 1995 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Southwest Championship Game, the school's first postseason victory. He also served as Albright's associate athletic director and developed programs and local relationships that enhanced the college's facilities.
Fairfield University made Kiesel its first head football coach when it started the sport in 1996. He built the Division I-AA non-scholarship program from scratch and shaped the Stags into one of the top programs of its kind. After a 1-8 start, Fairfield enjoyed the second-best single-season turnaround in Division I-AA with a 7-3 mark in 1997. The Stags won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 1998, their third year of existence, and posted a 9-2 record. Kiesel captured the league's Coach of the Year Award and his club led Division I-AA in total defense and rushing defense. Fairfield's 1999 unit also went 9-2 and ranked fifth among the nation's Division I-AA non-scholarship teams. The 2000 club compiled an 8-2 record and ranked seventh in the country.
Kiesel's coaching experience also includes stops at the U.S. Naval Academy where he worked alongside former coach George Chaump from 1991-93. He spent five seasons as an assistant coach on Larry Glueck's football staff at Fordham in New York City. Kiesel has also coached at Temple, Gettysburg, and Kentucky. He broke into the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at West Chester, where he received his master's degree in health and physical education in 1983.
A Scranton, PA, native, Kiesel also grew up in King of Prussia, PA, and attended Malvern Preparatory School. He and his wife, Annette, have three school-age children: Julianne, Eddie and Bobby.
Kiesel inherits 48 student-athletes, including 25 freshmen, from Guilford's 2004 football squad. The NCAA Division III Quakers went 1-9 overall, 1-5 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.