Mount Union is planning multiple ways to honor Larry Kehres, a man who wore multiple hats for the Purple Raiders in bringing the program to the pinnacle of Division III and building arguably the greatest dynasty in college football history.
First, the university will rename Mount Union Stadium in his honor. The 5,600-seat venue is the oldest of its kind in Ohio, hosting its first event in 1913.
Next, the main entrance on the south end of Kehres Stadium will be named the Larry and Linda Kehres Plaza, where a listing of Larry's former assistant coaches will be present.
Finally, Mount Union has created the Larry T. Kehres Coaching Endowment for Football. The endowment, created by Kehres's former players and assistants, will be managed by the head coach -- at present, that's Geoff Dartt, a Purple Raider offensive lineman under Kehres -- to support the football program by "endowing coaching positions and complementary program needs, such as training or equipment expenses."
A former Mount quarterback and assistant coach, Kehres took over his alma mater in 1986. His first team went 11-1, won the Ohio Athletic Conference, and reached the Division III quarterfinals. His next next three teams lost a combined nine games. From 1990 through his retirement in 2012 -- a span of 23 seasons -- the Purple Raiders tasted defeat 14 times.
Overall, Kehres went 332-24-3 with 11 Division III national titles and 23 OAC crowns. From 1996-2002, Mount Union went 96-1 with six D3 titles and a lone setback coming in the 1999 D3 semifinals. His teams posted 21 undefeated regular seasons, and went 187-2 in conference play from 1992 to '12. In addition to 11 national championships, his team reached the Stagg Bowl an additional five times. He retired with a 67-game conference winning streak, and walked away a national champion after leading Mount Union to a 15-0 season in 2012.
Kehres's .929 winning percentage is the highest in college football history. The next-closest coach, Knute Rockne, compiled an .881 percentage over 237 games. Among coaches with at least 350 games experience, the next-winningest coach is Ron Schipper, who compiled an .808 winning percentage at Central College in Iowa from 1961 to 1996.
Kehres also cultivated an extensive coaching tree, whose fruits include Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell, USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, Toledo head coach Jason Candle, as well as his own son Vince, who won two Division III titles of his own as Mount Union's head coach before taking the Toledo defensive coordinator job in 2020.
Kehres, 72, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017. In addition to coaching the football team, he also served as AD, a professor, and coached Mount's swim team for 13 years.
The stadium naming ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 11.
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