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NAIA coach steps down after 0-4 start

Four games into his fifth season, Friends (NAIA - KS) head coach Dion Meneley has stepped down.

Friends University (NAIA - KS) has announced a head coaching change after an 0-4 start to the year.

Dion Meneley, who had led the program since stepping into the head coaching role back in 2017 shortly after joining the program as defensive coordinator, has stepped down. 

Friends opened the year against two straight top 25 programs (Kansas Wesleyan and Bethel) and lost by a combined score of 124-10. They lost a close one to Tabor College (28-21) in week three before dropping a 55-7 decision to University of St. Mary this past Saturday.

Meneley shared the following statement in the school's release.

"It has been an honor and pleasure to be the head football coach for Friends University over the last 4 1/2 years. Unfortunately, I did not accomplish what I set out to accomplish on the field, but I am very proud of the culture we have built. I have been able to live every day with incredible coaches and players and love each of them very much," Meneley shared.

"I did my best to lead with honesty and integrity and am most proud that everyone involved in the program heard the gospel of Jesus Christ while they were here. I am very thankful to Dr. Carey for giving me the opportunity to lead this program and have developed an incredible relationship with our Associate Vice President of Athletics, Dr. Rob Ramseyer, that will last a lifetime."

"The people at Friends University have embraced and supported me during my time here and it is time for someone else to lead this program moving forward. The guys in the locker room are exceptional people and players and they will enjoy a tremendous amount of success moving forward."

Meneley went 4-7 his first season back in 2017, followed by a 3-8 finish in 2018, 3-7 in 2019, and 2-6 in 2020. 

Defensive coordinator Matt Byers has been named the interim head coach for the rest of the season.

The school notes in their release that the search for a permanent head coach will begin immediately.

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