Indiana Wesleyan, a new NAIA program starting competition in 2017, has announced the hiring of Wheaton College (D-III - IL) defensive coordinator Jordan Langs as their new head coach.
At 27 years old, Langs is one of the youngest head football coaches in the country. Scott Walden of East Texas Baptist (D-III) holds the honor of the youngest in the country at 26, and at the Division I level, first-year Maine (FCS) head coach Joe Harasymiak is the youngest at 29 years old.
Langs, a standout defensive back for the Wheaton program during his playing days who later received quite a bit of interest from NFL teams, will remain at Wheaton for the 2016 season before starting his duties at IWU.
"We have great respect for the Wheaton College football program. Given the timing of our hiring of Jordan we felt like it was important for Jordan to stay and finish his responsibilities for this fall football season. During the season he will also be working with some of our staff to begin the recruiting process to bring in our first class of football players for the fall of 2017," athletic director Mark DeMichael explained in the school's release.
For the past two seasons, Langs has been the program's defensive coordinator, and the two years prior to that was the defensive backs coach. Langs has also been the strength and conditioning coach for the program since 2014.
As one of the youngest coordinators in the country, Langs' Wheaton defense was one of the best in small college football. In 2015, the Thunder ranked 12th in total defense, allowing just 263 yards per game while ranking in the top 10 nationally in defensive touchdowns, red zone defense, interceptions, third down conversion rate, and scoring defense.
In four seasons coaching with the program, the Thunder have gone an impressive 38-6. During his two years leading the defense, the team went a combined 22-2, finishing the regular season each year at a perfect 10-0 with back-to-back CCIW titles while also advancing to the final 16 in the Division III playoffs the past two seasons.
“I am extremely pleased with the selection of Jordan Langs as the first coach for Wildcat Football,” Dr. Keith Newman, the CEO of Residential Education and Executive Vice President at IWU explained in a release. “His experience as a player, position coach, and now coordinator in a Christ-centered football program set him apart. Jordan brings a contagious commitment to Christ, an infectious enthusiasm for life, a passion for developing young men in character, scholarship, and leadership. Jordan is uniquely prepared for this assignment and I am excited to introduce him to our campus, our community, and most of all to our future athletes.”
IWU announced the addition of football back on April 1, 2016, so Langs will literally be building the program from the ground up.
“It is a process that we do not take lightly. We are confident that the recipe for building a successful program is possible because the ingredients needed already exist at IWU. We are going to be supported by an amazing administration, faculty, and staff who understand the magnitude of discipline and effort that it is going to take in order to be excellent. The track record of the IWU Athletic Department speaks for itself and has already proven that a Christ-centered scholarship athletics program can compete at the highest level in each of their individual sports," Langs noted.
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