Last week, we announced plans to highlight the top non-FBS head coaching destinations, starting with the NAIA level. We spent a considerable amount of time fielding a bunch of input from coaches and passionate folks stating their case for their respective program and today we are ready to begin to dig into the top 5.
Coming in at #5 is...
A mix of great tradition, deep playoff runs, a fertile recruiting ground, solid facilities, and a proven winner at head coach make St. Xavier a great fit for #5 on our list of NAIA head coaching destinations.
The program won a national title back in 2011, and they boast themselves as the "most successful college football program in Illinois" based on wins among 35 total schools (21 of those alone being D-III programs) in the state. They also have heavy advantages against in-state rivals St. Francis, Trinity International, and Olivet Nazarene and have won the ultra-competitive Mid-States Football Association a total of 7 times, with their last league title in 2015.
As a program, St. Xavier ranks 4th out of a total of 87 total NAIA programs in wins with 147.
Located in on the South side of Chicago, St. Xavier is surrounded by all the talent that the Windy City and its surrounding suburbs have to offer. Every off season the Chicagoland area is flooded with coaches at every level looking for talent, and St. Xavier is one of only a handful of NAIA programs in the state able to offer a scholarship to keep players local.
Led by Mike Feminis, who has been with the program over two decades and who holds a 73% win percentage through the 2019 season with 184 wins to his name, the program is in great hands. Feminis led the program to an 8-2 mark and top ten ranking in the final NAIA poll this past fall before they fell to eventual national champion Morningside in the second round of the playoffs. The program has made deep runs into semis of the NAIA playoffs a total of five times dating back to 2006.
Stay tuned tomorrow as the top 5 continues on.