Top-ranked Mount Union won its 11th NCAA Division III national championship in 16 appearances under Larry Kehres on Saturday, beating No. 3 St. Thomas (Minn.), 28-10, in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va.
Kehres was the offensive coordinator on the 2011 U.S. Men’s National Team that won a gold medal in the IFAF Senior World Championship in Vienna, Austria.
His recipe for success is simple.
"We don't talk about winning but about grinding out good day after good day," Kehres said. "Having a good day in practice, a good day in the classroom, a good day in life in general. If you keep giving maximum effort and putting in good days, then good things will happen."
The Purple Raiders were led by sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke, who was 21-of-28 for 222 yards and a touchdown. Burke set a Division III postseason record by throwing for 1,522 yards in the five playoff games.
Mount Union – located in Alliance, Ohio – led 14-7 at halftime and put the game away with two long second-half drives that resulted in touchdowns.
The Purple Raider defense allowed just 35 yards in the final two quarters, and Mount Union’s first touchdown came on a blocked punt – the team’s fourth in the last three games.
Kehres was named the D3football.com National Coach of the Year for leading his team to an eighth-straight NCAA Division III title game. In 27 seasons as head coach, he is the winningest active coach in college football with a record of 332-24-3 (.929).