Wednesday January 23, 2008

A Familiar Flyer

Rick Chamberlin has been named new head football coach at the University of Dayton, succeeding Mike Kelly, who coached him.

The University of Dayton introduced Flyer football great Rick Chamberlin as its new head football coach today in a press conference held at the University of Dayton Arena. Chamberlin, a 1980 UD graduate and a member of the University's Athletic Hall of Fame, succeeds Mike Kelly, who announced yesterday that he was stepping down.

"Rick Chamberlin is the clear choice to succeed Mike Kelly as head football coach of the Dayton Flyers," said Ted Kissell, vice-president and director of athletics. "You can expect him to continue the values and identity of the program, but you will learn that Rick is very much his own man. Coach Chamberlin has the right experience and a passion for UD that is unmatched. Rick Chamberlin exhibits the energy, confidence and sense of purpose of a strong leader. Our football program is in good hands."

Chamberlin is the 23rd head football coach since the program began in 1905. He is the first of the 11 modern era coaches to have lettered for the Flyers, and the second to be a UD graduate. (Pete Ankney was the first in 1963 and 1964.)

"It's an honor to be selected the University of Dayton head football coach," Chamberlin said. "I'm excited about the opportunity and the challenge of keeping this program at the high level of respect it has achieved. The foundation of this program is strong. So many new coaches take over programs that are in poor shape or need a new identity. Our program is not like those, and I'm looking forward building on what already exists."

Chamberlin, 50, just completed his 28th season on the Flyer coaching staff. First as linebackers coach and then as defensive coordinator, Chamberlin helped mold the Dayton D's reputation for its preparation and execution as a unit. Under Chamberlin's guidance, the Flyers have led the Pioneer Football League in scoring defense the last seven seasons, including finishing second in NCAA Division I-AA (9.8) in 2002, third (14.1) in 2005 and fourth in FCS in 2007 (15.6). In 2004, Dayton led NCAA Division I-AA football in total defense (263.10).

One of the hallmarks of the Dayton defense in the last four decades has been great play at linebacker. Not only has Chamberlin nurtured that as a coach, but he was one of the players who started that tradition in the late 1970s. A four-year letterwinner (1975-78) for the Flyers, Chamberlin was named to the Football Coaches Association Small College All-America team. He was the third Dayton player to be named a First Team All-American, and was the first defensive player to be named.

A native of Springfield, Ohio, and a 1975 graduate of Springfield North High School, Chamberlin was a three-time all-city selection and Springfield Player of the Year as a senior. In four years at Dayton, he was credited with 385 tackles and led the team as a junior (115) and senior (121). He was the first two-time winner of the Chief Toscani Hitter Award, and a member of UD's first NCAA Division III Playoff team in 1978.

He was inducted into the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.

"He is the real story," said Chamberlin's coach, Mike Kelly. "Here's a guy who went to college to play football, became a graduate assistant, an assistant coach, then a very successful defensive coordinator and now a head coach – all at the same institution. He understands the tradition of the Dayton football program, and the culture. Rick is a player's coach. They love to play for him."

Chamberlin is a 1980 graduate of UD with a degree in health and physical education. He earned his master's degree in counselor education at UD in 1982. Rick and his wife Jayne live in Kettering. They have two sons, Jason and Tyler, who both graduated from UD.

Doug Hauschild 937-229-4390

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