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Mt. Union coach Larry Kehres retires after 11 Div. III titles

ALLIANCE, Ohio (AP) -- Larry Kehres, who turned Mount Union into a Division III powerhouse while stockpiling 11 national titles, is stepping down.

Kehres, 63, had a remarkable 332-24-3 record in his 27 seasons with the Purple Raiders. His teams were unbeaten in the regular season 21 times. The national championships came in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and this past season.

His .929 winning percentage in all games is the best ever at the college level.

He will continue as Mount Union's athletic director. Kehres did not specify why he was stepping aside as coach, but he will be replaced by his 37-year-old son Vince, who is taking over the job after a resume which parallels his father's.

"The best part of the job was developing relationships with players and continuing those relationships following their graduations,'' Kehres said. "Coaching the Purple Raiders has been a tremendous experience for my family. We have shared many great experiences with our players, fellow coaches, trainers and their families. We plan to continue to enjoy working with Mount Union coaches and athletes.''

The elder Kehres, in his 39th year working at his alma mater, began working as an assistant football coach and professor in 1974. He was Mount Union's first head swimming coach, was hired as athletic director in 1985 then assumed head football coaching duties in 1986.

The 1971 Mount Union grad's teams won 23 Ohio Conference titles.

"His impact on Mount Union has been dramatic, and the entire Raider family will clearly miss him on the sideline,'' said Mount Union President Dr. Richard Giese.

Vince Kehres has spent the last 13 years on the Mount Union football coaching staff and the last eight of those years as defensive coordinator. His defense has ranked statistically among the top in Division III and in 2012 it was No. 1 in total defense, No. 1 in scoring defense and No. 1 in rushing defense while posting six consecutive shutouts.

The 1998 Mount Union graduate has been a part of 10 of the Purple Raiders' national championships as either a player (2) or coach (8).

"I promise this program will continue to uphold the values and ideals that have made Mount Union what it is in the world of college football,'' Vince Kehres said. "Our mission remains the same.''

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