This one means something.
Just got the word that Saint Francis football coach Kevin Donley, the current NAIA record holder for career victories with 263, has been named to the NAIA Hall of Fame. He'll be formally inducted in Indianapolis on Jan. 13, 2014.
My take on this: Well, duh.
We go back some, Coach and I. I was a kid sportswriter in Anderson when he became a kid head coach at Anderson University (then Anderson College) at the age of 26, after playing for the Ravens for four years. Even then his teams showed a knack for being able to ding scoreboards in fun and inventive ways.
And so, 20 years later (Twenty years! Good lord), when Saint Francis picked him to start a football program from the ground up, I knew what kind of hire the school was getting. And said so.
I owe Kevin a debt for proving me right for once, in spades.
Now all these years later -- 34, including the last 15 at USF, where he's been conference coach of the year eight times and coached the Cougars to 10 conference titles and three appearances in the NAIA championship game -- he's No. 3 in career wins among all active coaches at all levels of college football, and in two Halls of Fame to boot. He was an Indiana Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2005.
Donley has an overall career coaching record of 263-119-1 (.688), and he's had winning seasons in 20 of the last 21. At Saint Francis, 208 of his players have earned all-conference.
"I am truly, honestly humbled to be selected for this honor and I've been fortunate to have worked with so many good people from assistant coaches to players to administrators, especially here at USF the last 15 years," Donley said in a release today.
"Words cannot describe the impact that Kevin Donley has had on this university," USF Director of Athletics Mike McCaffrey said. "The hundreds of student-athletes he has mentored and helped to become grown men, the coaches that have gone on to achieve such great things in their own lives, and all the while achieving greatness within the principles and morals that we all should have guiding us, makes Coach D the epitome of a Hall of Famer."
To which I can only add ... well, yeah.