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NAIA Hall honors Cougars’ Donley

Donley

Saint Francis football coach Kevin Donley’s induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame at the American Football Coaches Association annual convention Sunday just adds to the accolades he has received in his 35 years of collegiate coaching. He was chosen for enshrinement in August.

"I am truly, honestly humbled to be selected for this honor,” Donley said when the honor was announced in August. “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, a Springfield, Ohio, native, was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Saint Francis Hall of Fame in 2008.

He is a graduate of Anderson University, where he played linebacker and fullback, and began his head coaching career in 1978 at the age of 26, the youngest collegiate head football coach at the time.

After leaving Anderson in 1982, he moved to Georgetown College in Kentucky, a program that had gone 14-24 in the previous five seasons.

After a rough first season, Donley was able to achieve 75 wins in the 10 years with the Tigers, including the 1991 NAIA Division II national championship, earning him the NAIA National Coach of the Year honor.

Donley helped build the Saint Francis football program from scratch starting in 1997. The program went 2-8 in its first season in 1998 but has since had 14 consecutive winning seasons, six unbeaten regular seasons, 11 conference titles and three NAIA national championship game appearances.

Under Donley, the Cougars have had 222 players earn All-Conference honors.

“Words cannot describe the impact that Kevin Donley has had on this university,” athletic director Mike McCaffrey said in a statement. “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.”

areichel@jg.net

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