Nichols hires new coach

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Kevin Loney Nichols athletic director Charlyn Robert has announced the hiring of Kevin Loney as the 13th head coach in the 79-year history of the program. Loney comes to Nichols for his first head coaching opportunity after spending the last two seasons as the defensive line coach at Division II Upper Iowa.

“I am very pleased to welcome Coach Loney to Nichols College,” said Robert. “The breadth of his football coaching experiences along with his overall coaching philosophy is a great fit for Bison football at this time. As a teacher, coach and mentor for more than a decade, pride, character and integrity on the field, in the classroom and in the community are at the top of Coach Loney’s list. Beginning his career as a Division III student-athlete, he is a true ambassador for ‘following your passions and discovering your potential.’ ”

Loney replaces Bill Carven, who stepped aside after compiling a 51-64 record in 12 seasons. The Bison were 1-9 in 2010.

At Upper Iowa, Loney had a hand in rebuilding the program and coached All-NSIC defensive end Preston Spencer. He previously spent two seasons on the opposite side of the ball as an intern and graduate assistant at Notre Dame, where he assisted with the running backs and offensive line. During his tenure, the Fighting Irish won their first bowl game in 13 seasons. Prior to Notre Dame, Loney was the defensive and recruiting coordinator at Bethany, leading the Bison to one of the most dramatic turnarounds in school history and the most wins in five seasons in 2006.

“I’m looking forward to immediately building upon the tradition of excellence at Nichols College,” said Loney. “Nichols is a special place and I am excited to work with our student-athletes to be committed in being the best they can be in everything they do, both on and off the field.”

Loney joins Aaron Kelton of Williams, Chapman's Bob Owens, Salisbury's Sherman Wood, DePauw's Robby Long, Capital's Henry Stanford, Greenville's Ordell Walker and Widener's Isaac Collins as the only African-American head football coaches in Division III out of 240 programs which are slated to take the field in 2011, according to research.

A native of Middletown, Conn., Loney’s career started in New England, with graduate assistantships at Norwich and Division II Southern Connecticut State. He worked both sides of the ball with the Cadets from 2000-02, first as the wide receivers coach and then defensive line coach, before managing the inside linebackers for Rich Cavanaugh at Southern Connecticut for two seasons. He then moved on to Wesleyan for a three-year stint as the defensive line coach where he recruited 2010 Gagliardi Trophy finalist Shea Dwyer.

Loney is a member of the American Football Coaches Association and Black Coaches & Administrators. He is an active coaching participant and contributor at the Lauren’s First and Goal Camp, a non-profit camp that has raised more than $1 million toward childhood cancer research.

A 1999 graduate of Dickinson, Loney was a letterwinner with the Red Devils football and outdoor track and field teams. He resides in Middletown, Conn.