Earlham athletic director Mike Bergum has announced the appointment of Neil Kazmierczak as the head football coach.
He replaces Gerry Keesling, who stepped down back in November after the Quakers' second consecutive 0-10 season.
“Neil has enthusiastically accepted the offer to become
the next head football coach at Earlham College,” Bergum
said. “Neil has a detailed plan in place to raise the
expectations of the football program, become competitive and
immerse himself into the Earlham community.”
“I believe that he is an outstanding addition to Earlham College and the athletic department,” Bergum added. “His references noted his variety of experiences and attention to detail as well as his recruiting ability.”
Kazmierczak comes to Earlham with a wealth of experience and success, including the last two years at Marian University in Indianapolis.
“I'm very excited and really looking forward to the opportunity,” Kazmierczak said. “There is a lot of potential and I really think that great things can be done.”
Marian was 12-1 last season as the Knights reached the NAIA semifinals with Kazmierczak serving as the team's pass defense coordinator and defensive backs coach. In 2010, Marian was 10-3 and advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals.
Prior to his time at Marian, Kazmierczak was a defensive backs and linebacker coach at Butler from 2006-09. The Bulldogs won the Pioneer Conference championship in 2009. From 2000-05, he was the defensive coordinator at DePauw as the Tigers won a pair of conference crowns.
“My background is mostly on the defensive side, but all facets of the game are equally important.” said Kazmierczak, who was born in Ann Arbor, Mich. “What I like is a team that plays physical with great effort and doesn't make mental mistakes.”
Beginning his coaching career at the high school level in California from 1990-95, Kazmierczak was a defensive coordinator for three seasons at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles. He was the head coach for three years at Oxnard High School.
Kazmierczak moved to the college level at Stanford from 1996-98 as a graduate assistant working with the defensive backs. The Cardinal played in the Sun Bowl and the Liberty Bowl during that time. After Stanford, he was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. The team went undefeated and won the Japanese National Collegiate Championship in 1998. In 1999, he returned to California to become the linebacker coach at St. Mary's College.
As a player at Michigan State, Kazmierczak played tight end and linebacker from 1983-86. He was on the academic honor roll at Michigan State for five semesters and was a member of the 1984 Cherry Bowl squad.
Kazmierczak earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State in 1988 with a major in History and a minor in psychology. He has two master's degrees, one from Azusa Pacific in 1995 and another from Stanford in 1998. He and his wife, Frae, have three children.