/notables/2012/12/former-d3-coach-nfl-player-returns

Former NFL player, D-III head coach takes Wilmington job

More news about: Ohio Northern | Wilmington
Stacey Hairston has returned to Division III and the OAC.
Wilmington athletics photo

Wilmington has selected Stacey Hairston to guide the Quakers’ football program as its new head coach.

The former professional football player with the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns spent both his collegiate playing career and a dozen years as an assistant coach at conference rival Ohio Northern.

He replaces interim coach Jay Niswonger, who took over when Ken Minor resigned midseason. Under Niswonger, the Quakers went 1-6, snapping a 32-game losing streak.

Terry Rupert, vice president for athletics administration and director of athletics, announced Hairston’s hiring Wednesday following a national search to succeed Minor, who left after nearly two and a half years as head coach.

“We are thrilled to hire a coach with Stacey’s experience and knowledge of the Ohio Athletic Conference,” Rupert said. “His extensive playing and coaching experience will benefit the football team. He impressed the selection committee with his thorough plan to build our football program.”

Hairston spent the past season as the defensive coordinator at Division II Bluefield (W.Va.) in the school’s first varsity season. The Columbus native also served for two seasons as an assistant coach for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.

“I have coached in the OAC and have seen Wilmington from afar,” Hairston said. “It’s a good, quality school in a good location. The location is ideal; near Cincinnati, Springfield, Dayton and Columbus. You have to hit those areas hard to have a chance.”

Not only does Hairston bring extensive coaching experience to the table, he played professional football for seven years. After being signed as a free agent in 1989 by the Dallas Cowboys, Hairston spent a year in Dallas before playing three seasons north of the border as a three-year starting defensive back for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

He returned to the NFL for three seasons with the Cleveland Browns, where he was an integral part of the league’s top-ranked defense in 1994.

Hairston coached ONU’s defensive backs and special teams for seven seasons. After serving as the team’s interim head coach in 2003, he was promoted to co-defensive coordinator and co-special teams coordinator, where he stayed until 2008.

Rupert was impressed with the strength of candidates applying for the position and expressed his appreciation to the search committee that reviewed more than 100 applications and interviewed the top candidates. He also cited the work of Niswonger, who took over in September as interim head coach.

“We would like to thank Jay for his tireless work in guiding our team for the final seven weeks of the season and the opening weeks of recruiting,” Rupert said.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
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at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
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at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
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at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
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Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
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at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
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Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
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at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
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at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio Audio Video
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
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Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap