|Dean Paul, right, coached
against former coach Larry Kehres for nine seasons and was the only
OAC coach to come away with a win vs. Mount Union in that
Ohio Northern athletics photo
Former Mount Union Purple Raiders Erik Raeburn and Dean Paul join current UW-Whitewater assistant coach Kevin Bullis and UW-Platteville defensive coordinator Rob Erickson and Urbana coach Dave Taynor, who were each announced as finalists for the head coach job at UW-Whitewater on Friday.
Raeburn, the head coach at Wabash, and Paul, the head coach at Ohio Northern, each played and coached under Larry Kehres, the longtime Purple Raiders head coach who stepped aside from the head coaching position to focus on his athletic director role after the 2012 season.
The five are vying to replace Lance Leipold, who led the Warhawks to six national titles and a 109-6 record in eight seasons as head coach at UW-Whitewater before being named head coach at Buffalo, a Division I FBS school, this past November.
Each of the five will be on campus over the course of the past week and a half for an interview and open forum.
Raeburn has led Wabash to a 66-12 record and four trips to the NCAA playoffs in seven seasons as the Little Giants’ head coach. He is 123-38 overall as a Division III head coach, including eight seasons as head coach at Coe. Prior to Coe, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Mount Union.
Paul has spent 16 years as a Division III head coach, compiling a 115-49 record at Ohio Northern and Thomas More. Paul was the last Ohio Athletic Conference football coach to defeat Larry Kehres and the last coach not named Lance Leipold to do so, as Ohio Northern defeated Mount Union in 2005. The Polar Bears last made the playoffs in 2010, advancing to the second round.
Erickson, a graduate of UW-Stevens Point, has been defensive coordinator at UW-Platteville since 2008 and has been defensive coordinator at Aurora and UW-Stevens Point as well. The Pioneers have lost either one WIAC game or two in each of the past four years after averaging five WIAC losses over the previous decade. Platteville held UW-Whitewater to 17 points in 2014, its lowest output of the season.
Taynor, the only finalist not currently at a Division III program, is the head coach at Urbana, a former NAIA school, now NCAA Division II program in Ohio. He has gone 40-26 at the helm of the Blue Knights. Taynor was defensive coordinator at UW-Stevens Point after Erickson.
Bullis is the only UW-Whitewater assistant coach on the list of finalists, after Leipold took four Warhawk assistant coaches with him to Buffalo. Bullis has been the defensive run coordinator and special teams coordinator for Whitewater since 2008. Before that, he was defensive coordinator at UW-River Falls from 1995-2007.