|Tyler Staker, left, has coached alongside his father since his 2006 graduation, and will actually continue to do so in 2016.
Coe athletics photo
Coe athletic director John Chandler has announced the retirement of legendary Kohawk football head coach Steve Staker. In a related move, assistant coach Tyler Staker has been named head coach.
"I feel the program needs to move forward with a new energy and leadership," Staker said while addressing the team Monday afternoon. Staker mentioned he made the decision before the season, but waited to make the announcement. "With 17 active grandkids, this will allow me to be more involved in their many activities."
Staker retires as one of the best football coaches in school history after eight years as head coach and four previous years as an assistant. Staker finished with a 55-29 record at Coe, the third-most wins in school history. The Kohawks appeared in the NCAA Division III playoffs three times under Staker, including a victory over undefeated St. John's in the opening round of the 2009 playoffs.
"I have truly enjoyed my experience as the head coach the past eight years," Staker added. "I would like to thank my wife, Linda, and the rest of the family, for their loyal support over the last 12 years. They have truly made this a wonderful experience. I would also like to thank John Chandler, former head football coach Erik Raeburn and long-time assistant Larry Atwater for giving me the opportunity back in 2004 to coach at Coe College. It was very much appreciated and has been a fun and rewarding experience."
Staker was named the Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year in 2009 and was a finalist for the award in 2012. The Kohawks were 10-0 in 2012, winning the first outright Iowa Conference championship in school history. During his eight years as head coach, Coe had seven D3football.com All-Americans and 67 All-Iowa Conference players, 32 of which were first-team selections. Staker also coached three Iowa Conference MVPs.
"We appreciate the time that Coach (Steve) Staker invested in Coe College and the Kohawk football program," Chandler said. "Steve took the program to new heights, including the first back-to-back playoff appearances in school history. Thanks to Coach (Steve) Staker, the Kohawk football program is respected across the country. As we move forward I am confident Coach (Tyler) Staker will continue to build on the success we have enjoyed with his father as head coach."
A 2006 Coe graduate, Tyler Staker was a four-year letterwinner and two-time captain for the Kohawks. He earned All-Iowa Conference honors as a junior and senior, while also being named all-west region his senior year. Staker spent the first two years after graduation as a graduate assistant for the Kohawks before being named offensive coordinator in 2008.
"I'm excited and honored to lead the Coe College football program. Coe and the football program have been a huge part of my life and have tremendous meaning to me and my family," Staker said. "I am thankful to John Chandler and president David McInally for giving me this opportunity. I will ensure that our program continues to embody the academic and athletic mission of Coe College and what it means to be a NCAA Division III student-athlete."
Steve Staker will remain on staff on a part-time basis.
"It has been a blessing and a lot of fun to have coached alongside my father these past eight years," Tyler Staker added. "He has showed what true leadership and commitment looks like, and it is my goal to continue to build upon the legacy he has built."