|Northwestern athletics photo|
Northwestern (Minn.) football coach Kirk Talley has resigned his position to become the next associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Warner University in Lake Wales, Fla. Talley had led the Northwestern football program for the last 16 seasons.
"I want to thank (athletic director) Dr. Matt Hill for hiring me in 2001," said Talley. "It has been a privilege, over the past 16 years, to work for him and our esteemed president, Dr. Alan Cureton. I have always respected and appreciated their leadership as I have seen our campus grow and mature in Jesus Christ."
The five-time Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and winningest coach in program history vacates his position with a 112-51 (.687) record at the institution. He most recently guided the Eagles to their first-ever NCAA Division III playoff berth this past fall after UNW won the conference regular season title. Under Talley's leadership, Northwestern appeared in five Victory Bowls, a National Christian College Athletic Association postseason game. The coaching veteran has also served on several NCAA football committees.
"It has been a privilege to be the head football coach, influencing the young men in the Eagle football program, and the so many people that have surrounded and supported them in the process, starting with our great coaching staff," stated Talley. "We would not have had all the success, on and off the field, without the hard work and dedication of these men living out their lives in front of young men."
Talley had previous head coaching stops at Crown, Greenville and Mount Senario. Other coaching stints include Taylor University, Northern State University and Miami Ohio). Talley played collegiately at Pacific Lutheran under legendary head coach Frosty Westering.
"Coach Talley has been an excellent football coach at the University of Northwestern," said Hill. "He's leaving as the winningest coach in school history, leaving a legacy that will continue for years to come, but beyond football, he's been a mentor of young men, knowing that his role as a coach goes much further than the sport. He will be greatly missed and we are grateful that the approach to football that coach Talley has been a part of at UNW will continue on at another institution. I am grateful for Kirk's leadership."
Talley concluded, "This is a hard and sad good-bye; however, I will always cherish my memories as a University of Northwestern Eagle. I have been blessed by so many staff and faculty over the years as well. I am grateful for the people of the University of Northwestern. They are what make it such a special place to work and to attend."
Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Bryan Johnson will serve as the interim head coach. The school will conduct a national search beginning immediately.