WHITTIER, Calif. – After a national search of nearly three months, Director of Athletics Rob Coleman has announced Kirk Jellerson as the next head coach of the Whittier football program.
Jellerson, who has served as the Poets' defensive coordinator over the past two seasons, was tagged as the interim coach at the conclusion of the 2010 campaign. He is the 19th head coach in the history of Whittier football and fourth since 2000.
"This has been a lengthy search and our committee has been very detailed orientated in selecting our new head coach," said Coleman. "In the end, Kirk's 20 years of experience as a coach, with 12 coming at the Division III level, was the deciding factor."
Additionally, Todd Stratton will join the staff as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. Stratton comes to Whittier after a stint as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ventura College.
"I am really excited that Todd is joining our football staff," added Coleman. "He has come highly recommended, is a man of integrity and will undoubtedly bring a new vision to our team."
Jellerson has 24 years of coaching experience that includes stops at Western Washington University, Utica College, Kean University, Plymouth State College and Chapman University among others. He was also the defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and linebacker coach at Whittier from 1993-1994.
"Kirk understands the mission and values of Whittier College and he promotes those with his staff and student-athletes," said Coleman. "Our goals will continue to center around attracting top quality student-athletes who will be successful in the classroom and on the field."
"I am very excited about becoming the next head coach of the Whittier football program," added Jellerson. "However, I know there is a lot of work to be done and I'm eager to get going."
Stratton brings nearly two decades of coaching to the purple and gold sideline. Most recently he led the Ventura offense to over 400 yards per game and a 32.4 points per game average. Stratton is also the President and CEO of the Elite Air Academy where he has helped develop a number of Division I players.
"I am very honored to be here as the offensive coordinator," said Stratton. "There are some very good teams in our league but our goal is to competitive right away and contend for a conference championship."
"The expectations for the program are to be champions in the three most important areas: In competition, in the classroom and in the community," said Coleman. "Our staff is committed in making the necessary changes in order to achieve a true winning attitude. We just have to be tireless in our efforts."