October 21, 2012
Knox College Director of Athletics Chad Eisele announced today a national search for a full time football coach thus allowing him to devote full time to leadership of the college's athletics program.
Eisele, a 1993 Knox graduate who returned to Knox as director of athletics in 2006, has served as Prairie Fire head football coach for the past three years as well as athletic director. Eisele will finish out the season as head coach while the national search will begin immediately.
"I decided to make the announcement now, rather than at the end of the season in November, because this gives us an excellent opportunity to have a new head coach in place in December," Eisele said. He announced his decision today to the football team and on the College's Web sites, www.knox.edu and prairiefire.knox.edu.
"We fully support Chad's commitment to excellence in the student-athlete experience and his higher level of engagement with all Knox athletes, coaches and programs," said Knox College President Teresa Amott. This past weekend, Amott announced that Knox is the beneficiary of a $1.6-million bequest to support the Prairie Fire football program. The benefactor is the late Vernon L. E. Stisser, Jr., who died in May. He was a 1962 Knox graduate and member of the Colleges Board of Trustees for 16 years. The football field at Knosher Bowl was named this past weekend in honor of Stisser.
A search committee for the head coaching post will include Knox faculty, staff and alumni. Finalists for the position will visit campus and also meet in person, or via conference call, with players on the football team.
"We are looking for a coach who has experience leading a football team," Eisele said. "We are also looking for a coach who knows how to recruit students with both potential and drive -- to thrive academically in Knox's liberal arts curriculum, and to compete and contribute to team success in athletics."
Eisele has served as a coach each year he's been Knox's athletic director. He led the men's tennis team during the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons, and served as the football team's offensive coordinator in both 2008 and 2009 before taking over as head coach in 2010.
"I have enjoyed coaching each of these teams immensely, but now it is time for me to turn my attention to coordinating activities and building all Prairie Fire teams and programs," Eisele said.
Before coming to Knox, Eisele was head football coach at Lake Forest College, where his team won the 2002 Midwest Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs. He was named 2002 Midwest Conference Coach of the Year. Eisele also guided the Minnesota State-Moorhead football program for one year before returning to Knox.
Since Eisele returned to Knox, 590 Knox varsity team members have received Academic All-Midwest Conference honors. "The depth of Chad's dedication to his students and their progress in academics and athletics is unmatched," said Lawrence Breitborde, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who oversees athletics at Knox.