Maxwell Football Club Director, Mark Wolpert, announced that Sam Houston head coach K.C. Keeler has been selected as the winner of Get in the Game Impact Award presented by the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation and generously supported by the Walton family.
Keeler joined the Get in the Game program in 2009 while at the University of Delaware. While there, the football program had 4 recruitment drives that added 944 registrants to the Be The Match Registry®. To date, the program at Delaware has registered over 2,500 individuals and most importantly, given 22 patients a second chance at life. Keeler also had the Sam Houston football program participate in the GITG program upon his arrival. Assisting with 3 events, Keeler and his team have helped add over 650 students to the Registry and has produced 3 life saving donors.
Keeler, 62, is the only coach in FCS history to have national championships at multiple schools (Sam Houston in 2021 and Delaware in 2003). He has a career coaching record of 254-96-1 (.726) in 28 years of coaching and currently possesses one of the highest postseason winning percentage of all active FCS head coaches (25-8).
The all-time leader in FCS playoff wins (25), Keeler’s 254 career wins ranks second among all active coaches at the FCS level. In eight years at Sam Houston, Keeler has amassed an 80-23 overall record, with three Southland Conference Championships (2014, 2016, 2020) and one Western Athletic Conference title (2021).
Keeler’s Bearkats reached the 2021 FCS national quarterfinals, holding the No. 1 seed throughout the regular season and into the postseason, where the Kats lost to eventual national finalist Montana State, 42-19, ending 22-game overall winning streak, including a 21-game winning streak within the 2021 calendar year—an all-time NCAA collegiate football record.
Upon Keeler’s arrival at Sam Houston, the Bearkats had never won a NCAA national title.
In 2016, Keller won the prestigious Eddie Robinson Award, becoming the first Sam Houston and third Southland head coach to do so.
At Sam Houston, Keeler’s teams have made the NCAA FCS playoffs six out of eight years, (2014 SLC co-champions, 2014 NCAA Division I Semifinalist, 2015 NCAA Division I Semifinalist, 2016 SLC champions, 2016 NCAA Division I Quarterfinalist, 2017 NCAA Division I Semifinalist, 2020 SLC champions, 2020 NCAA Division I National Champions, 2021 WAC champions, 2021 NCAA Division I Quarterfinalist). In 2023, Sam Houston will join Conference USA as a FBS school program, and will be bowl eligible in 2024.
Prior to Sam Houston, Keeler was the head coach at Delaware, where he produced an 86-52 record in 11 seasons from 2002 to 2012. His Fightin' Blue Hens won the FCS national championship in 2003 and reached the national championship game in 2007 and 2010. His squads won Atlantic 10 Conference titles in 2003 and 2004 and the Colonial Athletic Association championship in 2010. Delaware went 11-3 in the program's four trips to the FCS playoffs.
For his team’s success in 2010, Keeler was named the Maxwell Club’s 13th Tri-State Coach of the Year Award for the Outstanding Coach in the Delaware Valley area.
At Rowan in Glassboro, N.J., Keeler fashioned an 88-21-1 record from 1993 to 2001 that included seven NCAA Division III playoff appearances including five trips to the National Championship game. His teams posted a 21-7 record in NCAA Division III playoff action.
“KC Keeler has proven to be a winner both on the field and off. His incredible winning percentage speaks for itself, however his off the field exploits define his character. His teams have participated in many marrow drives over the years and have donated their time and effort to many community projects.“
Keeler will be honored Friday, March 18, 2022 at the 85thMaxwell Football Club National Awards Gala which will be held at the Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Also receiving awards at this event will be Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins (Harrah’s Legends Award), Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts (Bert Bell Award), Zach Taylor – Cincinnati Bengals (Greasy Neale Professional Coach of the Year Award), Bryce Young - Alabama (Maxwell Award), Jordan Davis - Georgia (Chuck Bednarik Award), Pat Narduzzi – University of Pittsburgh (Andy Talley Regional Coach of the Year Award), Kenny Pickett (University of Pittsburgh – FBS) and Forrest Rhyne (Villanova – FCS) (The Brian Westbrook Regional Player of the Year Award), and Brock Bowers –Georgia (Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award), Dave Aranda –Baylor University (George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award) Nicholas Singleton (Governor Mifflin HS – Penn State) and Mykel Williams (Hardaway HS – University of Georgia) as the MFC/ADIDAS National High School Players of the Year.
The Maxwell Football Club (MFC) was founded in 1935 and is a registered 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation. The MFC promotes and recognizes excellence at all levels of football from youth leagues through the professional ranks. Each year the MFC offers programs which focus on player and coach development, safety, and player wellness. The Club also presents many of the premiere awards in the football world each year. Membership is open and additional information on the Club can be found at www.maxwellfootballclub.org.
The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to increase the odds of finding lifesaving donors for patients in need of a marrow transplant by registering young, committed donors to the Be the Match Registry.