Five finalists to be interviewed for football head coach position

Five finalists for the head football coaching position were announced Sunday by Sam Houston State University’s director of athletics, Bobby Williams.

The list includes K. C. Keeler, Mel Tjeersdma, Scott Wachenheim, and Darrell Wyatt with Mike Canales joining the list late Sunday.

“Each of these coaches meet the criteria we set out when we started our search,” Williams said.

The finalists began interviewing in Huntsville with Williams Monday, and the interviews will wrap up Tuesday.

Keeler served as head coach for the University of Delaware for 11 seasons between 2002 and 2012, racking up an 86-52 record, including national championship appearances in 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Williams said his search for a new coach involves experience coaching in a national championship, yet he didn’t specify the level of competition he was looking for.

Although Keeler has one Division I championship during his 11-year tenure at Delaware, Tjeersdma has three as head coach of Northwest Missouri State, but in Division II.

Between 1994 and 2010, 67-year-old Tjeersdma turned around a winless football program to a dominant threat with six total national championship experiences, 10 solo conference championships and two shared titles as head coach for the Bearcats adding up to a 183-43 record.

He then retired from coaching and took on administrative duties as athletic director.

Wachenheim is the current offensive line coach at the University of Virginia. Although he doesn’t have any head coaching experience, Wachenheim has dipped his hand into various Football Bowl Subdivision programs including Rice University, the Air Force Academy, Colorado University, Utah State and Liberty University. Wachenheim spent time in the NFL as the Washington Redskin’s tight ends coach in 2009 under head coach Jim Zorn.

Wyatt could be making his return to SHSU after serving as wide receivers coach for the Bearkats between 1992 and 1994. This past season he coached under former University of Texas head coach Mac Brown as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

University of North Texas could be losing its current offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach if Canales is hired. This past season Canales led UNT’s offense to its first bowl appearance since 2005.

“We look to complete this process so our new head coach can hit the ground running,” Williams said.

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