Vince Kehres’ announcement to head to Toledo as a Defensive Assistant was shocking for all Raider fans and the entire Division III. Players heard of the news on Twitter before an official announcement from the coach was given later in the afternoon. Players have now begun to show support for their coach as he begins a new journey, and Mount Union’s football program begins a new era.
Captain Wide Receiver Justin Hill finished his career at Mount Union with a total of 4,153 yards. He had 61 yards while playing for Kehres. He received a slew of conference awards, including OAC First Team and the ED Sherman award as the conference’s top receiver on three different occasions. While Hill prepares for the NFL, he has appreciation for both Mount Union and coach Kehres as changes in program occur.
“There is a lot I could take away from what coach Kehres has taught me over the past four years at Mount Union. The most important thing I took away was the relationships you build on and off the field at Mount Union. You will carry those relationships with you for life.”
Captain Offensive-Lineman Brendan Klaus finished his four-year career at Mount Union with the same accomplishments and appreciation as Hill. Klaus came from Michigan to be a part of the success that included All OAC First Team, Academic All OAC, and three-year letter winner. Klaus claims Kehres as a mentor in his success.
“It’s a big decision for Coach and his family, but everyone around the program understands his goals and aspirations. Personally, he has been a mentor in my life. We all wish him the best going forward. Program-wise, Mount Union will be Mount Union football.”
Captain Middle Linebacker Trey Williams played an important part in the Kehres defense for the past four years. Kehres will hope to utilize players at Toledo in a similar way to Williams. Williams’ football resume includes All OAC First Team, four-year letter winner and 111 tackles. Williams felt the effects of the famous “God, family, football” mantra the program emphasizes.
“I’m thankful to have played under coach Kehres. It was a blessing to be a part of this program and learn from one the best. I wish the best of luck for Coach and his family. The Kehres family has been nothing but great since I arrived at Mount Union.”
Running Back Josh Petruccelli found success at a historic position for Mount Union football. With a year still left at Mount Union, Petruccelli will continue to build off All OAC First Team, AP All America Second Team, 3929 yards and 44 touchdowns. Petruccelli had the most to say about his coach’s career move, as well as their personal relationship.
“I love this for coach Kehres. He’s chasing his dream job of being a Division I football coach. I know from talking with him there was a tough decision-making process. At the end of the day, it’s about what’s best for both Coach and his family. I look up to Coach Kehres, I consider him one of the biggest role models in my life. I have learned so much from him over the past three years. He is a phenomenal coach and an even better person. I couldn’t have been more blessed than to have played for Coach these past three years. I wish nothing but the absolute best for him at Toledo. Mount Union as a whole will miss him for what he has done for the university and program.”
The love for Coach Kehres is clear from players all around. Vince Kehres is clearly seen as a great coach, mentor and leader. His place in Raider history is both clear and well cemented for life.