Angola (Indiana's NewsCenter)- Trine University head football coach Matt Land is now the university’s athletic director, officials announced today. In his new role, he will continue to serve as head football coach.
“Coach Land has had an exceptional record of success since he started at Trine in 2006, completely turning around our football program,” said Trine University president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. “In addition, he has a solid understanding of NCAA and MIAA rules. He has elevated our program to national recognition while exhibiting outstanding organizational, managerial and leadership skills, while representing Trine University well in the community.”
Land has coached the Thunder for six seasons, leading the team to three Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships. In 2010, he was named d3football.com’s North Region Football Coach of the Year. Eric Watt, a 2010 graduate, won the prestigious Gagliardi Trophy under Land’s leadership. Land believes his success as a coach has come through hard work, attention to detail and work ethic, and he plans to implement the same in his role as athletic director.
Land has been coaching football since 1998, leading the United Indoor Football League’s Fort Wayne Freedom from 2003-2005 and 2008-2009. In Fort Wayne, as South Side High School teacher and coach, he took the Archers to three football sectional finals, one regional final and one appearance in the final four in four years. He came to Trine in 2007 with one goal: “To win, and I expected nothing less.”
At Trine, Land has endeavored to cultivate 150 football players, athletic trainers, staff and student coaches. He has experienced tremendous success as a coach, but his first priority has always been academics, and he doesn’t expect that to change.
In addition to administrative and supervisory experience, Land has overseen and approved schedules and contracts for NCAA events, taken active roles in fundraising efforts, and administered fiscal operations, including budget development and approval.
“In this role, I can now work to instill my philosophy that performance on the field is directly proportionate to behavior off the field,” Land said. “I hope to come alongside other coaches, offer support and guidance. In addition, and this will be the bulk of my workload, I plan to continue to improve Trine athletics from an administrative standpoint.”
A graduate of Fort Wayne Northrop High School, he earned his undergraduate degree at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and his master’s degree from Walden University. He lives in Fremont with his wife, Julie, daughter Emily, 10, and son Jake, 7. He enjoys his kids′ athletic endeavors, and coaches softball for Emily and basketball and baseball for Jake.
“With all that having been said, I view this opportunity as being a representative of and for the university, as a role model for young student-athletes and as a leader of the athletic department, in that order,” Land said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue my career at Trine and to further demonstrate my leadership abilities to continue to improve Trine’s athletic programs.”
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