stop
Article Image
Send this article to a friend Print RSS

Two Inducted Into NAIA Football Hall of Fame

January 13, 2014
By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2013-14 NAIA Football Hall of Fame class —Kevin Donley of Saint Francis (Ind.) and Tyler Emmert of Carroll (Mont.)—was officially inducted on Sunday (Jan. 12) evening at the 2014 NAIA Hall of Fame Banquet at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

Kevin Donley, Coach, University of Saint Francis (Ind.)
Kevin Donley is the winningest coach in NAIA history and has compiled an overall record of 272-122-1. He’s led his teams to 22 NAIA Football Championship Series appearances, 16 conference championships, seven NAIA Football Championship Series Semifinals, three national runner-up finishes (2004, 2005, 2006) and one NAIA Football National Championship (1991). In all, Donley’s spent 35 years as a head coach—31 at the NAIA level for Anderson College (Ind.), Georgetown College (Ky.) and University of Saint Francis (Ind.).

Donley has taken on many challenges in his career. In 1978, at the age of 26, he became the youngest head football coach in the nation, at any level. In 1997, he accepted a different type of challenge, building a program from scratch at Saint Francis.

After going 2-8 in 1998, their first season of collegiate competition, Donley’s Cougars have compiled 14 NAIA Football Championship Series berths and 11 Mid-States Football Association Mideast League Championships, while recording a combined record of 156-29. After just one year of mediocrity, Donley turned an upstart program into a national powerhouse. Since 1998, the Cougars have had 15-straight winning seasons and, during that span, have never lost more than three games in a year.

Tyler Emmert, Athlete, Carroll College (Mont.)
Tyler Emmert, a four-year starter for Carroll College (Mont.) at the quarterback position from 2002-2005, led the Fighting Saints to four-straight Frontier Conference Championships and four-straight NAIA Football National Championships. On the field, he was a four-time NAIA All-American, three-time Frontier Conference Offensive MVP, three-time National Championship MVP and two-time NAIA National Player of the Year.

In the classroom, Emmert was a four-time Academic All-Conference selection and a four-time NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete, while being named to Carroll’s Dean’s List in each of his eight collegiate semesters. Nationally, he received the NAIA’s A.O. Duer Award as the nation’s top student-athlete in 2004 and was selected as a Scholar-Athlete Award winner by the National Football Foundation in 2005—an honor bestowed on just 16 football student-athletes from across all levels of collegiate competition.

During his Carroll career, Emmert accumulated 12,770 yards and 110 touchdowns through the air, while rushing for 1,209 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was also the first quarterback in the history of college football—at any level—to finish his career with a completion percentage better than 70 percent. He amassed 1,037 completions on 1,473 career attempts for a career completion mark of .704, an NAIA career record. He also holds the NAIA career record for total offense with 13,979 yards.

Induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame, and the ensuing title of Hall of Famer, is the highest individual honor bestowed by the Association.

Since it was established in 1952, the NAIA Hall of Fame has welcomed just 1,172 members for an average of 19 inductees per year. The Hall of Fame consists of a division for each sport currently or formerly sponsored by the Association—with the inductees in each division broken down into three categories: athletes, coaches and meritorious service. The Hall of Fame also includes a separate division for general meritorious service to the NAIA.

To view the complete 2013-14 NAIA Hall of Fame class, click here.

To view the complete list of NAIA Hall of Famers, click here.