SIDNEY — Urbana University Head Football Coach Tyler Haines addressed the Sidney Rotary Club during a recent meeting.
Haines just completed his third season as coach of the Blue Knights. He talked about the progress the team has made since he took the reins of the program. Haines is the 10th head coach in the school’s history and has nine years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division II and III levels.
“When I arrived at the university, the graduation rate for the football team was 72 percent,” Haines told the Rotarians. “It is now 100 percent, and the average grade point average of my players is 2.98 — still not where we want it to be but a marked improvement.”
A native of Piqua, Haines quarterbacked the Piqua Indians team that defeated the Sidney Yellow Jackets in overtime in 2001 in a game played at Alexander Stadium.
“Sidney’s program under Coach Doenges is moving in the right direction. I really like what he is doing,” Haines said.
As a college player, Haines was a two-time, first-team All-Heartland Conference linebacker. He lettered for three years at Defiance College, recording 143 tackles, 39 tackles-for-loss, 9.5 sacks and four interceptions after transferring from Division II Ashland University. Haines played a prominent part of the Defiance College Yellow Jacket defense that finished fourth in the nation in total defense and led the Heartland Conference in rushing defense and total defense in 2005 and 2006. Haines was a team captain in both his junior and senior seasons and graduated in December 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated social studies.
A 2006 preseason All-American, Haines also garnered ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors and was named All-North Region at season’s end. Also in 2006, Haines was a semi-finalist for the Draddy Trophy, an award known as the “Academic Heisman.” He appeared on the dean’s list three times and ended college with a GPA of 3.4.
Haines started his coaching career in 2007 at his alma mater, Piqua High School.
Prior to joining Urbana, Haines coached at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he was offensive coordinator and coached the quarterbacks for two seasons. Under his guidance, the Crimson Hawks offense averaged 31.0 points and racked up 396.0 yards per game. Haines helped the Crimson Hawks collect 15 wins during his tenure, including a 9-2 mark and No. 24 national ranking during the 2013 campaign.
Prior to his time at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Haines spent five years at Division III Adrian College in Michigan. There, he directed a high-powered offense as the offensive coordinator for three seasons and also served as the assistant head coach. In 2012, he helped the Bulldogs win their first outright conference championship since 1983, while setting four, single season records.
In 2011, Haines led the Adrian offense to a school record 77 points in a win at Husson University and the Bulldogs ranked as high as 16th in the American Football Coaches Association Division III national poll. During his first two seasons Haines coached the linebackers and special teams for the Adrian Bulldogs.
Haines talked about his Urbana assistant coaches.
“Jim Cordle is my offensive coach. A native of Lancaster, he played football at the Ohio State University before playing for the New York Giants. He was part of the team that won Super Bowl XLVI. He was most recently a graduate assistant at Ohio State, and when I got the call that he was available, I was more than happy to add him to my staff,” Haines said.
“Stacey Hairston is my defensive coach. He is a native of Columbus. Hairston played college football at Ohio Northern and professionally for the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys. He was head coach at Wilmington for four years and wanted to stay in the area. He’s been a welcome addition to the staff,” Haines said.
Haines responded to a number of questions from Rotarians. He advised that as a Division II school, Urbana can award 36 full football scholarships and that the most popular majors at Urbana currently are education, business and criminal justice.