Mount Union’s Kehres inducted; UK’s Love wins Wuerffel Trophy
From staff and wire reports
The center of the college football universe is New York City this week, with a series of awards and honors leading up Saturday night’s Heisman Trophy presentation.
Northeastern Ohio was well-represented Tuesday, as two from the area were recognized.
Cardinal Mooney High School graduate and University of Kentucky linebacker Courtney Love won the Wuerffel Trophy and legendary former Mount Union head coach Larry Kehres was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Love, a senior with the Wildcats, was named finalist for the award, which is presented annually to a college football player in recognition of community service.
The trophy is named for former Florida Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel, who presented it to Love.
Kehres joined a College Football Hall of Fame class that included iconic player Peyton Manning and coach Steve Spurrier at the National Football Foundation’s awards banquet on in Manhattan.
Kehres led Mount Union to 11 national titles and a .929 winning percentage in 27 seasons.
“I think I had a good foundation in learning from a good coach [Ken Wable] who is in the audience today,” Kehres said in an interview with Holly Rowe.
“He taught us to plan and prepare thoroughly. I served as an assistant for him for 11 years and I think that foundation that makes you a good teacher in the classroom also makes you a good coach.”
Kehres retired with a career record of 332-24-3 as a head coach, all at Mount Union. The Purple Raiders were 230-8-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference under Kehres, who handed the reins to his son Vince when he retired from coaching.
Larry Kehres remains Mount Union’s athletic director.
The Purple Raiders will meet Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the Division III semifinals on Saturday.
“You have to be prepared. You have to measure each day by the performance of players. In other words, have they learned what you were attempting to teach them? And I was taught that, and I have always benefitted from it,” Kehres said. “And I think my Union players benefited from the foundation I received from him.”
The rest of the players in Hall of Fame class included Marshall Faulk of San Diego State; 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart of Southern California; Bob Crable of Notre Dame; Kirk Gibson, the National League MVP in 1988 and former Michigan State receiver; Bob McKay of Texas; Dat Nguyen of Texas A&M; Mike Ruth of Boston College; Brian Urlacher of New Mexico; and Adrian Peterson of Georgia Southern.
Clemson’s Danny Ford, who coached the Tigers to their first national championship at the age of 33, joined Kehres and Spurrier as coaches inducted.
The former Tennessee quarterback and former Florida coach had a one-sided rivalry that helped define an era of Southeastern Conference football. Manning set records in Knoxville, Tennessee, and won just about every award short of the Heisman Trophy, but his teams never beat Spurrier’s mighty Gators.