DePauw University announced Thursday that former Tigers football coach Bill Lynch — who also had head-coaching stints at Indiana, Ball State and Butler — has returned to his old job at DePauw for the 2013 season.
Stevie Baker-Watson, DePauw’s director of athletics and recreational sports, said Lynch will begin his duties Jan. 2 when he takes over for interim head coach Scott Srnka, who will remain on the staff.
“The years ahead present an exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to work with a great group of student-athletes, an outstanding athletics department and a supportive administration,” Lynch said.
“DePauw is a special place and the time I spent here was a highlight of my coaching career.”
Lynch, who previously served as DePauw’s head coach in 2004, is a 1977 Butler graduate and has served as the associate athletic director for development at his alma mater since March 2011. In that role, he was responsible for athletics annual giving through the Bulldog Club and served as a major gift officer for athletics. He also was the sport administrator for the football program.
“Through a comprehensive and thorough search process which yielded a strong pool of candidates, we’re excited to have someone with Bill’s experience and passion to lead our football program,” Baker-Watson said. “Bill is well known and respected in Indiana and the Midwest and understands the long, rich tradition of the DePauw football program.”
“Bill’s character and record of success speaks for itself,” DePauw President Brian W. Casey added. “From his commitment to the academic success of his student-athletes to his career as one of Indiana’s most respected coaches, I look forward to what his leadership will bring to Tiger football in the many years ahead.”
Lynch has coached on the collegiate level for 32 years in addition to one year on the staff of the United States Football League’s Orlando Renegades. In his 18 seasons as a head coach, Lynch’s teams have accumulated a 100-97-3 overall record, including a 44-14-3 (.746) in six seasons at Butler and DePauw.
DePauw junior captain Patrick Keller was among the student-athletes who met with Lynch during the interview process.
“Coach Lynch’s experience and commitment to success were apparent during our meeting,” Keller said. “This is an important time for the DePauw football program and we can’t wait to start working toward moving the program forward.”
The 2004 Tigers, coached by Lynch, ranked 16th in NCAA Division III rushing offense after averaging 254.6 yards per game. DePauw’s 2,546 rushing yards was just 2 yards shy of the school record and the Tigers’ averages of 5.0 yards per rushing play and 5.8 yards per offensive play still rank second in program history.
In January 2005, Lynch was named the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Indiana, where he joined longtime friend and head coach Terry Hoeppner. Under Lynch’s leadership, IU quarterback Kellen Lewis posted one of the best freshman campaigns in program history, ranking 21st in the nation in total offense and third among freshmen with 242.0 yards per game. As a team, the Hoosiers scored their most points (277) since 2001, averaging 335.9 yards and 222.1 passing yards per game.
The interim head coach for two games during the 2006 season, Lynch was named head coach in June 2007 just days before coach Hoeppner died from cancer. Lynch directed IU to a 7-6 record in 2007 and a berth to the Insight Bowl. The only head coach in Indiana history to guide his team to a bowl game in his first season, Lynch was just the fourth coach in the program’s history to lead a team to a postseason game. Furthermore, the seven victories in his debut season were the second most for a first-year Hoosiers head coach.
In his four seasons in Bloomington, Lynch added a pair of “I’s” to the Old Oaken Bucket chain, defeating Purdue in 2007 and 2010.
A four-year letterwinner in football and basketball and captain of each at Butler in the mid 1970s, Lynch earned all-America honors as the Bulldogs’ quarterback and was the first Butler student-athlete to twice earn the Indiana Collegiate Conference’s prestigious Tony Hinkle Award presented for outstanding scholastic and athletic achievement. He was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2000.
After graduation, Lynch spent seven seasons as a Bulldog assistant coach, including stints as the quarterbacks and wide-receivers coach, recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator.
Lynch moved on to Northern Illinois as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in 1984 and became the quarterbacks coach of the Orlando Renegades in 1984. He returned to his alma mater as head coach in 1985 and compiled a 36-12-3 (.735) record over five seasons.
At Ball State, Lynch served as the Cardinals’ assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1990-92 before serving as quarterbacks coach at Indiana from 1993-94. Lynch returned to Ball State as head coach in 1995 and served in that capacity until 2002. The Cardinals won the 1996 Mid-American Conference title and participated in the Las Vegas Bowl, while the 2001 squad finished as co-champion of the MAC West Division.