The past 24 hours has been crazy on the hill at Lindsey Wilson College.
Phil Kleckler has been named head coach of the Lindsey Wilson College football program, LWC Athletics Director Willis Pooler announced on Tuesday. Kleckler becomes the second head coach in Lindsey Wilson football history.
“I am very appreciative for this opportunity,” Kleckler said. “I’ve grown so much as a person and coach since coming here five years ago, thanks to our players and my fellow coaches. I’m excited about this challenge.”
He takes over for Chris Oliver who announced his resignation Monday to become the head coach at Georgetown College.
Kleckler takes over as head coach after five seasons as the Blue Raiders’ defensive coordinator. He led the Lindsey Wilson defense to its best season in 2021 — leading the NAIA in scoring defense (11.2) and takeaways (36). Lindsey Wilson also ranked second in the NAIA in total defense (220.5 yards allowed per game), rushing defense (60.5 yards), and interceptions (24).
The Blue Raider defense set program records this season for points allowed per game, fewest points allowed (146), fewest total yards allowed (2,866), fewest rushing yards allowed (787), and most shutouts (4) while tying the program record for most games in a season (13).
While producing four of the program’s all-time seven shutouts this season, the Lindsey Wilson defense held its opponents scoreless in 32 of the team’s 52 quarters.
Over his five seasons, he has helped lead Lindsey Wilson to a 53-6 record.
“Coach Kleckler has been an outstanding football coach for us for the past five seasons and when the opportunity presented itself to name him head football coach, I jumped on it immediately,” Pooler said. “It is no coincidence that our rise to becoming the best football program in the NAIA included his leadership on the defensive side of the football. Besides his quality as a football coach, he is a good man. He understands and lives our mission, and his goals and expectations for our football program align with the administration.”
Kleckler was named the 2020 FootballScoop NAIA Coordinator of the Year following Lindsey Wilson’s national championship run in 2020. The Blue Raiders posted an 11-0 record during the season while holding their opponents to 14.4 points per game and producing 33-1/2 sacks — tying a program record set in 2014.
While at Lindsey Wilson, Kleckler has coached four NAIA defensive All-Americans, a pair of Mid-South Conference Defensive Players of the Year, and 27 defensive All Mid-South Conference performers.