Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kappas Will Run Defense for D-III Powerhouse

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kappas Will Run Defense for D-III Powerhouse

Article excerpt

The Mount Union defense will be under a new reign, but with a familiar face.

Chris Kappas, a 2008 graduate of the University of Mount Union, is the team's new defensive coordinator.

"It's really a dream come true," he said. "Mount Union is the reason I'm where I am. The program means a lot to me."

Kappas may be in a new role, but he's no stranger to Mount Union football. He was a stand-out athlete at North Hills High School and went on to have a decorated college career as well.

He began his journey at West Liberty State College (now West Liberty University) his freshman year, but transferred to Mount Union, a dominant Division III football powerhouse that has 11 national championships.

At Mount Union, Kappas was a defensive back. He was a three-year letter-winner, an Academic All-OAC player and garnered Academic- District honors. He was also part of the 2005 and 2006 national championship teams.

He never abandoned the game after graduating from Mount Union. He returned to his alma mater and spent three years as an assistant coach for the Purple Raiders. He did, however, spend some time apart from the program in 2010 and 2011.

For two seasons, Kappas was an assistant coach for Bowling Green State University. There, he coached defensive line. Kappas believes that his past coaching experiences will play a huge role in his current position.

He said that the influence from former Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson and former defensive coordinator Mike Elko helped him tremendously.

"I didn't just learn the X's and O's, I learned the grind put into a Division I football program," Kappas said. "Sometimes here at Mount Union, we beat teams by a lot and it's just because we have better players, but at Bowling Green the wins are gratifying because it could be one [coaching] adjustment that's the difference in a game."

Clawson and Elko are now at Wake Forest, Clawson as head coach and Elko as defensive coordinator.

Kappas continues to be influenced by others. Mount Union head coach Vince Kehres has served as the team's defensive coordinator since 2005. …

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