NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College Athletic Director Diane Flickner announced today that Travis Graber will be the new Threshers head football coach.
Graber has been on the Thresher coaching staff since 2001 and has been serving as interim head coach since Mike Moore’s resignation at the end of the 2009 season.
Graber is a 1997 graduate of Bethel College, where he majored in business administration with minors in economics and mass communication. He also has a B.S. in secondary education from Kansas State University and a master of education degree in sports administration from Wichita State University.
Graber has taught in public schools in Lawrence USD 497, Valley Center USD 262, McPherson USD 418 and Newton USD 373. He was assistant varsity coach and defensive coordinator at Wamego High School and Lawrence High School and has served as defensive coordinator for Sports International’s Jay Novacek Camp.
He began at Bethel in 2001 as an assistant football coach working with linebackers. He has served as assistant with running backs and with defensive ends, as well as coordinator of summer football camps and, most recently, the Thresher recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator (secondary).
One of Graber’s players, defensive end James McCartney, was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) for 2008 and 2009, as well as a member of the 2009 AFCA NAIA All-America Team.
Graber has also been an assistant track coach for Bethel, working on strength and conditioning, since 2005, and serves as the college’s intramurals coordinator.
“Travis Graber brings to the position nine years of experience with the Bethel College football program, and much more,” said Bethel College Interim President John Sheriff. “Travis sees football as part of the educational and character-building mission of the college and sees himself as assisting players to achieve high goals on and off the field.
“Travis has the respect and support of colleagues and students because of the kind of person and coach that he is,” Sheriff continued. “I am very pleased that after an extensive search and interview process, he has been selected as Bethel’s head football coach.”
“Travis brings a passion for teaching the game of football and for using the game as a means to positively impact the lives of young men,” said Flickner. “Travis has an extensive network of contacts with in-state and out-of-state high school and community college coaches that will serve him well in the recruitment of quality young men for the Bethel College football program.
“He brings character values, integrity and expects excellence,” she added. “He knows the conference and has a good understanding of Bethel. I am pleased to have Travis as Bethel’s head football coach and a colleague.”
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. In sports, Bethel competes in the KCAC and is part of the NAIA’s Region IV. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.