12.21.12 FOOTBALL: Walsh Names Ted Karras Jr., Football Coach
Walsh University Director of Athletics Dale Howard has announced that Ted Karras Jr. is the new head football coach at Walsh. Karras (48-23), who spent the last seven seasons at Marian University, and recently won the NAIA National Championship, replaces Jim Dennison who resigned at the end of the 2012 season. Dennison started the Cavs’ program in 1995 and served as the only coach.
“In the short time that I have come to know Coach Karras, I am convinced that his enthusiasm and passion for the development of student-athletes through the medium of football, coupled with his knowledge and proven successful track record, make him the perfect candidate to build upon the proud legacy of football that Jim Dennison developed during his 18 years as head coach”, exclaimed Howard. “I am convinced that Ted will take seriously his responsibility to help develop young men who will become leaders in service to others as he leads the football program to the next level. I look forward to working with him to that end.”
“I am excited to lead the Walsh Football Program to the next level in NCAA ll and in the GLIAC South,” said Karras.
The 2012 season was Karras’ fifth winning season in six years, as his Knights earned the program's first NAIA National Championship. Marian won its second consecutive Mid-States Football Association Mideast League championship and finished the regular season 8-1 and 12-1 overall. Marian defeated Morningside College 30-27 in overtime in the title game. His 2012 team placed 26 players on the All-MSFA Team, with eight earning first team accolades. Karras earned AFCA NAIA Region ll Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season. The Knights spent five weeks as the top ranked team in the NAIA, and were ranked in the top ten the entire season. In the final poll released December 18, the Knights were No. 1.
In 2011, Karras directed Marian to its first MSFA Mideast League championship after its first perfect 10-0 regular season and was named MSFA Mideast Coach of the Year. Marian started the season ranked sixth and spent five weeks, until the national semifinals, as the nation's No. 1-ranked team. The team finished the season 12-1 and closed the year as the third-ranked team in the NAIA.
At Marian, 51 Knights earned All-MSFA Mideast League honors, a school record, with 22 of those players earning first team honors. He also earned American Football Monthly NAIA National Coach of the Year honors. Assistant Coach Martin Mathis was named MSFA Mideast League Assistant Coach of the Year as well. He also coached the 2011 MSFA MEL Player of the Year in Dustin Craig, who also was named the program's second AFCA-NAIA First Team All-American.
In 2010, Marian produced the program's third straight winning season, earned their first-ever 10-win season, and garnered their first-ever top 10 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches' Poll. The culmination of the greatest season in the program's history came on November 14, 2010 when Marian University was selected to play in the NAIA Football Championship Series for the first time in school history. The Knights, ranked 11th at the time, defeated eighth-ranked Ottawa University by a 35-20 score to earn their first-ever postseason victory. MU fell to eventual national champion Carroll College after a trip to the mountains in Helena, Montana. They finished the 2010-11 year as the sixth-ranked team in the nation.
The 2009 season was the program's second straight winning season as it earned a 6-5 record. Marian defeated the University of St. Francis (Ill.) on a last-second field goal to earn its first-ever season-opening win. The Knights also opened a new stadium, St. Vincent Health Field, with a 34-16 win over Grand View, which finished the season ranked in the top 25. The season culminated with the program's first-ever AFCA-NAIA All-America selection in the graduated Chris White.
Karras guided the Knights to their first-ever winning season at 7-4 in just the second season of the programs existence. The Knights also earned votes in the NAIA Top 25 for the first time and defeated 25th-ranked McKendree, 28-21, on the road for their first-ever road win and their first-ever win over a ranked opponent.
The inaugural season yielded the team's first-ever victory, an MSFA All-Mideast second team selection, an MSFA All-Academic team selection, and four MSFA All-Mideast honorable mentions. The Knights finished 1-9 in their first-ever season.
A northwest Indiana native, Karras came to Marian University after three seasons at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Under his tutelage, the Fighting Engineer program was revitalized with shocking victories over DePauw University, Washington University and the program's first victory at Rhodes College in Memphis since 1971. He posted a pair of .500 (5-5) records in his first season, the first since 1995, and final season at the helm.
During his time at RHIT, his players excelled in both football and academics. He had two Academic All-Americans, 13 All-Conference performers, and the first All-American defensive lineman in school history. He also coached the SCAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. Karras went 14-16 with RHIT, the best three-year record of any coach, and was named one of the "10 hottest coaches in division III" by American Football Monthly.
For four years prior to RHIT, Karras was the offensive coordinator at MSFA foe St. Xavier University, and was part of an MSFA Midwest League championship and NAIA playoff-qualifier in 2002.
Prior to SXU, Karras served as the head coach at Andrean High School in Gary, Ind., from 1996-98. Karras rebuilt a program that had never won a regional championship. During his tenure, Andrean won three sectional and two regional championships and earned a berth in the state championship game. Karras amassed a 30-10 overall record and was named the Indiana Football Coaches' Association Regional Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998.
He also served as defensive line coach at St. Francis College from 1995-96 and defensive coordinator at Lake Forest College from 1993-95. Karras also served as a defensive line graduate assistant at Northern Illinois University in 1992-93 and as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota from 1991-92. His coaching experience began as a defensive line coach for Kankakee Valley High School in 1989.
Karras was a four-year starter at Northwestern University from 1983-87 and earned his bachelor of science from Northwestern in 1987. His playing career continued as he signed with the Washington Redskins as a free agent and spent one season with the Redskins.
Coach Karras' bloodline is football-rich; his father, Ted Sr., played for the George Halas-led Chicago Bears from 1960-64. His uncle, the late Alex Karras, played 13 seasons with the Detroit Lions (1958-71) and earned All-Big Ten honors at the University of Iowa.
Karras and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Taylor, a junior honors student at Indianapolis Cathedral, and Teddy, who is a redshirt freshman offensive lineman at the University of Illinois. Teddy is the seventh member of the Karras family to play football in the Big Ten Conference.
Career Head Coaching Record of Ted Karras Jr.
Year Record Postseason
2006 N/A Startup year at MU
2010 10-3 NAIA FCS Quarterfinals
2011 12-1 MSFA MEL Champions; NAIA FCS Semifinals
2012 12-1 NAIA National Champions
Totals 62-39 (.614) NAIA FCS Record: 7-2