Dayton head football coach to retire after 48 years with the Flyers

Pictured is UD head football coach Rick Chamberlin. Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.

Max Cross | Sports Editor

University of Dayton head football coach Rick Chamberlin is stepping down after 48 years with the Flyer program as a player, assistant coach and head coach. 

“After graduation, most students have to leave the school that they love, but I was very lucky to get to stay for another 43 years at Dayton,” Chamberlin said in a Tuesday morning announcement. “But now I felt was the right time to let someone else have that opportunity to be the University of Dayton head football coach and really embrace what it means to be a Flyer!”

A four-year letterwinner (1975-78) for the Flyers, Chamberlin was named to the Football Coaches Association Small College All-America team. He was the third Dayton player to be named a First Team All-American, and he was the first defensive player to make the list.

He still holds the Dayton records for tackles in a career (419) and in a single season (152) in 1978.

A native of Springfield, Ohio and a 1975 graduate of Springfield North High School, Chamberlin was a three-time all-city selection and Springfield Player of the Year as a senior. In four years at Dayton, he was credited with 385 tackles and led the team as a junior (115 solo tackles) and as a senior (121). He was also the first two-time winner of the Chief Toscani Hitter Award and a member of UD’s first NCAA Division III Playoff team in 1978. Chamberlin was inducted into the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. 

Chamberlin joined then-head coach Mike Kelly’s staff in 1979 as a linebackers coach and has been with the program ever since, becoming the defensive coordinator and later head coach in 2008. He finished his coaching career with a 107-48 record in 14 seasons. He ranks third in UD History in career victories behind Mike Kelly (246) and Harry Baujan (124), while ranking second in all time winning percentage (.690) behind Kelly (.819). 

Chamberlin led the program to an 8-3 mark and a second place finish in the Pioneer Football League this fall. The Flyers became the ninth Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program to reach the 700 win milestone and extended their scoring streak to 500 games before losing 31-0 to Butler in week five. 

Dayton finished the season winning five of its last six games, a 23-34 defeat on the road to Davidson in the regular season finale, and ultimately missed out on the FCS playoffs by one point. 

Chamberlin made history this season when he won his 100th career game as a head coach. He became just the third Division I coach out of 429 with 100 career victories to play for a school, immediately join the coaching staff and then become the head coach without ever leaving the program. 

“The University of Dayton has been blessed for nearly five decades to have Rick Chamberlin on our campus,” Athletic Director Neil Sullivan said. “He embodies the vision of education by connecting athletics to learning, leadership and service. On behalf of everyone he impacted over his 48 years, we thank him and look forward to the Chamberlin family remaining part of our campus community.”

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