The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Graber to lead BC football program

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  • Bethel grad
    to succeed
    Bethel College didn’t have to look too far to find its next head football coach.
    Defensive coordinator Travis Graber was promoted to the job Friday.
    Graber succeeds Mike Moore, who resigned at the end of the season in November.
    “Travis Graber brings to the position nine years of experience with the Bethel College football program, and much more,” Bethel College interim President John Sheriff said. “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. I am very pleased that after an extensive search and interview process, he has been selected as Bethel’s head football coach.”
    He is the 19th head coach in the 95-year history of Bethel football. He inherits a team that finished 3-7 last year with four losses by a touchdown or less, inclding two losses coming with no time remaining on the clock.
    A 1997 graduate of Bethel, Graber holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with minors in ecomonics and mass communications. He also holds bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Kansas State and a master’s degree in sports administration from Wichita State.
    He has taught at Lawrence, Valley Center, McPherson and Newton. He began his coaching career as assistant varsity coach and defensive coordinator at Wamego High Schoo and Lawrence High School. He also served as defensive coordinator at Sports International’s Jay Novacek Camp.
    He began coaching at Bethel in 2001, working with linebackers. He later worked with running backs and defensive ends. He most recently served as coordinator of summer football camps, recruiting coordinator, defensive coordinator and coaching the defensive secondary.
    He was named interim head coach at the end of this season.
    His defense was rated third in the nation (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) in rushing yards allowed per game at 60.3. The team also ranked third in turnover margin per game at +1.7.
    Defensive lineman James McCartney was the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference defensive player of the year for the past two seasons and was a first-team All-American this year.
    Defensive back Brandon Kaufman was a first-team All-American in 2007, leading the nation in interceptions and second in passes defended.
    Graber also served as an assistant track coach, leading the strength and conditioning program. He also serves as the intramural coordinator.
    “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,” Bethel athletic director Diane Flickner said. “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.
    Page 2 of 2 - “He brings character values, integrity and expects excellence. 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.”
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