JU extends the contract of Kerwin Bell through 2015
Three years ago, the JU football program had just one winning season in its history.

With the arrival of Kerwin Bell as head coach, the fortunes of JU’s gridiron teams have changed and with that, Bell has been rewarded with a four-year contract extension through 2015.

“Kerwin has transformed our football program like we thought he could and we are glad to workout a new contract as we continue to build this program,” said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. “We want to make sure we do all that we can to keep our successful coaches at JU and provide them the resources they need to succeed.”

Bell has a 19-16 record in three seasons at JU, having led the Dolphins to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in program history, including the 2008 Pioneer Football League title. In the last two years, JU has posted a 13-3 record in PFL play.

“We’ve come a long way, but we’ve also got a long way to go,” Bell said. “Our goal is to become one of the top teams in the country. I want to thank President Romesburg and Alan Verlander for having the faith in me and our staff. We will continue to build this program and providing the vision to take this program to the next level.”

After a 3-8 record in his first season, the Dolphins have the largest turnaround in the country – running up a 9-4 record en route to the PFL title, the first in the program’s history.

This past season, JU was in the thick of the PFL title race and was the only team to beat eventual champion Butler. The Dolphins finished with a 6-2 record in league play, tied for third place behind co-champs Butler and Dayton.

Along with the wins on the field, the record book is being rewritten. The all-time record for rushing yards and passing yards was broken this past year, with the all-time receiving yards record being set in 2008.

PFL APPLIES FOR AUTOMATIC BID TO THE PLAYOFFS: With the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs expanding to 20 teams for the 2010 season, the Pioneer Football League has applied for an automatic bid to the playoffs.

“This is a major move for our conference and shows that we are committed to play against the top teams in the country,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “This will be a rewarding opportunity for our conference champion to compete on a national stage.”

The Dolphins, PFL champs in 2008, played the Northeast Conference champions Albany in the Gridiron Classic. With the NEC champion getting a bid to the playoffs in 2010, the Gridiron Classic will be extinct.

“This is such a positive step for our conference and I believe that it will give our member schools a great opportunity to gain unprecedented exposure,” said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. “As we looked at our options for the postseason, this will give the student-athletes of the conference champion an enhanced postseason experience.”