Director of Academic Success, Associate Head Coach
and Offensive Line Coach
Lou Stokes, who served for 18 seasons before taking a two-year break, returned to
the football program five seasons ago to work with the offensive line and serve as
the team's director of academic success and associate head coach. Stokes' coaching
experience includes being the head coach at Ottawa-Glandorf and Bucyrus High Schools
and a coordinator at Celina High School.
During his tenure at Bluffton which goes back to serving as an assistant for 15 years
under legendary Head Coach Carlin Carpenter, Stokes has pushed and prodded 20 all-conference
lineman, including 2013 senior Thomas Gingrich who recently became the first football
player in Bluffton history to be named Academic All-America.
His work as Director of Academic Success has also been crucial to Coach Veidt's football
program at Bluffton University. The Beavers have put together the highest team GPA
in Bluffton history while also filling up the Dean's List with record numbers. All
seniors in the program have graduated or are on track to graduate as a result of the
Academic Success Plan at Bluffton.
He was a standout offensive lineman for Bluffton in the early 1970's. In 1972 he helped
lead the Beavers to a conference championship and was named first team All-NAIA District
22. Stokes was inducted into the Bluffton University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010
for his work on the gridiron, both as a player and a coach. Among his many honors
away from the field, Coach Stokes is a Vietnam Veteran who earned a Purple Heart and Bronze
Coach Stokes lives in Ottawa with his wife, Melanie.