HEAD COACH Denny Dorrel
Contact info for Coach Dorrel
Office phone: 419-358-3636
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Bluffton University has named Denny Dorrel as its new head football coach.
Dorrel (rhymes with "coral"), the 13th head coach in Bluffton football history, replaces Tyson Veidt, who resigned after six seasons to become the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Toledo.
Dorrel comes to Bluffton from his alma mater, Hanover (Ind.) College. He has been the Panthers' defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator, as well as academic coordinator, for the last two years. He was previously assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at both Marietta (Ohio) College, from 2008-11, and Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., from 2004-07. He was also the linebackers coach at Thomas More.
"In his years as a coach, he has led teams and individual players to great successes in the classroom and on the field," said Phill Talavinia, Bluffton's athletics director. "Coach Dorrel impressed the search committee with his passion, while keeping focus on the student-athletes being students first, completing their educations and winning in both life and on the field."
Bluffton's new head coach inherits a team that has gone 14-10 in the HCAC, and 15-15 overall, over the last three years. The 2011 Beavers tied for second in the conference with a 5-3 record, and the 2012 team's overall mark of 6-4 was Bluffton's best since 2000.
Dorrel has played and coached against Bluffton, and when he sought more information about the university from others more familiar with it, "everything came back how great the people were," he said. Coming to campus for his interview confirmed that, he said, adding that when he drove into Bluffton, the community "felt like home."
Home, for Dorrel, is small-town southeastern Indiana, Brookville, where he grew up with his father's discipline and his mother's nurturing—traits he said he will bring to the Bluffton football program. "The main goal is to graduate players, period," he noted, but he also promised a program with players who are passionate about the game and will make a positive impact in the community as well. "Bluffton football is going to be all about family," the new coach said.
A 2001 Hanover graduate, with a bachelor's degree in communication, Dorrel was an all-conference football player and a team captain there. During his four football seasons, from 1997-2000, the Panthers compiled a 37-6 record and three Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) titles, including a co-championship with Bluffton in 2000.
Returning as a coach in 2012, he helped Hanover to conference records of 6-2 in 2012—when the Panthers tied for second in the HCAC—and 5-3 in 2013. He coached several defensive players to all-conference honors, including Jake Stilwell, who recorded a school-record 15 sacks last season and was a finalist for the inaugural Harris Award, presented to the top small-college defensive player in the nation.
Dorrel also coached Marietta and Thomas More players who earned all-conference recognition. In 2006, Thomas More's Mark Carlisle was the Presidents' Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and an American Football Coaches Association all-American. Dorrel's defense led the PAC in both rushing defense and total defense that season.
Dorrel and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of twins Dexter and Kate, who will be 3 years old as of Saturday (April 12), and Dylan, 1. They currently reside in Bluffton.