ABILENE, Texas -
Ken Collums, the architect of Abilene Christian University's
record-setting offense since 2005, has been named the 19th head football
coach in ACU history.
ACU director of
athletics Jared Mosley made the announcement Friday, ending a week-long
search process that was set off on Dec. 16 when former head coach Chris
Thomsen resigned to take a job as an assistant
coach at Arizona State University.
Collums will be
formally introduced to the local media and ACU fans at a press
conference on Tuesday (Dec. 27) at 10:30 a.m. in the Teague Special
Events Center on the ACU campus.
While Mosley said
he talked to other coaches about the job, he said he kept coming back
to the Wildcats' current offensive coordinator as the man who was the
best fit for the job.
"I am extremely
excited to announce Ken Collums as the new ACU head football coach,"
Mosley said. "The past week has been extremely busy as I fielded calls
and interest from a highly competitive field
of applicants. We had a number of coaches with NFL, NCAA Division I,
NCAA Division II and NAIA experience, but at the end of the day I
believe we have the right man to lead our program already on campus."
Collums - who has
never been a head coach - just completed his seventh season as the
Wildcats' offensive coordinator and believes now is the right time to
step into the head coaches' role.
"I'm honored and
excited to be the head football coach at ACU," he said. "I have the
unique perspective to have been part of laying the foundation of this
program seven years ago, and I've been able to
see it grow and develop into what it is today. This is truly a special
place and a special situation, and I'm ready to be the head coach and
keep this program moving forward."
Collums - the
FootballScoop.com D2 Coordinator of the Year in 2010 - has presided over
and called the plays for some of the most dominant offensive units in
NCAA Division II history. Over the last seven
seasons, the Wildcats have averaged 468.4 yards of offense and 39 points
per game, while achieving near perfect balance in run-pass play
selection. In the 82 games the Wildcats have played since 2005, they've
run the ball 2,874 times and thrown it 2,857 times
while gaining 38,412 yards in those games.
re-joined the ACU coaching staff prior to the 2005 season, Collums'
offenses have ranked among the best in the nation. The Wildcats have
ranked in the top seven in NCAA Division II football in
total offense five times in the last seven years, including first in
2008, second in 2007, third in 2011 and fourth in 2006. The pass
offense has ranked third twice and sixth twice, and the rushing offense
has ranked as ninth in the nation (2008).
scoring offense under Collums has ranked first in both 2007 and 2008
(when ACU scored a combined 1,267 points in 25 games), second in 1010
and sixth in 2006. Under Thomsen and Collums, "ball
security" became one of the catch phrases surrounding the program, and
the Wildcats have turned the ball over only 122 times in seven seasons,
including just eight times in 2010 and nine times in 2006.
In his 82 games
as the Wildcats' offensive coordinator, ACU has scored between 30 and 39
points in 18 games, between 40-49 points 22 times, between 50-59 points
14 times, between 60-69 points three times,
70-79 points twice and hit 93 in a 2008 NCAA Division II playoff game
against West Texas A&M.
In 2007 and 208,
Collums called the plays for one of the greatest offensive units in the
history of college football. Under his guidance, ACU scored 1,267 points
(50.7 ppg) and racked up 13,772 yards of
total offense (550.9 ypg) in the 25 games covering those two seasons and
ACU went 21-4 in those games, won the Lone Star Conference championship
in 2008 and saw Bernard Scott win the Harlon Hill Award as the top
player in NCAA Division II football and Sam Collins
win the Gene Upshaw Award as the top lineman in NCAA Division II
In the greatest
offensive game in LSC and ACU history, Collums led ACU to 93 points in a
93-68 win over West Texas A&M in the second round of the 2008 NCAA
Division II playoffs. The Wildcats posted a school-record
810 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns on 13 of 15 possessions
on their way to a remarkable 25-point win over the Buffaloes. ACU's
offense set 29 NCAA Division II single-game, NCAA Division II playoff
single-game, LSC and ACU records in the record-setting
In 2007, ACU
became the first program in the history of NCAA football to boast a
3,500-yard passer (Billy Malone), 2,000-yard rusher (Bernard Scott) and
two 1,000-yard receivers (Johnny Knox and Jerale
Badon) in the same season. In fact, ACU's offense in 2008 set or tied or
was part of 78 NCAA, LSC or Wildcat single-game, season or career
"When I look back
at our offense over the last seven years, the No. 1 thing I'm proud of
is our consistency," Collums said. "I tell our guys all the time that
it doesn't matter what we do - whether we're
throwing it or running it - we have to protect the ball. And at times
over those seven years we have been the best at protecting the ball.
And that comes from total buy-in from players, and that makes me proud
because that lets me know that they're buying
into what we're telling them.
"All of that -
ALL of that - starts with one word, and that's 'trust'," Collums
continued. "It starts with the head coach trusting his staff to let
them do what needs to be done, and that funnels down
to the players. Chris (Thomsen) had trust in me and the rest of the
offensive staff to allow us to do what needed to be done. And once you
have that trust, you're able to call plays and feel good about them, no
matter the situation."
But for Collums
and Mosley, the football program is about more than wins and losses,
yards gained and points scored. When Thomsen was hired as the head
coach in 2005 and brought his brother-in-law (Collums)
with him as the offensive coordinator, the two charted an intentional
course that would lead them to the belief that turning out men of
character ranked as high on their priority list as did winning games.
A few years ago,
the football team began taking a weekend break during summer two-a-days
and either attending a PromiseKeepers event or, as it has done the last
three years, hosting its own weekend retreat
where nothing about football is mentioned, only how to make ACU's
players men of real character. And each Friday night during the season
the team meets to listen to speakers talk about real-life experiences
that have nothing to do with the game on the field.
believe in what we do here and the product we put out," Collums said.
"We win games and we take these young men and develop them and help them
grow into men of impact who will positively
influence their future families and, ultimately, society."
keeping that part of the program intact was as big a part of his
decision to name Collums the head coach as almost any other factor.
"Ken has been an
large part of the transformation of our football program since joining
us as offensive coordinator seven seasons ago," Mosley said. "He's not
only one of the greatest offensive minds in
all of college football, but he is committed to the way in which we
build and achieve success with the young men in our program.
part of our program and continuing to attract quality talent that
can thrive in the ACU environment is something that Ken is extremely
passionate about," he said. "As we talked over the
last week, it became evident that he is unquestionably the leader we
need to take our program and move it forward. We have some very
exciting and ambitious goals down the road and have confidence in Ken's
vision and abilities to guide the program in the coming
Collums was ACU's
quarterbacks / wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator from
1996-99 before returning to his alma mater, Central Arkansas, prior to
the 2000 season. While coaching at Central
Arkansas, Collums led the Bears to some of the greatest offensive
seasons in school history.
an offensive attack that averaged 300 yards passing per game in three of
his last four seasons at UCA. The Bears were the nation's top passing
team in 2001, averaging 373 yards per game.
In 2002 -
Collums' first year as offensive coordinator - the Bears were No. 8
nationally in points per game (37.5), No. 3 in passing yards per game
(310.5) and No. 9 in total offense (446 yards per game).
In 2004, UCA featured a balanced attack that racked up 38 points per
game (No. 14), 477.7 yards per game (No. 6), 269 passing yards per game
(No. 19) and 208.5 rushing yards per game (No. 26).
As a freshman
quarterback at Central Arkansas, Collums led the Bears to the 1991 NAIA
national championship. In four seasons as the starter, he directed his
team to a combined record of 30-8-3. Collums
graduated from Central Arkansas in 1995 with a bachelor of science in
kinesiology. He received his master's in kinesiology from Central
Arkansas in 1998.
A native of
Vernon, Collums played for the Vernon Lions of former coach Leo
Brittain, leading his team to a 29-2-1 record in his final two seasons
as the starting quarterback. Collums led Vernon to the
Class 3A state title in 1990.
Collums and his wife, Robyn, have two children, a daughter, Anna, and a son, Layne.