Coaching Staff

Aaron Hafner

Head Coach

  • 1997 graduate of Pittsburg State University (Kan.)
  • Coach Hafner begins his fourth year as head coach
  • Led Norse to first non-losing season since 2010 during his second year at the helm
  • His offensive attack set a single season school record of 3,409 yards and also tied the single game rushing record with 579 vs. Grinnell during the 2014 campaign
  • Took over the Norse program after serving seven years as the offensive coordinator at William Penn University (Iowa)
  • During his tenure at William Penn, the Statesmen captured two Mid-States Conference championships, and made the NAIA National Playoffs
  • His offensive teams were ranked in the top-five in the nation from 2008-12 and set the NAIA single season rushing record with 4,476 yards in 2010
  • Prior to joining the William Penn staff, he was the head coach at Republic High School (Mo.), 2003-06; head coach at Francis Howell Central High School (Mo.), 2002; and was the defensive coordinator at Webb City High School (Mo.), 1998-2001
  • Last year, Luther led the Iowa Conference averaging 273 yards rushing per game
  • Wife, Katy; daughters, Allie and Andie

Payton Haynes

Offensive Coordinator

  • Payton begins his fourth season as offensive coordinator
  • 2010 graduate of Missouri State University
  • The past two years the Norse offense has averaged over 310 yards per game
  • Played football at Missouri Southern University and William Penn University
  • Prior to joining Norse staff, he was the running backs and slots coach at William Penn University, 2001-12
  • Quarterbacks and running backs coach at Williard High School (Mo.), 2008-09
  • Quaterbacks and wide receivers coach at Reeds Springs High School (Mo.), 2007
  • Wife Jenna; daughter, Harper; son Taysom
  • Hometown: Nixa, Mo.

Caleb Padilla

Defensive Coordinator

  • 2016 will be Caleb's second year as defensive coordinator
  • Joined the Norse after serving for two years as defensive coordinator at NCAA II Notre Dame College, South Euclid, Ohio
  • While at Notre Dame College his defensive unit had the second biggest turnaround in the NCAA II improving scoring defense by 13 points per game. His defensive unit also helped lead the school to its first winning season in school history
  • Served as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Albion College (Mich.) (2010-12) where the defense redused its rushing yards per game by 90 and lowered it scoring defense to 19 points a game
  • Began his collegiate coaching career as the outside linebackers coach at Colorado School of Mines (2008-09)
  • Spent two seasons as the varsity defensive backs coach and junior varsity defensive coordinator at Rangeview High School, Aurora, Colo.
  • Played on four conference championship football teams while at Winona State Universit (Minn.) from 2001-05
  • Hometown: West Liberty, Iowa
  • Wife, Kristin

Raven Battle

Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Line

  • First year as an assistant coach
  • 2001 graduate of Idaho State University
  • Prior to joining Luther staff he coached at Edinbor University of Pennsylvania (2013-16), University of Minnesota-Morris (2005-13), Western Washington University (2003-05) and at Idaho State University (2001-03)
  • Four-year letter winner at Idaho State where he earned second team all-Big Sky Conference honors at linebacker
  • Wife, Nikki; children, Olivia, Raven Jr., Tori and Trenton
  • Hometown: Miami, Florida

Caleb Barnes

Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers

  • 2016 will be Caleb's fourth year with the Norse and fourth year as special teams coordinator
  • 2007 graduate of Alma College
  • Masters from William Penn University
  • Played football at Grand Valley State and Alma College
  • Prior to joining Norse staff, he was the tight ends coach at William Penn University
  • He has also coached at Illinois College and Adrian College
  • Hometown: Sheridan, Mich.

Jeff Wettach

Assistant Coach

  • 1979 graduate of Luther College
  • 2016 will be coach Wettach's second season as defensive backs coach for Coach Hafner
  • From 1985-96 served as an assistant football coach at Luther in this same capacity
  • He is also the head men's and women's track and field coach, a position he has held for the past 30 years, nine as the head coach for both teams
  • He was a member of Luther's 1978 conference championship football team
  • Selected first team all-conference as a defensive back
  • Wife, Barb; daughters Lauren, Kelsey, Paige and  Molly; son Sam
  • Hometown: Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Scott Searcy

Defensive Line

    • 2003 graduate of Coe College
    • 2016 will be coach Searcy's fourth year on the Norse staff - coaches the defensive line
    • Mathematics instructor at Decorah High School
    • Four-year letter winner at Coe College on the defensive line
    • Wife, Kelly; daughters, Vivian, Audrey, and Tessa
    • Hometown: Waukon, Iowa

    Del Ciucci

    Wide Receivers / Assistant Strength Coach

    • First year as wide receivers coach
    • Joins Norse after spending the last 5 months as a football strength and conditioning intern at the University of Iowa
    • Before joining the Hawkeye staff, Ciucci coached running backs/fullbacks at Bemidji State University (BSU) (2014-16) as a graduate assistant coach
    • Also worked with tight ends while at BSU
    • Served as the on-campus recruiting coordinator and strength assistant while at BSU
    • Served as an intern strength and conditioning coach with Sanford Power in a private setting, working primarily with high school athletes while in Bemidji (2015)
    • Played football at Luther College at the wide receiver, cornerback, and slot back positions (2010-2014) where he was a three-year letter winner
    • Graduated with his master’s degree in business administration from Bemidji State University with an emphasis in management
    • Graduated with his bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Luther College
    • Hometown: Palmer, Alaska