Coaching Staff

Aaron Hafner

Head Coach

  • 1997 graduate of Pittsburg State University (Kan.)
  • Third year as head coach
  • Led Norse to first non-losing season since 2010 last season
  • 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
  • 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

  • 2010 graduate of Missouri State University
  • Third season as offensive coordinator
  • 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

  • First year as defensive coordinator
  • Joins Norse after serving the past 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

Ike Hammerly

Strength and Conditioning/Defensive Line

  • 2004 graduate of Central College
  • Masters from William Penn University
  • Third year with the program
  • Joined Norse staff, after serving as strength and conditioning coach at William Penn University, 2008-13
  • Served in this same capacity at Loras College, 2008
  • He was also an assistant strength and condition coach for Olympic Sports at Iowa State University, 2005-08
  • Wife, Liz: daughters, Addie, Violet; son, Briggs
  • Hometown: Newton, Iowa

Caleb Barnes

Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers

  • 2007 graduate of Alma College
  • Masters from William Penn University
  • Third season as special teams coordinator
  • 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.

Zach Ruot

Recruiting Coordinator/Assistant Strength and Conditioning/Wide Receivers

  • 2012 graduate of Illinois College
  • Second year with the program
  • Played cornerback at Illinois College
  • Joined Norse staff, after coaching at MacMurray College, 2012-13; strength and conditioning intern at University of Alabama Birmingham, spring 2013
  • Wide receivers coach at Jacksonville High School (Ill.), 2011
  • Hometown: Macon, Ill.

Jeff Wettach

Assistant Coach

  • 1979 graduate of Luther College
  • First 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
    • Mathematics instructor at Decorah High School
    • Third year as an assistant - defensive line
    • Four-year letter winner at Coe College on the defensive line
    • Wife, Kelly; daughters, Vivian, Audrey, and Tessa
    • Hometown: Waukon, Iowa

    Blake Moen

    Student Coach/Slot Backs

      • Second year as a student coach
      • Major: Business management
      • Hometown: Decorah, Iowa

      Micahel Kelchen

      Student Coach/Defensive Assistant

        • First year as a student coach
        • Major: Political Science
        • Hometown: Edgewood, Iowa
        NCAA

        IIAC