Coaching Staff

Aaron Hafner

Head Coach

  • 1997 graduate of Pittsburg State University (Kan.)
  • Second year as head coach
  • 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
  • Second 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
  • Daughter, Harper
  • Hometown: Nixa, Mo.

Caleb Barnes

Special Teams Coordinator

  • 2007 graduate of Alma College
  • Masters from William Penn University
  • Second 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.

Ike Hammerly

Strength and Conditioning/Defensive Line

  • 2004 graduate of Central College
  • Masters from William Penn University
  • 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: daughter, Addie; son, Briggs
  • Hometown: Newton, Iowa

Zach Ruot

Recruiting Coordinator/Assistant Strength and Conditioning/Wide Receivers

  • 2012 graduate of Illinois College
  • 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.

Scott Searcy

Defensive Line

    • 2003 graduate of Coe College
    • 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

    Blaine Barthel

    Running Backs

    • 2013 graduate of University of Minnesota Duluth
    • He is also the pitching coach for the Norse baseball team
    • While at UMD he was a two-year letter winner
    • Prior to attending UMD, he attended Itasca Community College where he was a two-year letter winner
    • Hometown: St. Michael, Minn.

    Blake Moen

    Student Coach/Defensive Backs

      • First year with the program
      • Major: Business management
      • Hometown: Decorah, Iowa

      NCAA

      IIAC