Joe Thompson, Luther College director of intercollegiate athletics, has named Aaron Hafner the college’s new head football coach.
Hafner becomes the 13th head coach in Luther's 94-year history of varsity football. He succeeds Mike Durnin, who served as head football coach for five years and resigned in November.
"We are proud to announce that Aaron will assume leadership of the Luther College football program," Thompson said. "He has a rich and extensive background in coaching football at the high school and college levels. His teams have experienced great success on the field, but more importantly, he has been an outstanding mentor for young men and has been instrumental in providing positive experiences for those under his tutelage. We are excited to welcome Aaron and his family into the Decorah community."
Hafner takes over the Norse program after serving as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach the past seven years at William Penn University.
During his tenure at William Penn University, the Statesmen won Midwest League championships in 2010 and 2012, compiled a record of 28-6 the past three years, and qualified for the NAIA National tournament in 2012. Hafner's offense was ranked in the top-five nationally from 2008-12, setting the single-season rushing record of 4,476 yards in 2010.
Hafner was also one of three coaches who shared Midwest League Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and was named the sole recipient of this honor in 2010.
Prior to William Penn University, he served as head football coach at Republic High School, Republic, Mo., (2003-2006); was head coach for one year at Francis Howell Central High School, St. Peters, Mo. (2002-2003); and was the defensive coordinator at Webb City High School, Webb City, Mo., (1998-2001), where he helped the team to a Class 4A state championship in 2000.
While at Republic High, he was named Central Ozarks Conference Coach of the Year after leading the program to a conference title in 2004. His teams also made back-to-back state playoff appearances in 2004 and 2005.
Hafner earned a bachelor's degree in math with an emphasis in education from Pittsburg (Kan.) State in 1997. He and his wife Katy have two daughters, Allie, age 12, and Andie, age 8.
"My family and I are extremely excited about the opportunity to join the Decorah community as the head football coach at Luther College. Dr. Thompson, President Torgerson and the hiring committee presented a clear vision for the future of Luther football. I feel very blessed they chose me to lead the Norse football program for years to come.
"We will put together a coaching staff that will work toward excelling on the football field while achieving continued success academically. Our first task is to add quality student-athletes to this year's recruiting class, to add to what we feel is a great group of returning players, in an attempt to compete at a high level for 2013 and on into the future."
Luther football fans will have an opportunity to meet and greet Coach Hafner at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1, in the Turf Room, located in the lower corridor of the Regents Center, across from the varsity locker rooms.