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Mount Union cruises to 12th NCAA championship

2015 Division III Football

Mount Union poses with its 12th Division III football national championship trophy. DON PETERSEN / NCAA PHOTOS

The Results

CHAMPIONSHIP

Mount Union 49, St. Thomas (Minnesota) 35

SEMIFINALS

Mount Union 36, Wisconsin-Whitewater 6

St. Thomas (Minnesota) 38, Linfield 17

ELITE 90 HONEREE

Hank Spencer, Mount Union

Vince Kehres won two NCAA Division III football championships as a player at the University of Mount Union, eight more as an assistant coach there and now one as the team’s head coach.

The Purple Raiders, who were ranked No. 1 in most preseason publications, gave Kehres his first title since taking over the program three years ago with a 49-35 victory over the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Dec. 18, in Salem, Virginia. The win marked an NCAA-record 12th national football title for Mount Union.

Kehres, a former defensive end for the Purple Raiders (1994-97), is the son of legendary coach Larry Kehres, who guided the program to 11 NCAA titles from 1993-2012. The younger Kehres has maintained the family tradition, going 43-2 in his first three seasons at his alma mater.

“It means a lot,” Kehres told NCAA.com after the win. “I had a lot of great mentors to get to this point. I had a lot of great players and a lot of great coaches that contributed to this, so this feels great for a lot of us.”