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MC names Mike Kershaw as new head football coach

Special to The Clinton Courier

Mike Kershaw (center) has been named the new Mississippi College head football coach. He is pictured with his wife, Kristi (left), and son, Karson (right).

Mike Kershaw (center) has been named the new Mississippi College head football coach. He is pictured with his wife, Kristi (left), and son, Karson (right).

Mississippi College has named Mike Kershaw as the new head football coach of the Choctaws. Kershaw, known for his successful tenure at Rice University, joins Mississippi College with a wealth of experience, a strong leadership acumen and a high-tempo offensive strategy to elevate the Choctaws’ football program.

Kershaw’s arrival follows a remarkable coaching stint at Rice University, where he helped to steer the Owls to commendable success, culminating in a 6-6 overall record in the 2023 season—a milestone achievement marking the team’s highest win total since 2014.

Expressing his enthusiasm about Kershaw’s appointment, MC Athletics Director Kenny Bizot remarked, “Mike Kershaw’s extensive coaching background and success in developing talent align perfectly with our vision for the football program.”

During his tenure at Rice, Kershaw played a pivotal role in leading the Owls to consecutive bowl berths, setting the stage for a postseason matchup against Texas State at the 2023 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl.

Under Kershaw’s guidance, the Owls’ offensive prowess shone brightly, averaging 30.25 points per game and demonstrating a balanced attack, amassing 376.8 yards per game—264.17 passing yards and 112.6 rushing yards. Quarterback JT Daniels concluded the regular season with impressive stats, showcasing his talent with 2,443 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

The Owls’ offense boasted a formidable receiving unit, led by Luke McCaffrey, with 963 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, showcasing the team’s depth with multiple receivers surpassing the 350-yard mark. Additionally, running back Dean Conners contributed significantly with 737 rushing yards, five touchdowns, and an impressive 6.7 yards per rush.
Kershaw’s coaching expertise extends beyond wide receivers, having coached quarterbacks, wide receivers and safeties at Delta State University. His tenure at DSU included guiding the top-ranked offense in Division II in 2004 and leading the 2006 squad to the NCAA Division II National Championship semi-finals.

Athletics Director Bizot says he was impressed by Coach Kershaw’s leadership, extensive knowledge of the Gulf South Conference and Division II, and strong connections in the state of Mississippi and the surrounding region.

“Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the Gulf South Conference and Division II. He is highly connected in our state and has consistently excelled in recruiting Mississippi and the broader region over the last several years,” said Bizot. “This sets a strong foundation for Mississippi College as he embarks on the recruiting trail. We believe his leadership will propel the team to new heights.

“We’re excited about the product he brings to the football field, and I have no doubt that our fans will be thrilled with the direction of the program,” continued Bizot. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact he will have on our athletes and the entire Mississippi College community.”

Echoing these sentiments, MC President Dr. Blake Thompson expressed, “We are excited to welcome Coach Kershaw to the Mississippi College family. His experience and coaching philosophy align perfectly with our athletic department, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact he will have on our players and the football program.”

Looking ahead, Coach Kershaw affirmed, “I am honored to join Mississippi College and lead the Choctaws football program. The rich history and tradition of this program are inspiring, and I am committed to building on that foundation. We will play a fast, physical and fun brand of football in all three phases of the game.

“I look forward to working with the talented athletes here and contributing to their success both on and off the field,” said Kershaw. “Mississippi College’s reputation for academic excellence is truly commendable, and I am thrilled to be a part of an institution that prioritizes top-notch education. Together, we will not only excel on the football field but also uphold the high standards of academic achievement that define Mississippi College.”

Kershaw’s diverse background, highlighted by his standout career as a quarterback for DSU and accomplishments in the insurance industry, enriches his coaching expertise. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in 2000 and his Master of Education in 2003 at Delta State University. Kershaw and his wife Kristi are proud parents to two children, Riley and Karson.

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