Sewanee has turned to a man with NCAA Division III roots and experience at the top level of Division I to be its 31st head football coach. He also was a star quarterback who has made his coaching mark on defense.
Athletic director Mark Webb announced Friday that Travis Rundle has been hired to direct the Division III Tigers.
Rundle was an all-conference and championship quarterback in Division III, at Albion College in Michigan, and has spent the last six years as defensive coordinator at another D-III school, Illinois Wesleyan. Before that he was on staff at Penn State for seven years, the last four assisting with linebackers and the secondary.
Illinois Wesleyan ranked first nationally in total defense and fourth-down defense last season and was among the leaders in six other defensive categories, according to Sewanee's announcement release. The Titans went 7-2, 6-2 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, and four of Rundle's defensive players were all-conference.
"Travis was selected from a truly outstanding pool of finalists," Webb said in the release. "In addition to his highly successful coaching experience at Illinois Wesleyan, he distinguished himself with his clear vision for our program and his abiding commitment to Division III athletics."
Rundle played for his father at Albion and was part of three Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships. He was All-MIAA twice and set school single-season passing records that still stand, including 183 completions in 329 attempts. He set another Albion record with six touchdown passes in a game in 2000.
He served one year as a graduate assistant at Albion, helping with linebackers and recruiting, and then spent a season working with wide receivers at St. Mary's in California. After his time at Penn State, working for the legendary Joe Paterno, he became the defensive coordinator and football recruiting coordinator at Illinois Wesleyan in March 2011.
The following season was when the Jerry Sandusky scandal led to Paterno's firing as coach.
At Sewanee, Rundle follows Tommy Laurendine, who resigned after going 15-45 in six seasons.
"My family and I would like to thank University of the South Vice Chancellor John McCardell and Mark Webb for this opportunity," Rundle said in Friday's release. "We are honored to be a part of Sewanee with its strong academic reputation and historically rich football program."
Rundle and his wife, Sarah, have two sons, Tyler and Grant, and a daughter, Rachel.
Members of the community can meet him in an informal setting Monday from 9 to 10 a.m. CDT at the BlueChair Tavern in Sewanee, Tenn.
Contact Ron Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6291.
Updated March 10 at 9:45 p.m. with additional information.