SNU Football Coach Mike Cochran Announces Resignation
Cochran has decided to pursue a business opportunity after leading the Crimson Storm to two Central States Football League Championships in 2006 and 2011 and the program's first NAIA Championship Series in 2011.
“My time at SNU has been a blessing personally and to my family,” Cochran said. “I truly feel that I answered God's call to be the football coach at SNU and have enjoyed every moment. God has placed so many wonderful people in my life that I will miss very much. I cannot thank Bobby Martin enough for the leadership he has shown and the assistant coaches for their dedication. I want to thank President Gresham and MNU retired President Spindle for allowing me to be the head football coach at their universities and trusting me to develop the mind, body, and spirits of young men.”
Cochran ends his career at Southern Nazarene with 40 wins, two conference titles, an NAIA playoff appearance and two CSFL Coach of the Year awards. In his nine seasons at the helm, he coached 12 All-Americans (2 AFCA/NAIA, 5 VSN, 5 NCCAA), 74 all-conference selections, three CSFL Players of the Year, 91 academic all-conference honorees and 11 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
His teams tied the school record for wins twice, with seven, before setting the current school record for wins with nine in 2011. His two AFCA All-Americans were Darnell Whitaker in 2006 and Michael Hicks in 2011. He also coached Christo Lisika who was invited to the Cleveland Browns Rookie Camp in 2013. His 15 All-CSFL selections in 2011 are a school record and his 16 selections to the CSFL All-Academic team in 2008 and 2009 are also a school record. It was also in 2011 that SNU reached its highest ranking at No. 10 during the regular season and finished at No. 12, the highest postseason ranking in school history.
“I will miss the relationships that I have developed with young men and am thankful to have been the coach of hundreds of young men and involved in many aspects of their lives,” Cochran said. “I leave with an appreciation for everything this university stands for and all that God has in store for it.”
Cochran was instrumental in helping lead SNU through the difficult transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II from 2012 through the 2014 season. The program was also able to lay field turf down during the spring of 2015 and the SNU Championship Football Endowment also was created in 2015.
“What Mike Cochran brought to SNU goes well beyond the field of play,” SNU Director of Athletics Bobby Martin said. “Mike's ability to lead young men and help them grow in many aspects of their life is unmatched. We will miss insights and contributions to the athletics department as a whole and will miss seeing him on the sidelines. We know he will be successful in this next venture.”
Martin also stated that the position will be filled on an interim basis by the end of the week.