Upper Iowa names new football coach - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Upper Iowa names new football coach

FAYETTE - Upper Iowa University President Dr. Alan Walker and Interim Director of Athletics Kent McElvania announced today that Tom Shea will be the 15th Head Coach of the Peacock Football Program. Shea, a former defensive coordinator at Upper Iowa (2004-2007), will begin his duties immediately. Shea spent the 2007 and 2008 football seasons as the Head Football Coach of Dakota State University, an NAIA institution in Madison, South Dakota.

"We are delighted and excited to have Coach Shea return to Upper Iowa University as our Head Football Coach," stated President Walker. "He brings a remarkably successful career to Fayette and we are confident that he has the skills, ability, and confidence to build on the foundations the program has built over the first three years in the Northern Sun Conference. Upper Iowa is proud to be a member of the high-powered Northern Sun Conference. In just the last three years, the NSIC has boasted National Champions in volleyball, men's basketball, and most recently, football. Not to mention how strong the wrestling programs are on the national level. With Coach Shea's leadership, we will be well-suited to compete in the Northern Sun Conference in the years to come."

The Peacock football program will be the sixth program that Shea has led as the head football coach. The most notable of his years came in 1990 at Peru State College where he led the team as the Head Coach and Athletic Director to the NAIA Division II National Title. Shea was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year after the title run.

"The search committee was guided by the question: Who at this time, can provide the dynamic leadership required to build the Upper Iowa football team for long-term success," said McElvania. "The committee developed a matrix of nine desired qualities based on past successful UIU head coaches, particularly the storied Doc Dorman and Eb Eischeid, who between them successfully guided the UIU football teams for 59 years. Coach Shea brings the desired dynamic leadership both on and off the field. He has demonstrated success in graduating his student-athletes and teaching competitive greatness, defined as being at your best when your best is needed, through hard work, persistence and fearlessness."

Shea began his collegiate coaching career at Dakota State College in 1979 as the defensive coordinator. He switched to the offensive side of the ball in 1980 as the offensive coordinator before taking over as the Head Coach and Athletic Director from 1981-1983.

In 1985, Shea moved on to Peru State where he began as the offensive line coach. After just one year, he was promoted and became the Head Coach posting a 35-17-1 record over the following five seasons. PSC won two conference titles and made the NAIA National Playoffs twice winning the title in 1990. The four squads from 1987 to 1990 were all ranked nationally during the season.

After his success at Peru State, Shea moved north to the University of Mary. Shea was the head football coach at U-Mary from 1991-1997. The Marauders won two conference titles and were ranked nationally from 1991-1996. U-Mary qualified for the NAIA National Playoffs three times under Shea; the team reached the quarterfinals in 1993 and the championship semifinals in 1995. Shea led the Marauders to a 46-15-1 record in six seasons.

Shea was the Defensive and Recruiting Coordinator for the University of Central Arkansas for the 1997 and 1998 seasons and the Head Coach at William Penn University in 1999, before coming to Fayette and the Peacock football program for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons. In his 18 years as a head coach, Shea has posted a 105-76-3 record and reestablished winning programs at three universities.

After graduating from Sparta High School in Sparta, Wisconsin, Shea earned a B.S. in Physical Education from Dakota State College and his M.S. in Physical Education from South Dakota State University.

Upper Iowa University finished the 2008 season with a 2-9 record overall and a 2-8 mark, tied for 11th, in their third season in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The team was picked fourteenth in the NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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