Catawba hires Tyler Haines of Shepherd University as new football coach
Published 4:40 pm Thursday, December 15, 2022
Catawba News Service
SALISBURY – Director of Athletics Michelle Caddigan announced Thursday that Tyler Haines has been named the 22nd head football coach at Catawba College.
Haines joins Catawba College after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Shepherd University during the 2022 season.
“After a thorough national search with a highly impressive and qualified candidate pool, we are pleased and excited to welcome Coach Haines to our Catawba family to lead our football program,” Caddigan said. “Tyler has a strong football pedigree, successful experience in rebuilding a Division II program and has most recently helped guide Shepherd to the Division II national semifinals. He has a contagious passion for excellence and commitment to building young men on and off the football field. Coach Haines has a well-balanced plan with a disciplined culture that will uphold the core values of Catawba College and elevate our program to one that our alumni, campus community, and the greater Salisbury and Rowan communities will be proud of.”
Haines helped guide Shepherd to a 13-2 record as the Rams won the Super Region One title game with a 48-13 victory over Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) on Dec. 3. With the victory, Shepherd advanced to the NCAA Division II Football Championship semifinals before falling on the road to Colorado School of Mines.
”I am glad Tyler is bringing his considerable experience and record of success to Catawba College,” said Catawba College President David P. Nelson. “I’m impressed by his passion for the development of student-athletes and their success both on and off the field. We welcome Coach Haines and his family to the Catawba family and the Rowan/Salisbury community.“
Shepherd’s 13 wins this season tied the school’s single-season mark. The Rams went 10-0 during the regular season to claim the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division title. Shepherd finished the regular season as the top-ranked team in Super Region One and ranked 11th in the country in the final regular season AFCA DII Coaches Poll. Bolstered by Haines’s high-scoring offense, Shepherd outscored its opponents 453-147 during the regular season. Following a loss to IUP in the PSAC Championship Game, the Rams won three playoff games to advance to the Division II national semifinals.
Shepherd ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense with 41.1 points per game, second in total offense (489.3 yards per game), second in first downs offense (354), third in completion percentage (.699) and seventh in passing offense (312.5 yards per game). Only six schools in all of DII had a higher winning percentage than the Rams (.867).
Under Haines’s tutelage, senior quarterback Tyson Bagent and senior offensive tackle Joey Fisher were named to the 2022 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Teams. Bagent gained first team honors while Fisher was a second team selection. Bagent, the PSAC Offensive Player of the Year, set the NCAA all-division record of career touchdown passes at 159 and the Division II completions record with 1,400 completed passes.
With only the Division II National Championship game left to play, Bagent currently sits atop the DII passing yards list with 4,580 yards. Bagent, who led the nation with 400 completions, also ranked second in passing touchdowns (41), second in completion percentage (.699), second in points responsible for (276), third in completions per game (26.67), fourth in passing yards per game (305.3), sixth in total offense (310.1) and 10th in passing efficiency (158.05). Junior running back Ronnie Brown finished the season with the highest total in all-purpose yards in all of DII football with 2,999 yards, the second-most rushing yards with 1,864 yards on the ground, the highest rushing yards per carry average (8.47), and ranked fourth in total points scored (150), fourth in total touchdowns (25), sixth in rushing touchdowns (19) and ninth in rushing yards per game (124.3).
Haines brings head coaching experience with him to Catawba. Haines had a five-year stint (2015-19) as the head coach at Division II Urbana University before the campus closed in 2020. He was the second-winningest coach in the program’s 35-year history, going 22-33 overall with the Blue Knights. His final team at Urbana finished the 2019 season 7-4 overall and tied for second in the Mountain East Conference with a 7-3 league record. After turning the Urbana program around, 17 of his 22 wins came in his final three seasons with the Blue Knights.
Prior to his 2022 season at Shepherd University, Haines served as the Defensive Coordinator at Baldwin Wallace University for two seasons. He was also the Special Teams Coordinator and Linebackers Coach with the Yellow Jackets.
Haines also had coaching stints at Division II IUP and Division III Adrian College. He was the Offensive Coordinator at IUP for two seasons and helped lead the team to a 9-2 record in 2013. Haines held several coaching roles at Adrian College from 2008-12, including serving as the Assistant Head Coach in 2011 and 2012 and as the Offensive Coordinator during his final three seasons with the Bulldogs.
Haines graduated from Defiance College in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated social studies secondary education. He was a three-year letterwinner at Defiance, a two-time team captain, and a two-time first team Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference selection at linebacker.
“My family and I are excited to join the Catawba College family,” expressed Coach Haines. “I would like to thank President Dr. David Nelson, Director of Athletics Michelle Caddigan, the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee for allowing me to be a part of such a special place. The rich tradition and alumni base are second to none. Our mission is to build a program that is successful in the classroom, in the community and on the field. We can’t wait to win for Catawba!”
Haines and his wife, Logan, have three daughters, Harper (11), Hadley (9) and Holland (7).
“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the search committee, members of the Board of Trustees Athletics Committee, and to Dr. Kurt Patberg of Athletics Staffing and Consultants for their time, dedication, and commitment to finding the best coach and person to lead our football program,” Caddigan added. “Their tireless efforts led us to this exciting time in Catawba College Athletics.”
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we would like to welcome Coach Haines and his family to our Catawba family,” expressed Bob Arnold ’71, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Catawba College. “We were unanimously impressed with Tyler and know he will develop our football student-athletes on and off the football field. We look forward to supporting Coach Haines as he leads our program to be competitive in the South Atlantic Conference, regionally, and nationally.”