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Aaron Keen Named Interim Head Football Coach
Interim appointment is in effect for the remainder of the current school year.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 1-7-2013
Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato Athletic Director Kevin Buisman announced today that Aaron Keen has been named Interim Head Football Coach. The appointment, which takes effect Wednesday, Jan. 9, will continue through the remainder of the current school year while a national search is planned for a permanent head coach.
“I am confident of Coach Keen’s ability to direct our program and look forward to his continued leadership in this role,” said Buisman, who indicated he would have no further comment on this appointment.
Keen’s compensation for the remainder of this year will be $50,554.55, which is pro-rated from a salary equating to $101,109 annually.
Keen just completed his second season with the Minnesota State Mankato football staff and in addition to serving as offensive coordinator the past two seasons, served as the school's acting head coach for the 2012 season.
As acting head coach, Keen led the Mavericks to the best season in school history as Minnesota State Mankato finished 13-1, earning a berth in the NCAA Division II national semifinals. The Mavericks hosted three NCAA playoff games at Minnesota State Mankato’s Blakeslee Stadium after going undefeated in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action in capturing the 2012 league title with an 11-0 mark.
The 2012 squad saw three players earn Capital One Academic All-American honors as kicker Sam Brockshus and defensive end Chris Schaudt were named to the first team while offensive lineman Josh Meeker was a Second-Team selection. Additionally, Brockshus was honored as an American Football Coaches Association All-American.
Keen, who was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Coach of the Year and American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year, saw 12 student-athletes earn First, Second or Honorable Mention All-NSIC honors in 2012.
Offensively, the Mavericks finished the year with 5,670 yards of total offense, 3,300 of which were on the ground and 2,370 of which came via the air. The rushing offense total was the second-best single-season effort in school history, while the 2,175 passing yards was the tenth-best. On the defensive side of the ball, Minnesota State Mankato finished with a school record 103 tackles for a loss to compliment 22 interceptions, which was tied for the fifth-best single-season effort in school history.
Prior to coming to Minnesota State Mankato, Keen spent the previous three seasons as the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and receivers coach at Nebraska Omaha.
While at Nebraska-Omaha, Keen helped oversee a Maverick squad that went 19-15, scoring 30 or more points in 19 games. During his time at UNO, he helped lead the Mavericks to an NCAA appearance in 2008 and saw the team participate in the Kanza Bowl in 2009. In 2008, UNO ranked third in the NCAA in rushing offense and in 2009 the team was ranked 14th in the nation in total offense and set team records in passing and total offense. He also served as the quarterback coach for Zach Miller, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Prior to his stint in Omaha, Keen spent five seasons as a head coach at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill., and was an assistant coach at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., from 1994-2002. During his time at Illinois College, Keen was 23-27 as a head coach.
A Cheyenne., Wyo., native, Keen received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in 1994 and his master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1997.
While at Washington University, Keen was a four-year letterwinner in football and a three-year starter as quarterback. In 1991 and 1993 he was an all-conference pick and an honorable mention All-American selection.
Keen and his wife, Michelle, have two sons, Brandon and Cody, and a daughter, Addison.