Joel Osborn was announced as the next head football coach for Benedictine College Thursday evening. 

Benedictine College Athletic Director Charlie Gartenmayer has announced the hiring of Joel Osborn to be the next head coach for the Raven Football program.

Coach Osborn takes over for Larry Wilcox, who announced his retirement from his post as head football coach on Nov. 17.

“It’s an incredible honor and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be the next head football coach at Benedictine College,” Coach Osborn said. “It’s humbling and I’m looking forward to getting started. The culture and values of Benedictine College align with me and my family and so I thought it was a really good match.”

“You have a program that has sustained success for a long time and that is a really good thing.To come in and embrace that, invest in the people that are there and bring in the best people we can and invest in them. It’s going to be all about the people that we have and making them the best I can make them.”

Coach Osborn comes to Benedictine from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., where he has served in a number of roles for the Bearcat Football program as a Recruiting Coordinator and Co-Offensive Coordinator as well as the position coach for wide receivers and running backs.

As a coach for the Bearcats, he has helped recruit and coach players that have been involved in winning three NCAA Div. II National Championships, four MIAA conference championships and a string of nine consecutive trips to the NCAA Div. II Playoffs.

“We are excited to welcome Joel and his family to our Benedictine family,” Gartenmayer said. “He brings a great deal of success with him to Raven Football. We believe he has the characteristics to build off the legacy of Coach Wilcox while also helping our football student-athletes continue to grow academically, spiritually and compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference and the NAIA.”

In two seasons as Co-Offensive Coordinator (2018, 2019), he helped guide the Bearcats to a record of 22-5 with two MIAA Co-Championships and two berths in the NCAA Div. II National Playoffs. His team averaged 41.9 points per game during the 2019 season, which ranked the Bearcats ninth in NCAA Div. II. In 2018, they averaged 36.6, which led the MIAA.

In the last seven years, the Bearcats have gone 86-10 overall and 68-6 in MIAA play. Since arriving at Northwest, Osborn has taken the offensive side of the ball to unparalleled heights, including a school record for points in a season in 2009 and breaking that record in 2011. In nine seasons on the sidelines, 14 wide receivers combined to earn 20 All-MIAA accolades and three All-America honors.

“My sincerest congratulations to Joel Osborn in being named the next head coach for Benedictine College football,” hall of fame head coach Larry Wilcox said. “I’m confident that he and our current coaching staff will continue to have success moving forward and I’m looking forward to seeing them succeed.”

Coach Osborn was blown away on his trip to campus by the Benedictine community, something that ultimately helped make his decision become a Raven.

“When I had a chance to visit the campus, everything looks really sharp and you can tell that the people at Benedictine take pride is everything that is there,” Coach Osborn said. “When I stepped on campus, the first thing I thought is that I can recruit to this. This place will impress families when they come here.

“I’ve known about Coach Wilcox for a long time and I’ve known Charlie Gartenmayer and some of the other guys on the staff for quite a while now. The people stood out to me. The longevity of the guys that are currently there has to tell you something about how great of a place it is to work at and be at.”

As a player for the Bearcats, Coach Osborn was named the 2008 MIAA Offensive Player of the Year along with a first-team All-MIAA selection. As a two-year starter at quarterback, he finished with an overall record of 16-3 and started in two NCAA Div. II National Championship game.

A native of Harlan, Iowa, Osborn earned his bachelor’s degree at Northwest in 2008 and received his master’s in 2011. Osborn and his wife, Audrey, a Northwest alum and former Bearcat track and field athlete, have three sons, Jack, Colin and Isaac.

Coach Osborn becomes the fifth head football coach in the modern era of Benedictine College football, which began in 1973 when the program was officially reinstated as a varsity sport at Benedictine.

“I’m looking forward to getting started,” Coach Osborn said. “Meeting all of the coaches, all of the players and developing relationships with them. Getting into the process of college football. From the academics, to the weight room, to the skill development, to the spiritual development, it’s all encompassing. I’m looking forward to the entire process.”

Coach Osborn will be formally introduced on Tuesday during a special Facebook live event. He will also be available for questions by media via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday as well. Details on those two events will be shared once they are set

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