After the Lords concluded their 2021 season with a win against Hiram College, bringing their record to 3-7 on the season, the team experienced multiple executive changes. Kenyon named Ian Good — who originally joined the coaching staff in 2017 as the linebackers’ coach and was the team’s defensive coordinator for the last two years — as Kenyon’s new head coach. The move came after James Rosenbury, head coach since 2019, resigned from his position in December.
Rosenbury’s resignation came as a surprise to many, as he led the team to an improved record of 6-14. Perhaps most notably, in his first game as Kenyon’s head coach, Rosenbury led the Lords to a 32-31 overtime victory against The Catholic University of America (D.C.). The win was the team’s first victory after 26 straight losses.
Without missing a beat after his promotion, Good wanted to instill a positive culture in the team. “Our mission within Kenyon Football is to enhance the lives of our student-athletes academically, athletically and in the community while preparing them for success after Kenyon,” Good wrote in an email to the Collegian.
To achieve this goal, the coaching staff has been emphasizing this positive culture during practices. “At practice, we have been building a new culture of family, toughness and grit,” said kick returner Zach Kim ’25. “We just have been focusing on ourselves and building a new family.”
Good’s hiring is not the only change that the team has undergone since last fall. Just months after Good took his new position, Corey Headley and Robert Brown were hired as the new offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively. Brown, having coached at many schools throughout Ohio, such as Oberlin College and Wilmington College, is not traveling far to take over as the Lords’ defensive coordinator. Headley also has a veteran resume, having coached at four different colleges, including Division I Gardner-Webb University (N.C.), where he served as the director of football operations.
Though they are both new to the program, the team has already felt their presence. “We’re connecting with them very well, and we’re on the same page. The transition has been seamless, and they’ve been great with everyone,” Kim said.
Running back Tobi Tojuola ’25 felt similarly. “If the chemistry between the players and coaches was like what we have now, it would have led to an even better season last season.”
In 2021, the team’s conference record was 3-6. While it was Kenyon’s best conference record since 2013, the team still believes there was room to grow. “In general, there is always room for improvement. We know we are better than 3-7, and we know that our record does not reflect [our performance],” Tojuola said. In order to make that philosophy a reality, the team is focused on practicing and getting motivated for the next season.
“Our goal will always be to maximize who we are in that season. We are not focused on winning a conference championship. We are focused on all of the steps that it takes to get there,” Good said. “If we can take care of business in all of those areas, we are going to put ourselves in a great position to win games this fall.”
The Lords will continue to train hard until the academic year concludes and throughout the summer. The team will have an opportunity to display the fruits of their labor when they open up their season in a home match against Bluffton University on Sept. 3. Their game against the Beavers will be the first with Good and the new coordinators at the helm.