Ken Karcher begins his sixth season as Warrior head football coach.
Prior to joining the ECCC staff, Karcher served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Michigan University.
His top priority remains the same as when he was announced as the college’s 21st head coach during a spring 2013 press conference: Develop a winning football program at East Central Community College!
While his overall record at ECCC is 18-30, the 2016 Warriors won the college’s first-ever Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges South Division. The Warriors also qualified for the state playoffs for the second straight year, marking the first time in 40 years that East Central participated in postseason play in consecutive years. The 2016 team finished 5-5 on the season, losing to Northwest Mississippi Community College 21-14 in the state playoffs.
Karcher’s 2015 team had the college’s best season in 16 years, with an overall record of 8-3. The Warriors won the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl and finished ranked No. 10 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 20 poll. ECCC advanced to the state playoffs before falling 20-14 to eventual national champion Northwest.
For his coaching efforts, Karcher was named the Mississippi Association of Coaches Community College Football Coach of the Year for both the 2016 and 2015 seasons.
Karcher led the Warriors to a 1-8 record his first year in 2013 while improving to 3-6 in the 2014 season in the toughest junior college football league in the nation.
Karcher served four seasons at Eastern Michigan, a member of the Mid-American Conference.
He is also a former head coach at Liberty University, where he succeeded EC alumnus Sam Rutigliano.
Karcher began his coaching career in 1991 at North Texas State University, where he coached quarterbacks and wide receivers.
He was hired the following season by Head Coach Galen Hall as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football.
After the World League was suspended, Karcher returned to the collegiate ranks as an assistant on Johnny Major’s coaching staff at the University of Pittsburgh. During his first season, he served as the Panthers’ pass offense coordinator and quarterbacks coach, sharing duties with run offensive coordinator Charlie Coe.
In March 1994, Majors put Karcher in sole charge of the offense, promoting him to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He held that position for the next three years, until Majors’ resignation at the end of the 1996 season.
In 1997, Karcher rejoined Galen Hall in the revamped World League, this time as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Rhein Fire, based in Dusseldorf, Germany.
He helped lead the Fire to their first winning season in the team’s three-year history. Rhein finished in first place with a 7-3 record but lost to the Barcelona Dragons in World Bowl IV. Under Karcher’s tutelage, quarterback T.J. Rubley earned All-World League honors and was named the league’s most valuable offensive player.
Karcher’s offense led the league in rushing yards (1555) and ranked second in total offense (3253). The offensive line set a league record by holding opponents to only one sack the entire regular season.
Karcher was chosen the sixth head football coach at Liberty University on February 18, 2000.
He served six seasons at Liberty, compiling an overall 21-46 record and 6-8 mark in conference play, including two straight second-place finishes.
Karcher continued his career in 2006 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fellowship Christian High School in Roswell, Ga., where he helped lead the Paladians to their first-ever winning season and a deep run in the Georgia state playoffs. He also served as the school’s athletic director and taught a ninth-grade Bible class at Fellowship Bible Church.
In 2008, Karcher was named quarterbacks coach at the University of Toledo. He helped lead the Rockets in an upset win over the Michigan Wolverines, although the squad finished 3-8.
Karcher was hired in January 2009 by head coach Ron English as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Michigan University and remained with the program until December 2012.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Karcher was a highly recruited quarterback at Shaler Area High School where he was selected a Parade All-American in 1980. He continued his athletic career at the University of Notre Dame where he was a backup to Blair Kiel. After two years he transferred to Tulane University, where he completed his collegiate playing career.
He later continued his career in the National Football League as a member of the Denver Broncos and played as a replacement player when other NFL players were on strike. The Broncos retained him for the rest of the year, and Karcher was a back-up for John Elway when the team played in Super Bowl XXII in 1988.
Karcher is married to the former Pauline Termini and they have four children, daughters Kelly and Katie, and sons Austin and Clay.