Knox College hires alum with D3 success to coach football

Knox College has found a new Head Football Coach in a Prairie Fire alum.

2008 graduate Aaron Willits was selected following a national search that included over 150 applicants according to Knox Athletic Director Daniella Irle.

Irle says that Willits has led a nationally ranked offense and consistently recruited “tremendous student athletes.” 

Willits spent nine years as Offensive Coordinator at Concordia College (Minnesota), with the team earning a 62-28 record in his tenure. He also coached 21 All-Conference performers, four All-Region players, and one All-American. Former Cobber Brandon Zylstra, a 2015 All-MIAC performer, is now a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers.

Athletic Director Irle also says she was impressed with Willts’ well-rounded knowledge of the game and overall has a “clear and complete vision for the future of Prairie Fire football”.

Willit says returning to Knox is coming full circle, saying he now gets to “invest in a football program and College that invested in me.”

Willits began his coaching career at Knox following graduation. He served as Recruiting Coordinator for two years and coached the offensive line his first year and running backs in his second year.

In his playing career for Knox Willits earned All Conference honors in his senior year, was voted the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player in 2007. He rushed for 1,626 yards for his college career, scored 11 touchdowns, and carried the ball 377 times.

The 2021 Knox College football team boasts one of the largest recruiting classes in recent history.