If K.C. Keeler really is considering a return to Delaware, he’s not talking about it publicly.
That’s a hardly a surprise, though, considering that his current football team, Sam Houston State, is the top seed in the NCAA FCS Division I playoffs.
The Bearkats, who won the spring national title, host Incarnate Word on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs.
Keeler was asked about the Blue Hen rumors during a conference call with reporters.
“This is what I told the players after practice,” he said. “One of our secretaries said to me, ‘Hey Coach, how many team are left in the playoffs?’ I said, ‘There’s two.’
“She kind of looked at me, because she knew there was more. I said, ‘Sam Houston and Incarnate Word — because if we’re not successful this weekend, we collect the equipment.’ In the world we’re living in right now, there’s just no distractions. There’s just zero distractions.’
“My focus is one direction, and that’s this game this weekend. We’ve all worked too hard to get here to not just enjoy this moment and see if we can go win a national championship.”
Keeler’s name has become a hot topic on fan message boards of both Sam Houston State and Delaware after UD fired coach Danny Rocco on Monday.
Between 2003 and ‘10, Keeler coached the Hens to three national championship-game appearances, winning the title in ‘03.
At least part of the rationale for thinking Keeler might want to return to his alma mater is that Sam Houston State recently announced that it will be moving up to the FBS level in two years. Keeler has said in the past that he prefers the NCAA playoff system at the FCS level.
The situation is made a little more interesting by that fact that Keeler’s offensive coordinator, Ryan Carty, is a former Delaware quarterback. Carty is also considered a possible candidate for the Blue Hens job.
If the Bearkats reach the national championship game, their season won’t end until Jan. 8.
On the other hand, when current Delaware players Colby Reeder and Nolan Henderson put their names in the NCAA transfer portal this week, they both received offers from Sam Houston State.