WAYNE – After completing his 15th season at the helm with the Wayne State College football team, Dan McLaughlin has announced his retirement.
According to a release from the Wayne State Athletics office Wednesday evening, coach Dan McLaughlin will retire Wayne State as the school’s all-time wins leader, posting a 79-88 record overall (.473) and 75-77 mark (.493) in NSIC games.
Director of Athletics Mike Powicki stated the search for McLaughlin’s replacement will begin immediately.
Inheriting a struggling program that had nine straight losing seasons when he became head coach in 2005, McLaughlin built Wayne State into a constant winner producing six straight winning seasons from 2007-12 (a feat never accomplished in 104 years of the program). McLaughlin coached the school’s only NCAA Division II playoff football trip in 2008 and a berth in the Mineral Water Bowl in 2007.
McLaughlin had seven winning seasons on the Wildcat sidelines, highlighted by his 2008 team that posted a 9-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time before falling 23-17 at Chadron State. The nine wins that season tied a school record, earning McLaughlin NSIC Coach of the Year and AFCA Division II Region 5 Coach of the Year honors. The 2008 team also earned a share of the NSIC South Division title with an 8-2 league mark and finished the season ranked 22nd in the AFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll.
His 2007 team recorded a 7-5 record and earned a berth in the Mineral Water Bowl, just the second bowl appearance in school history.
Wayne State’s most recent winning season was a 6-5 mark in 2017.
McLaughlin was the second-longest tenured coach in the NSIC (trailing only Tom Sawyer’s 24 years at Winona State) and the longest tenured coach ever at Wayne State College. He coached 10 All-Americans and three Academic All-Americans along with 125 All-Northern Sun Conference selections during his time at Wayne State College.
Prior to arriving at Wayne State in 2005, McLaughlin served as offensive coordinator at Minnesota State and was a graduate assistant coach at Nebraska under Frank Solich. Before moving to the college ranks, McLaughlin was a successful high school coach from the mid 1980’s-2002 with a 110-59 record in Nebraska winning state titles at three different schools – Broken Bow in 1987, Norfolk in 1994 and Millard West in 2001.
Wayne State finished the 2019 season with a 4-7 overall record and 2-5 mark in the NSIC South Division.