Clarion University Names East Brady Native Head FB Coach

weibelCLARION, Pa.-Chris Weibel, 40, a native of East Brady, Pa., former All-America qb at Clarion, Pro QB, an assistant coach for the Golden Eagles for 11 seasons, offensive coordinator the last 2 years and Interim Head Coach since December 15, was named Head Football Coach at Clarion University today by A.D. Dave Katis following a nationwide search.

Weibel, who becomes the 12th head coach at Clarion since 1926, replaces Jay Foster who retired on December 2 after nine seasons.

“We are excited to introduce Chris Weibel today as our new head football coach,” said Katis. “Chris is a talented and dedicated coach who has a great vision for the future of this football program. He relayed that vision during the process, along with demonstrating all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach. He knows football, is a strong recruiter, has a passion for Clarion University, the football program and our alumni, plus is dedicated to retaining and graduating our student athletes. I also believe his hiring will help build on the mission of the Athletic Task Force plan that was accepted by President Whitney in November. That plan is taking shape and we are moving forward.” ”

Said Clarion University President Karen Whitney, “I am excited to welcome Chris Weibel as our new head football coach at Clarion and believe he will begin to build a program that restores our winning heritage. I believe a successful football program is a key ingredient in building our new era of excellence in intercollegiate athletics. Its success, as well as the success of other Task Force targeted sports programs, are key to increasing student, university and community engagement, alumni support and the overall success of Clarion University.”

“I’m excited and really proud to be the next head football coach at Clarion,” said Weibel. “This is a true dream come true for me, a person that loves this university and its proud football tradition. I am extremely passionate about the football program, especially being a former player, alumni and coach. I know what this means to everyone involved in football at Clarion. I will dedicate myself to restoring the pride, passion and success of Clarion football. I want to especially thank President Whitney and Dave Katis for their trust in giving me this opportunity, along with the support of so many former teammates, alumni and friends around the country.”

A 2010 inductee into Clarion’s Sports Hall of Fame, Weibel has spent the last 11 seasons coaching at Clarion, the last two as the Offensive Coordinator, and ten full seasons as the quarterbacks coach. He also spent a number of years as the team’s recruiting coordinator. The interim head coach since December 15, Weibel announced today that the Golden Eagles have inked 8 recruits and have verbal commitments on another 12, which would make this one of the most productive recruiting classes in some time.

“If you look back at the decades of the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and part of the 90’s, Clarion stood among the best football programs in the nation,” stated Weibel. “A 27 consecutive non-losing season streak (1961-87) and 22 consecutive winning seasons (1964 – 85) reflects the proud tradition of this program and its alumni. I believe we can win again, and starting today we are going to reach out to all of our constituencies to help get that job done.”

A native of East Brady, Pa. and a 1993 graduate of (Armstrong Central) Kittanning High School, Weibel was an outstanding high school quarterback. His junior and senior years he passed for more than 3,000 yards and 32 td’s under coach Harry Beckwith. As a sophomore at East Brady High (home of former NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly) he passed for 1,619 yards and 20 td’s under coach Frank Marslyn.

Weibel came to Clarion in the Fall of 1993 and had a storied career with the Golden Eagles. As a true freshman in 1993 he played in three games, started two, and completed 21 of 44 passes for 280 yards and 3 td’s. He red-shirted 1994, and came back in 1995 to lead Clarion to a 6-4 record while hitting on 159 of 268 passes (59.3%) for 2,017 yards and 14 td’s. His top season came in 1996 when he led the Golden Eagles to an 11-3 overall record, the PSAC-West title, the NCAA Division II East Region Crown and a berth in the NCAA “Final Four” before losing in the final seconds to Northern Colorado 19-18. Weibel earned NCAA D-II All-America honors completing 208 of 356 passes (58.4%) for 2,880 yards and 32 td’s. He ranked #2 in the nation in 1996 in QB Efficiency and ran for 185 yards and 4 td’s. Clarion was awarded the Lambert Cup signifying the top team in the East.

Headed for a big season his senior year (1997), Weibel played the first 5 quarters before missing the remainder of the season with an injury. He came back in 1998 to pass for 2,462 yards and 16 td’s.

Weibel holds all four key career passing records at Clarion including passing attempts (1,065), completions (586), passing yards (7,845) and passing td’s (65). His career completion percentage is 55%, third best in Eagle history. Chris also owns the record for single season passing yards (2,880 – 1996) and td passes (32 – 1996) and second in school history in single season attempts (356 – 1996), completions (208 – 1996), and completion percentage (59.3 – 1996).

After graduating from Clarion in 1998 with a degree in Marketing, he played nearly 5 years of professional football including the Erie Invaders (IFL) in 2000, Florida Firecats (AFL 2) in 2001, Greensboro Prowlers (AFL 2) in 2002, Myrtle Beach Sting Rays (NIFL) in 2003 and signed during the 2004 season with Grand Rapids of the AFL.

During the 2002 season he had his best game completing 23 of 25 passes for 330 yards and 9 td’s.

Chris resides in Clarion. He is the son of Jay & Diana Weibel of East Brady and has two brothers Jay and Cory.

CLARION NOTES: Weibel was recruited to Clarion and played his first season under Coach Gene Sobolewski, and from 94-98 under coach Malen Luke … Weibel thanked those two coaches, plus former head coaches Al Jacks, Charles Ruslavage and Jay Foster for their support in various stages in his career… Weibel’s top games as a qb at Clarion … He passed for 411 yards vs Millersville in 1995 (28 of 49); he passed for 382 yards in 1998 against West Chester (27 of 48), and in the NCAA semifinal game against Northern Colorado in 1996 at Memorial Stadium, he completed 27 of 41 passes for 356 yards in a 19-18 last second loss… UNC went on to win the NCAA title the next Saturday … Weibel is only the 12th head football coach at Clarion since 1926 … Clarion had its first undefeated football season in 1952 when the Golden Eagles were 9-0, including a 13-6 win over East Carolina in the Lions Bowl Game… Waldo S. Tippin coached that 1952 team … He was head coach from 1935-47 and 52-56 …. Tippin had an overall record of 53-49-3 … Clarion’s winningest coach was Al Jacks (1963-81)… Jacks 19-year record was 128-46-5, a winning percentage of .7290 … Jacks was 4-4 his first season in 1963 and then reeled off 18 straight winning seasons… Clarion won 6 PSAC-West titles and 3 PSAC Championships under Jacks … Charles Ruslavage, a long-time defensive coordinator under Jacks, was the head coach in 1982 and was 7-3 overall … Gene Sobolewski was the Eagle boss from 1983-93 and compiled a 60-51 record (54.1%) … Sobolewski won two PSAC-West titles in 1983 and 1992, along with a PSAC crown in 1983… Clarion also captured PSAC-West crowns in 1996 and 2000 under coach Malen Luke, who finished his career (1994-2005) with a record of 57-73.


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