University of Dayton football great Rick Chamberlin’s first four seasons as the Flyers' head coach have continued Flyer football’s championship-caliber level of play.
After a debut season that left UD just six points away from the 2008 Pioneer Football League Championship, Dayton won a share of the next two PFL titles, tying Butler for first place in 2009 and Jacksonville in 2010. In addition, the Flyers finished ranked 25th in both the AFCA and Sports Network polls in 2010, marking the first time in school history UD was nationally ranked in a Division I poll. Chamberlin is 34-11 in his first four seasons as the Flyer head coach.
Academically, the University of Dayton football program has also reached new heights. In 2008, a UD-record four Flyer football players were named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans. In 2009, defensive end Brandon Wingeier repeated as a first team selection. In 2010, UD had two first team members, with Wingeier becoming the first UD student-athlete to be named a First Team Academic All-American in three different seasons. In the last three years, Dayton also had the most academic all-district selections – 13 in 2008, eight in 2009, four in 2010, and one in 2011-- of any school in the nation.
Chamberlin was named the Dayton head football coach on January 23, 2008 in a press conference held at the University of Dayton Arena. A 1980 UD graduate and a member of the University's Athletic Hall of Fame, he succeeded Mike Kelly, who announced one day earlier that he was stepping down.
Chamberlin is the 23rd head football coach since the program began in 1905. He is the first of the 11 modern era coaches to have lettered for the Flyers, and the second to be a graduate of the University of Dayton (Pete Ankney was the first when he coached in 1963 and 1964).
Chamberlin, 55, had been on the Flyer coaching staff for 28 seasons before being named head coach. First as linebackers coach and then as defensive coordinator, Chamberlin helped mold the Dayton D's reputation for its preparation and execution as a unit. Under Chamberlin's guidance as an assistant and now as a head coach, the Flyers have led the Pioneer Football League in scoring defense in eight of the last nine seasons, including finishing second in NCAA Division I-AA (9.8) in 2002, third (14.1) in 2005, fourth in FCS in 2007 (15.6), fifth in 2008 (15.3) and fifth in 2009 (13.6). In 2004, Dayton led NCAA Division I-AA football in total defense (263.10). In 2009, the Flyers were first in pass efficiency defense (96.71). The Flyers have also demonstrated great discipline in the four years since Chamberlin was named head coach, finishing both the 2009 and 2011 seasons as the least penalized team in the PFL.
One of the hallmarks of the Dayton defense in the last four decades has been great play at linebacker. Not only has Chamberlin nurtured that as a coach, but he was one of the players who started that tradition in the late 1970's. A four-year letterwinner (1975-78) for the Flyers, Chamberlin was named to the Football Coaches Association Small College All-America team. He was the third Dayton player to be named a First Team All-American, and was the first defensive player.
A native of Springfield, Ohio and a 1975 graduate of Springfield North High School, Chamberlin was a three-time all-city selection and Springfield Player of the Year as a senior. In four years at Dayton, he was credited with 385 tackles and led the team as a junior (115) and senior (121). He was the first two-time winner of the Chief Toscani Hitter Award and a member of UD's first NCAA Division III Playoff team in 1978.
He was inducted into the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. "He is the real story," said Chamberlin's coach, Mike Kelly. "Here's a guy who went to college to play football, became a graduate assistant, an assistant coach, then a very successful defensive coordinator and now a head coach - all at the same institution. He understands the tradition of the Dayton football program, and the culture. Rick is a player's coach. They love to play for him."
Chamberlin is a 1980 UD graduate with a degree in health and physical education. He earned his master's degree in counselor education at UD in 1982. Rick and his wife Jayne live in Kettering. They have two sons, Jason and Tyler, who both graduated from UD.