January 29th, 2024 6:00am
HICKORY, N.C. – Doug Socha has been named the 24th head football coach of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Vice President for Athletics Kim Pate announced. Socha comes to Hickory from Keiser University (Florida) where he served as the head football coach for six years, accumulating a 55-15 record on his way to winning the NAIA National Championship in 2023.
"I am beyond excited to welcome Doug Socha and his family to Hickory to take over the reins of our storied football program," said Vice President for Athletics Kim Pate. "Coach Socha has won at every level of football and brings proven leadership and a record of success from his time in the NFL, Division I, high school, and, most recently, Keiser University. He has developed Keiser into a national powerhouse and understands the importance of building a championship culture that develops student-athletes on and off the field."
Socha, who started the football program at Keiser, led the Seahawks to their first national championship in 2023 with a 12-2 record. After the title-winning season, Socha was named the 2023 AFCA NAIA Coach of the Year. He was also named The Sun Conference Coach of the Year four times during his six-year tenure at Keiser.
During his time in West Palm Beach, Socha led the program to a .786 winning percentage and a .916 winning percentage in The Sun Conference. Socha led the Seahawks to five straight conference titles and appeared in the NAIA playoffs five consecutive seasons, including a semifinal appearance in 2020 and back-to-back national championship appearances in 2022 and 2023.