GEORGETOWN, Ky. — Georgetown College Vice President of Athletics Brian Evans knew he had a tall task in finding football’s first head coach since 1997. This past Monday, legendary coach Bill Cronin retired after 25 seasons, leaving a big vacancy – and one that needed filling quickly.
A wide search was completed with numerous top-quality coaches showing interest. After all the interviews, Evans is pleased to announce Chris Oliver as the 28th head coach of the Tigers.
If the name sounds familiar to Tiger Nation, that is because Oliver has been leading Mid-South Conference foe Lindsey Wilson College for the past decade-plus. In 2010, he restarted a Blue Raider program that had been dormant since 1935. In the team’s fifth season, LWC was in the national conversation, earning its first postseason bid. The Blue Raiders have been a national staple for the past three seasons. They posted a 35-2 record, winning the 2020 title and finishing in the semifinals of the 2019 and 2021 seasons.
“It was a daunting task to think of hiring a new football coach,” Evans said. “When someone has been here as long as Coach Cronin, built a legacy and a tradition, you have to weigh all your options with those in mind.
“This is a great day for Tiger football and Tiger Nation. Oliver knows how to win, as we’ve come to expect, but he also knows how to shape and mold men in the full student-athlete model we hold in high regard here as well. He’s done exciting things in getting the Blue Raiders going, and I know he’ll be able to keep what we have going here as well.”
Oliver is 105-34 in 12 seasons with one national title and six national tournament appearances in seven seasons. Just this past week he was announced as AFCA Region 1 Coach of the Year – his seventh time picking up that honor.
His track record of successful coaching goes beyond his time at Lindsey Wilson. He served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and recruiting coach for Ohio Dominican University from 2003-08. The Panthers were 26-7 from 2006-08. In that stretch the team had three consecutive finishes in the Top 17 of the NAIA Coaches’ Poll, and won the Mid-States Football Association championship in 2007, the program’s fourth season, with a 12-1 record. The Panthers set 13 national records and 46 conference records in that time as well.
Before that, Oliver was an undergraduate assistant at The Ohio State University, coaching under Jim Tressel and Bill Conley from 2001-02.
Oliver received his Bachelor of Science in education from Ohio State, while earning his masters in business administration from ODU. In his time at LWC, he has served on numerous committees and boards, including president of the NAIA Coaches’ Association, MSC sport chairman and NAIA national football rater.
Oliver made the announcement to his team Monday evening. There will be a press conference at Georgetown. More details to follow.