The 2018 season was one of milestones for the Hillsdale College football team. And those honors were not restricted to just the players.
Keith Otterbein, who just completed his 17th season leading the Chargers, was named the Super Region 1 Coach of the Year, an honor bestowed by the American Football Coaches Association.
During the 2018 season, Otterbein led Hillsdale to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference championship and its third-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Back on Sept. 15, he won his 100th game as Chargers head coach, making him just the third person to ever hit that milestone, joining Dick Lowry (1980-96) and Frank "Muddy" Waters (1954-73).
That win was the springboard to an eight-game winning streak that featured three wins over nationally ranked teams, culminating with a 48-26 win over undefeated and 15th-ranked Tiffin on Nov. 3 that clinched the conference title for the Chargers. Hillsdale went on to defeat Kutztown 40-26 on Nov. 17 for the second Division II playoff win in school history.
Under Otterbein's direction, five players earned G-MAC season awards, led by conference player of the year Chance Stewart. Stewart and Trey Brock combined to break seven school records in 2018. Hillsdale's defense led the G-MAC in fewest average points allowed per game, and the team finished with a 10-3 record this year. Otterbein was named G-MAC Coach of the Year, the fourth time in his career he's earned conference coach of the year accolades.