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Monty Lewis enters the 2016 season with 31 years of collegiate coaching experience, with 22 of those coming as a head coach. Lewis is 148-79 overall, and 88-47 while leading the Falcons to three consecutive KCAC Championships and NAIA National Playoff appearances (2006, 2007, 2008).
Prior to coming to Friends University, Lewis led teams to KCAC Championships three straight times (1997, 1998, 1999) and a Wheat Bowl Title (1996).
Coach Lewis ranks #7 in wins by active coaches in the NAIA, and is #1 at Friends and #1 in the KCAC in wins all time.
"I believe in family, and the accountability that goes with being part of one. The only reason to attend any college or university is to obtain a degree PERIOD. We will win a lot of football games here at Friends University but the greater goal is to graduate leaders into our community. Our fans are the best in the conference and I believe that their LOYALTY has earned them the expectation of supporting a team that plays hard physically; plays with great emotion; and plays within the rules. To this end, we are COMMITTED."
Coach Lewis and his wife Nancy, who also works at the university, have two children. Shelby is a 2016 graduate of Friends (and volleyball alumni) while Josh is on the football team.
2003-Present: Friends University - Head Coach (3-KCAC Championships)
2002: West Texas A&M University - Offensive Coordinator
1993-2001: Southwestern College - Head Coach 60-32 Record (3-KCAC Championships)
1992: University of Kentucky - Assistant- Linebacker's/Offensive Line
1991: Colorado State University - Assistant - Linebacker's
1989-90: MacMurray College Illinois - Offensive Coordinator
1987-88: Northeastern Oklahoma State University - Assistant - Linebacker's/Wide Receiver's (O.I.C Champions)
1986: Ft. Hays State University - Assistant - Linebacker's
1985: Southwestern College - Assistant - Offensive Line (KCAC Champions)
Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
Coach Matt Welch enters his 14th season at Friends University and his 31st season overall in college football, having been a part of 10 championships.
The Falcon defense has enjoyed a great deal of success under his direction which deservedly brought Coach Welch KCAC Assistant Coach of the Year awards in 2006 and 2009.
For the fifth year in a row, the Falcon defensive unit finished #1 in the conference and is consistently recognized as one of the top rated defenses in the country. The Falcons finished the 2009 season with the #2 ranked defense in the NAIA.
"At our level from the recruitment of the athletes, to coaching the game itself, and witnessing the success of our student athletes on and off the field is very gratifying for me personally".
Coach Welch's fierce desire to achieve success and a wealth of knowledge has earned him a great deal of respect from not only the coaches in the KCAC, but across the NAIA as well.
Coach Welch and his wife Kim have three children, daughter Kylie (19), son Dustin (21) and son Monty (24). Monty played football at Friends University and is now married to Christina (Manser) Welch who is a former All-American softball player for Friends.
2003: Present - Friends University - Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
2002: Winfield High School KS - Defensive Coordinator (Kansas 5A-State Playoffs)
1985-2001: Southwestern College - Defensive Coordinator (5 KCAC Championships)
Jerry Taylor brings high school, college, and professional coaching experience, now in his 8th season at Friends. Taylor moves to offensive line duties in 2016. He will also help out with special teams and football operations.
Taylor started out coaching as a defensive coordinator at Wichita East High School before moving to Wellington to be the head coach. He returned to East as their head coach before going to Wichita Northwest. Taylor took the Athletic Director position along with an assistant coaching position at Wichita South before becoming an assistant coach at Bethel College.
Taylor graduated from Liberal High School in Liberal, Kan. He started out college at Kansas State University, getting his B.S. in Political Science/History in 1974. He completed his degree in Secondary Education at Wichita State University in 1976.
Taylor and his wife of 34 years, Debra, have three children, Jamie Mathias, Zachary Taylor, and Joel Taylor, along with two grandchildren.
Bill Shaw returns to Friends University after previously coaching the Falcons from 2006-2013. He will coach the defensive secondary. Shaw has 40 years of football coaching experience overall.
Shaw is very familiar with the surrounding area high schools, having coached at Ingalls (two years), Wellington (19 years), Derby (12 years), Haysville-Campus (six years), and El Dorado (two years and counting). Shaw also has coached baseball, and has been in 10 high school state championship games between the two sports, with six titles to show for it.
Shaw went to high school at Oxford where he participated in football, basketball and track. He then went to Southwestern where he played basketball and earned his Bachelors of Science in 1976. Shaw would return to Southwestern to get his Masters degree in 1990.
Shaw and his wife, Marilyn, have been married for 42 years. They have two children, Amy (Perrault) and Linn.
Christian Trotter begins his 5th season at Friends as the head wide receivers coach.
Trotter started his collegiate coaching career at Friends in 2012 as the assistant wide receiver coach, moving up to the head job in 2013.
Before Friends, Trotter was the wide receiver coach at Southeast High School in Wichita in 2011.
Trotter played collegiately at Friends University as a reciever from 2007-2010. He had his best season as a Falcon in 2008, catching 29 passes for 360 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Falcons went 9-0, winning the KCAC Championship. He received his degree in Physical Education while attending Friends.
Trotter played his high school career at Circle High School in Towanda, Kan.
Trotter has a wife, Tiffany, and a son, Kingston.
Neill Wheeler brings high school and college coaching experience to football as well as 32 years of public school administration experience to the Falcons as a Quality Control/Operations Director. Wheeler served 19 years as a High School Principal and 13 years as a District Level Administrator and Superintendent of Schools.
Wheeler started coaching at Moran-Marmaton Valley High School as the Head Football Coach. In seven seasons, the Wildcats went 40-22 with three league championships. In 1976, he started coaching at Friends as the offensive line coach. The Falcons were undefeated KCAC Champions that season, and finished ranked #7 in the NAIA with a 317 rushing yards per game average.
Wheeler played collegiately as an offensive lineman at Friends from 1965-1968. He also played baseball for the Falcons.
Wheeler graduated from Miltonville High School before receiving his B.S. Degree in Health and Physical Education/Recreation from Friends in 1969. He went on to receive his Master Degree in Sports Administration from Wichita State University in 1977. His Specialist Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision would also come from Wichita State in 1980.
Wheeler and his wife, Linda, have been married for 49 years and have two children (Michelle Wegner and Darren Wheeler) and three grandchildren (Morgan, Jason and Hayden).
Cody Butts starts his 3rd season on the Falcon sidelines in 2016 as the tight ends coach.
A four year letterman at Friends, Butts was a 2nd Team All-KCAC selection his sophomore season before earning 1st Team All-KCAC nods in both his junior and senior years. He was voted the Receiver of the Year by the Falcon coaches twice. In 30 career games, Butts grabbed 53 receptions for 220 yards and 5 touchdowns. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Management while minoring in Business Administration and General Science.
Butts attended high school at Stigler High in Stigler, Okla. He was a three year varsity player, earning All-District honors in 2009 as well as making the All-Star Team.
Butts lives with his wife, Alyssa. The couple just got married in June.
Marcus Carter enters his second season as an assistant coach for Friends University, taking over strength and conditioning duties in addition to his previous role as linebackers coach.
In three seasons at linebacker for Friends, Carter totaled 337 tackles (192 unassisted, 39.5 for loss), and 4.5 sacks. He added in four interceptions and dour fumble recoveries, scoring three touchdowns off the turnovers, including a 100 yard interception return against McPherson his junior year in an 18-17 win on the road.
A two-time captain for the Falcons, Carter was a 2nd Team All-KCAC pick his sophomore year, following it up with unanimous 1st Team All-KCAC selections his junior and senior seasons. That senior year (106 tackles, 72 solo, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries), Carter was named the KCAC Player of the Year and an AFCA All-American.
Carter graduated from Friends in 2014 with a Bachelor's of Science in Physical Education.
Carter was born in North Las Vegas, Nev., where he was a two year varsity player in football and basketball at Mojave High School.
Quentin Benning begins his first season on the sidelines for Falcon football in 2016. He will be the running backs coach and assist with special teams.
Benning was a two-time football MVP in high school at Converse Wagner (San Antonio, Texas). He was also a State Qualifier in wrestling (two-time) and shot putt and a member of National Honor Society.
On the Friends University football team from 2008-2011, Benning was a three-time First Team All-KCAC selection at running back as well as a Team Captain, MVP and Champion of Character Award recipient. He also excelled for the Falcon track and field program (2009-2012), helping Friends to three KCAC Championships as a four-time National Qualifier and Team Captain. He was a student coach at Friends in 2012.
Benning continued to play football, joining the Salina Bombers from 2012-2015. He is currently a member of the Wichita Force at running back, a part of the team that won the most recent CIF Championship.
Benning and his wife, Ashley, live in Wichita.