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Monty Lewis enters the 2015 season with 30 years of collegiate coaching experience, with 21 of those coming as a head coach. Lewis is 145-71 overall, and 85-39 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 #5 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 who are student-athletes at Friends - daughter Shelby who plays volleyball, and son Josh who plays football.
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 13th season at Friends University and his 28th 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)
Billy Beard starts his 13th season at Friends University, serving as the Falcon's defensive line coach as well as the strength and conditioning coach. He has 26 years of collegiate coaching experience.
Beard joined the Friends University staff when Head Coach Monty Lewis came to the Falcons. He also worked under Lewis at Southwestern College, where Beard worked from 1989-2002.
A 1990 graduate of Southwestern (Heatlh Science), Beard had a prolific career for the Moundbuilders. He was named All-KCAC and All-District in 1987, and repeated the feat in 1988, adding in an All-American honor.
Beard was an All-District selection at Mount Pleasant (Texas) High School in 1983, repeating that honor again in 1984, adding Defensive Player of the Year and MVP nods.
Tylor Struckman begins his 12th season of collegiate coaching, his 11th on the Falcon's staff. He has been the head offensive line coach since 2012.
Struckman first came to Friends in 2003 after graduating from Southwestern College. He spent three seasons as the assistant defensive line coach before moving to the offensive line in 2006. In 2009, Struckman left for Kansas Wesleyan University where he was the head defensive line coach. He returned to Friends in 2011, serving one season as the assistant defensive line coach before taking over his current position in 2012.
While playing at Southwestern, Struckman was part of the 1999 KCAC Championship team.
Struckman played his high school ball in El Dorado (1995-96) and Conway Springs (1998). The Conway Springs team was the Kansas 3A State Champions, going 13-0 on the season.
Struckman has his B.S in Health and Physical Education from Southwestern College (2003) and his M.Ed. in Sport Management from Wichita State University (2009).
Struckman lives in Colwich with his wife, Sarah, and their daughter Emily. They are expecting a baby boy in November.
Jerry Taylor brings high school, college, and professional coaching experience, now in his 7th season at Friends.
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. He is now the running backs coach at Friends as well as the defensive coordinator for the Wichita Wild Professional Indoor Football Team.
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.
Christian Trotter begins his 4th 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.
Cody Butts joins the Falcon staff full time after serving as a student coach in 2013. He will coach the tight ends.
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.
James Banks begins his first season as an assistant coach at Friends University, working as the defensive backs coach for the Falcons.
Banks attended Drew High School (Drew, Miss.) where he set the school record with nine interceptions as the team's free safety. From 1983-1986, he attended Mississippi Valley State and Mississippi Delta Junior College, playing corner back. Banks finished his college career at Southwestern College at corner back, garnering All-KCAC accolades.
Banks began coaching as a graduate assistant at Southwestern in 1989. From 1990 to 2007, Banks was a secondary coach at high schools throughout the Wichita area, with stops at Winfield (1990-1999), Andover (2000-2004), and Wichita North (2005-2007).
Banks earned an A.A. degree at Mississippi Delta (1986), and his B.S. (HPER - 1988) and M.Ed. (SPED - 2013) from Southwestern.
Banks and his wife, Bettina, have four children - Kim, Brittany, Celina, and Brandon.
Marcus Carter begins his first season as an assistant coach for Friends University after a stellar career with the Falcons.
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.