Head Coach, St. Norbert College
After seven seasons in De Pere, Wis., Jim Purtill has established the St. Norbert College football program as one of the most successful in NCAA Division III competition. The Green Knights have compiled a 64-11 record since Purtill arrived on the scene in 1999.
Coach Purtill has the nation’s third best winning percentage among active coaches, behind only Larry Kehres ( Mt. Union) and Larry Coker (University of Miami). In his tenure at St. Norbert’s he has won over 85% of his games.
The Green Knights have also won six Midwest Conference championships over the past seven years - including 10-0 records in 2000 and 2003 - with playoff appearances in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004.
Under Purtill, the Green Knights have finished in the AFCA NCAA Division III Top 25 six times over the last seven seasons, one of only six schools nationally to accomplish that feat. The Kent, Ohio, native has led the Green Knights to final NCAA Division III rankings of 22nd in 1999, 17th in 2000, 23rd in 2001, 25th in 2002, 13th in 2003 and 20th in 2004.
St. Norbert has been dominant in regular-season play under Purtill, setting school records with a 27-game regular-season winning streak and a Midwest Conference record 27-game winning streak. Of team and individual highs, 20 top statistical records have been reset in the last four years. St. Norbert scored over 400 points for three straight season from 2002-2004.
Prior to being named head coach of the Green Knights, Purtill was the offensive line coach at Ferris State (Mich.) University from 1988 to 1994, where the Bulldogs won three Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference titles and qualified for NCAA Division II Playoffs three times.
After moving to Albion College in 1995 as the offensive coordinator, the Britons won Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles in 1995, 1996 and 1998, earning NCAA Division III Playoff berths in 1996 and 1998. Purtill was named NCAA Division III Offensive Coordinator of the Year in 1996 after Albion registered regular season totals of 538 yards and 50.8 points per game.
Purtill graduated with a bachelor’s degree in comprehensive social studies in 1978 from Miami (Ohio) University, a school which boasts a reputation as a “Cradle of Coaches,” proving as a training ground for the likes of Earl “Red” Blaik, Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian and Bo Schembechler. Purtill earned his master’s degree in physical education from Salem (W. Va.) College in 1995.
Articles by Jim Purtill:
Reflecting on the Role of the Head Coach - Part I How to Develop a Good Coaching Staff
Reflecting on the Role of the Head Coach - Part II Coaching Philosophy
Biography and photograph courtesy of St. Norbert College.