Dino Kaklis enters his eighth year at the helm of the Bethel University football program and looks to bring the Wildcats back to national prominence. Coach Kaklis and his staff's hard work in the offseason have paid off with a stellar incoming class. Last season the Wildcats posted a disappointing 4-6 record after setting the school mark in wins at 11-2 just one season prior. Coach Kaklis and his program appear to be back on track to challenge for the Mid-South Conference West Division Title and possibly qualify for the playoffs.
In 2007, Coach Kaklis was the NAIA Mid-South Conference West Division Coach of the Year for the third year in a row.He was also selected as the 2007 American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year (NAIA Region I) for the second straight year.
Coaching assignments prior to Bethel University:
- 2002 Bethel University; Defensive Coordinator before taking over the head coaching position
- 2001 St. Francis University in Pennsylvania (NCAA Division IAA); Offensive Line Coach
- 2000 St. Francis University in Pennsylvania (NCAA Division IAA); Defensive Line Coach
- 1999 Maine Maritime Academy (NCAA Division III); Defensive Coordinator, Special Teams Coordinator, and Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
- 1996-98 Bishop Verot High School, FL; Assistant Coach, Defensive Coordinator, along with several other titles
All-Time Coaching Records at Bethel University
1946-1947 Norman A. McKenzie 5-14-1
1948 Dean Robinson 2-6
1949-1952 Casey Jones Vinson 6-25-1
Program dropped from 1953 till 1993
1993-1994 Dick Adams 2-14
1995-1997 Ralph Ferguson 4-26
1998-2000 Sherman Johnson 4-25
2001 Ray Talley 5-4
2002 Brad Senter 0-2
2002-present Dino Kaklis 42-33
While at Purdue, Kaklis played for the Boilermaker football team during the 1992-1995 seasons. He is a four-year letterman, started 44 games at long snapper where he had 412 career snaps without a miscue, and was named Special Teams Player of the Week seven times. Kaklis played for Coach Jim Colletto, a 10 year NFL coaching veteran.Coach Kaklis received his Master of Arts in Education degree from Bethel University in 2003.He is married to Nicole Chicklo-Kaklis, a 2001 (BS) and 2003 (MBA) graduate of Saint Francis University, PA.Nicole is a faculty member and research project coordinator for Bethel University's College of Professional Studies.Dino and Nicole make their home in McKenzie with their daughter, Isabella.
Coach Shaun Gaines enters his sixth season as a member of the Bethel coaching staff and serves as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach.
Coach Gaines started at Bethel in 2003, after earning his B.S. degree in Education at Florida State University. Gaines and Coach Kaklis' history together began when Coach Gaines played quarterback under Coach Kaklis at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers Florida during the 1996 and 1997 seasons.
Last season, under Coach Gaines' direction, Bethel's offense ranked number four in the nation in total offense (491/yards per game), second in rushing offense (294/yards per game) and third in scoring offense (43.5/points per game).
Coach Gaines was an assistant coach in the Victory Sports Network Senior All-Star Classic in 2007. He was also on the staff when Bethel played in the Polk County Classic in 2004. During his time at Bethel, he has coached one All-Conference Quarterback and one Mid-South Offensive Player of the Year.
Coach Gaines earned his Master's in Education from Bethel in December of 2004.
Coach Chris Elliott enters his fifth season with the Wildcats and serves as the Defensive Coordinator. Coach Elliott previously served as the Defensive Line Coach.
Before joining the Wildcat coaching staff, Coach Elliott was a three-year student assistant and graduate assistant coach for
Coach Elliott is a 1997 graduate of
Coach Elliott was an assistant coach in the Victory Sports Network Senior All-Star Classic in 2007. He was also on the staff when Bethel played in the Polk County Classic in 2004. During his time at Bethel, he has coached three All-Conference Defensive Linemen.
Willie Tillman most recently was at Merritt Island High School in Merritt Island, Fla. and served as the defensive coordinator this past fall 2009.
Tillman spent the 2008 season as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Murray State University.
Tillman spent the 2007 season as the defensive backs coach at Florida A&M. In his one season in Tallahassee, Fla., the Rattlers finished second in the FCS in pass defense.
Prior to his time in Florida, Tillman spent four seasons on the staff at Bethel College. He began his tenure as the defensive backs coach, before spending three seasons as the defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. He coached six all-Mid South Conference selections and one NAIA All-American in helping the team to its first ever playoff appearance and victory.
Tillman spent the summer of 2003 working with the Baltimore Ravens as part of the NFL Minority Program. He was responsible for coaching the running backs and worked one-on-one with the rookie running backs in helping them learn the playbook.
Tillman's career in coaching began in 1998 when he served as a general assistant at his alma mater. He assisted with the wide receivers, as well as analyzing game file and managing the scout team defense.
The following season, Tillman would serve as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks and receivers coach at Maine Maritime Academy.
The playing career for Tillman was not over yet as he made a return to the field in 2000 as a wide receiver and defensive back for the Roanoke Steam of Arena Football 2.
After completing the season, Tillman would serve as a defensive backs coach at Anderson University for the 2000 season, where are four members of the secondary would receive post-season honors.
After one season at AU, Tillman would go to Florida Southern College where he would spend two seasons as an assistant coach for the men's basketball team.
Tillman played collegiately at Purdue from 1994-97, where he was a two-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Boilermakers. During the 1996 season, Tillman was named the Offensive Player of the Game against Wisconsin after he hauled in 12 passes for a career-best 159 yards and a touchdown. He also garnered top offensive honors against Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Tillman graduated from Purdue in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in African American Studies. He would go on to earn a masters in education and teaching from Bethel College in 2005
Coach Alan Hollowell is in his fourth season with Bethel College as the Tight Ends coach. Coach Hollowell played defensive end for the Wildcats from 2001-04. He went back and coached the defensive line at his Alma Mater, Camden High School, in 2005.
Coach Hollowell graduated with a B.S. degree from Bethel in 2006 and earned his master's degree from Bethel in 2007. He was the tight end coach for Buck Reed, the first player from Bethel to attend a NFL Camp. He was the tight end coach in the Victory Sports Network Senior All-Star Classic in 2007.
Coach Cliff Barna begins his coaching career where he played four years in college as nose guard. He will serve as the Defensive Line coach.
Coach Barna is from Ocala, Fla. where he played at Vanguard High School. He started every game during his four year career as a Wildcat and is the All-Time Bethel sack leader.
In 2005, 2006 and 2007 he was named Mid-South All-Conference 1st Team Defense. In 2006 he claimed Mid-South Conference Defensive Player of the Week twice. Also in 2006, he was named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention. At the end of the 2007 season, Coach Barna received the prestigious NAIA Champion of Character Award.
Coach Barna earned is B.S. degree from Bethel College in May of 2008. He is beginning to work on his Master's Degree.
Started all 18 games as a Rookie finishing second on the team in tackles with 70 tackles, also had 18 tackles on special teams to finish second in the CFL. The ti-cats nomination for rookie of the year as he help lead them to a first place finish in their division.
College Career: Ranks 10th on Purdue's career tackles list with 330.
1999: Has played in all 11 games, including nine starts � leads Purdue in tackles for third consecutive season with 85 � has 56 solo stops, five tackles for loss, three pass breakups and one fumble forced � second on team and tied for eighth in Big Ten with three interceptions � paced Purdue with nine tackles to go with an interception against Central Michigan on Sept. 18 � picked off pass at Ohio State on Oct. 9 � topped team with season-high 13 tackles and added interception against Michigan State on Oct. 16 � collected team-high eight solo tackles at Indiana on Nov. 20 to receive team's Pop Doan Award for defense.
1998: Preseason honorable mention All-American by College Sports News ... started all 13 games ... led team with 107 total tackles and 67 solo tackles ... had five tackles for loss, including one sack ... had three pass breakups and three fumble recoveries ... led team with 13 tackles, including two for loss at USC on Aug. 30 ... had team-high 15 tackles against Rice on Sept. 12 ... had quarterback sack against Minnesota on Oct. 3 ... had 13 total tackles and two fumble recoveries against Iowa on Oct. 31 ... had seven tackles, including one for loss, against Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.
1997: Started all 12 games at middle linebacker ... topped team and ranked third in the Big Ten with 131 tackles (64 solo) to earn honorable mention all-league honors ... racked up double-figure tackle efforts seven times (including four of the final five games) ... had eight tackles for loss (third on the team), five pass breakups (third on the squad) and one fumble recovery ... recorded career-high 20 tackles, including 15 solo stops (one shy of the school record), at Iowa on Nov. 1. ... won Purdue's Hammer Award after spring practice.
1996: Did not play.
1995: Played in 10 games, mainly on special teams as a true freshman ... had seven tackles (all solo).
High School: As senior had 170 tackles and three blocked kicks ... set school career record with 304 stops ... first team all-state and District 5 Player-of-the-Year on defense and Jacksonville Times-Union Super 24 selection ... coach was Jim McCool ... as a 189-pound wrestler finished second in AAU nationals (had a three-year record of 99-2) ... placed third in state on mat and was No. 1 in state in freestyle Greco-Roman ... placed second in AAU nationals and made Tour de Monde Team.
Personal: Given name is Willie Eugene Fells ... born July 27, 1976 ... political science major ... outstanding singer.