Keiser University kicks off Capitol Day with NAIA championship celebration
Six seasons after first taking the field, the Keiser University Seahawks football team notched their first title. Image via Keiser University.

The school will also be introducing new head football coach Myles Russ.

Sunshine State universities have more than a few football titles under their belts. The University of Miami, Florida State University and the University of Florida each have more than one. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University tacked on another one last month, and the University of Central Florida, while technically titleless, certainly made a compelling case a few years back.

But today, a different Florida school is getting some time to shine.

Keiser University (KU) is kicking off its Capitol Day events with an 8:25 a.m. press conference in the Fourth Floor Rotunda to celebrate the 2023 NAIA National Champion Seahawk Football Team and welcome new head coach Myles Russ.

Russ, who secured the job on Tuesday, has big shoes to fill — inaugural head ball coach Doug Socha guided the team to a 55-15 overall record and five NAIA Football Championship Series appearances since the team took its first snap in 2018.

But Keiser University touted Russ’ familiarity and experience with the young, but successful program in a news release announcing his hire — he first joined the Seahawks coaching staff in 2017 as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator and climbed up to assistant head coach in 2019, so he’s had a hand in cultivating a winning culture at KU.

The Seahawks earned the 2023 championship following a 31-21 win over No. 1 Northwestern College (Iowa). The Seahawks took the crown in only their sixth season as a program and after previously falling to Northwestern in the 2022 NAIA Championship.

While there’s more to Keiser University than sports, the West Palm Beach-based institution has a lot of clout in NAIA — across all sports, it’s won 19 NAIA national championships, 17 of them since 2015. In 2023 alone, the Seahawks won titles in football, men’s swimming, women’s swimming and men’s lacrosse, and the men’s swimming team is has brought home the past five NAIA titles.

In addition to the new coach, the morning news conference will feature Keiser University Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, Rep. Randy Fine, Keiser University Flagship President Gardy Vonk and Keiser University Athletic Director Kris Swogger.

Keiser University will also bring its academic brag boards to the Capitol, posting up in the First Floor Rotunda with some of their top students, faculty and alumni in tow. The Keiser University nursing simulation mobile bus will also be located in the large vehicle area and open to the public.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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