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Jacobs Steps Down As Head Coach of Lenoir-Rhyne Football

Mike Jacobs has announced his resignation as the Lenoir-Rhyne Football Head Coach to accept the same role at Mercer University.

In his four years at the helm, Jacobs guided LR to a 32-9 record and his .780 winning percentage is the third highest by a head coach in LR history. Jacobs led the Bears to the National Semifinal and a Super Region 2 Championship in 2023 along with a SAC and Piedmont Division Championship. Jacobs led LR to a pair of NCAA Playoff appearances in his four seasons and also captured a share of the Piedmont Division crown in 2022. The 2023 squad finished the season ranked No. 4 nationally and tied a program record with 13 wins.

In 2023, Jacobs led LR to its first NCAA Playoff road victory when the Bears knocked off No. 1 seed Benedict in Columbia, S.C. Jacobs was named the 2023 SAC Coach of the Year and coached WR Dareke Young who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Under Jacobs’ leadership, RB Dwayne McGee broke the single season rushing record at LR in 2021 with 1,669 yards on the ground. In a playoff win over Shepherd this fall, Sean White broke the single game record for most passing yards in a game with 398.

Jacobs was one of three active head coaches at the Division II level to have a career winning percentage over .800 as he was a combined 74-17 between Lenoir-Rhyne and Notre Dame College.

In 2021, Jacobs coached a program-record 16 players to the SAC All-Conference team. That same year, Dwayne McGee was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and Amari Houston won the SAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Off the field, Jacobs coached 14 players who earned a 3.0 GPA the fall semester and 51 players with a GPA over 3.5. Overall, the team GPA was 3.18. Rashad Yelding was a 2022 First Team Academic All-American and Brett Childers earned the SAC Elite 23 Award in 2023. In total, three players have been named Academic All-Americans during Jacobs tenure.

“On behalf of my wife Lacey and my boys Luke and Knox, we would like to send our sincere appreciation to the players who have given everything on the field for us,” said Jacobs. “To the LR community and city of Hickory, we will be forever grateful for the way our family was taken in and cared for in our time here. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you and Go Bears.”

“I would like to thank Coach Jacobs for his leadership and the positive impact he’s had on our program, our players, and the broader LR Community,” said Vice President for Athletics Kim Pate. “He has done an outstanding job leading our football program over his four seasons and developing our student-athletes on and off the field. He had one of the most successful seasons in program history this past fall and has a bright future. We wish him, his wife Lacey and his children Knox and Luke the best in the future.”

A national search for Jacobs’ replacement will begin immediately.