2017 Football
Record: 1-1 Home: 1-0 Away: 0-1 MWC: 0-0
2017 Football Coaches
Vince Brautigam Image
Vince Brautigam
Head Coach- 8th Season
The Rams have made huge strides under the direction of Vince Brautigam, named Cornell College's 14th head football coach in December 2009.

Brautigam (pronounced BRAUGH-tee-gum) has guided the Rams to four consecutive seasons with at least a .500 record, a feat that hadn't been accomplished since the 1990s. His 2015 and 2013 squads both tied for second place in the Midwest Conference.

In 2013 (7-3) and 2014 (5-4), the Rams recorded the program's first back-to-back winning seasons in nearly 20 years. The breakthrough 2013 campaign saw the Rams finish 7-2 in the MWC. 

Brautigam was named 2013 MWC Coach of the Year after steering the program to its first winning season since 2001. The Rams won four of their final five games, including an overtime upset of then-unbeaten and No. 22 nationally-ranked Illinois College. Brautigam's 2013 squad ranked in the Top 20 nationally in eight statistical categories.

Brautigam, a native of Covington, Ky., has fielded 39 all-conference selections over the past four seasons, highlighted by a South Division-best nine first team honorees in 2014 that included MWC Offensive Lineman of the year Sam Cluck.  
 
Brautigam is no stranger rebuilding, directing a successful eight-year turnaround at the University of Dubuque from 2001-08. While at Dubuque, Brautigam led the Spartans to their first back-to-back winning seasons in nearly three decades and an NCAA Division III ranking in 2007.

Brautigam has 26 years of coaching experience at the NAIA, NCAA Division II and Division III levels, including 24 seasons as a head coach during which he's compiled a 109-136 record. He held head positions at Dubuque (2001-08) and NAIA's Mount Senario College (1990-2000) and was an assistant at Division II's St. Cloud State University (1988-89).

Brautigam's teams have claimed nine conference championships, eight of them at Mount Senario. In all three of his previous stops, Brautigam's squads reached top-25 status nationally in their respective polls.

Brautigam revamped a struggling Dubuque program, where he inherited 21 student-athletes in his initial year. With an emphasis on recruiting numbers, the Spartans' roster grew exponentially with 110-plus players in each of his final six seasons. Brautigam started the program's first junior varsity program and also organized the team's first strength and conditioning program.

Brautigam's 2006 squad finished 6-4 and snapped a 19-year losing streak. The Spartans followed that up with a 7-3 record in 2007. It marked the program's first consecutive winning seasons since 1979-80. Dubuque established 47 school records and fielded 36 all-conference players, nine all-region selections, two all-Americans and two Aztec Bowl participants under Brautigam. He mentored 15 academic all-conference players and four ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District performers.

Brautigam rebuilt a Mount Senario program that had only 19 players on the team upon his arrival. His roster quickly expanded to more than 100 players in each of his last eight seasons in Ladysmith, Wis. Brautigam, who also served as Mount Senario's director of athletics, left the program as its winningest football coach with a 68-47 mark. He led the Fighting Saints to a school-record eight conference championships in 11 seasons.

Brautigam, a four-time Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (1993, 1994, 1996, 1999), led Mount Senario to an NAIA top-25 national ranking in 1999 and 2000. He was twice a finalist for NAIA Coach of the Year and was head coach of the National All-Star Football Classic. Brautigam coached a school-best 84 first team all-conference selections, 24 all-Americans and six NAIA Scholar Athletes.

Brautigam began his coaching career at St. Cloud State, where he coached wide receivers and outside linebackers for two seasons. In 1989, he helped lead the Huskies to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Playoffs and a North Central Conference championship.

Brautigam graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1988 with a bachelor's of science degree in physical education. He earned a master's of science degree in athletic administration from St. Cloud State in 1990.

Brautigam and his wife Allison reside in Mount Vernon and have two sons, Nick, 26, and Zack, 23. Nick, a 2014 graduate, was an all-conference safety for the Rams.
 
Don Dicus Image
Don Dicus
Assistant Coach- 9th Season
Dicus, a 1985 Cornell graduate and former football standout, returned to his alma mater in 2009 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The Rams have put up staggering numbers in the passing game since Dicus' arrival. The offense has produced a 1,900-yard passer in six of the past eight years, while setting single-season team records for passing yardage (3,064), completions (241), pass attempts (397) and completion percentage (65.4).

Dicus' 2016 quarterback, Daniel Brown, set the program's single-season record with 22 passing touchdowns and ranked No. 2 all-time with 2,315 passing yards. Brown is Cornell's career leader with 75 touchdowns responsible for.
 
Juan Flores capped an outstanding career in 2013 as the most prolific passer in program history. He accounted for 9,109 yards of total offense, 7,346 passing yards, 68 total touchdowns and a slew of other school records.
 
Dicus' 2013 unit ranked 20th in NCAA Division III with a 65.4 completion percentage and averaged 33.3 points per game. The 2012 Rams averaged a conference-best 306.4 yards of passing offense, which ranked 20th nationally, and featured three receivers in the Midwest Conference's Top 10 for receptions and receiving yards. 

In Dicus' first season in 2009, Andrew Burdick passed for a school-best 2,168 yards with 180 completions, marks that were then broken by Flores.   

Dicus coached and taught for 23 years at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was head coach at Cardinal Newman from 2004-08, guiding the Crusaders to three playoff appearances, one district championship and two district runner-up finishes. Dicus served as the school's defensive coordinator for 18 years prior to taking the head post in 2004.

During his tenure at Cardinal Newman, he coached 29 all-staters, 20 NCAA Division I players and three All-Americans.

Dicus was an assistant baseball coach at Cardinal Newman for 16 years and held the title as Dean of Student five years. He also was head of the physical education department.

Dicus enjoyed a successful playing career with the Rams from 1981-85. A member of Cornell's All-Century Team, Dicus was a four-year football letterwinner and earned first team all-conference honors at defensive end in his junior and senior seasons. As a senior co-captain in 1984, he helped lead the 8-2 Rams to the Midwest Conference championship.

Dicus earned a bachelor's degree in education in May 1985. He also played baseball two years at Cornell.

Dicus and his wife, Tonya, have two daughters, Taylor, 24, and Delaney, 19.
 
Jay Davis Image
Jay Davis
Assistant Coach- 8th Season
Davis, who served 17 years as a former player and assistant under head coach Vince Brautigam, rejoined his running mate in 2010 at Cornell as the Rams' defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
 
Davis has coached Cornell's jumpers in track and field since 2013.

Davis' defensive units at Cornell have produced 21 all-conference players since his arrival. His 2015 defense finished 15th nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.7). The 2013 team ranked among the NCAA Division III leaders in passing efficiency (10th), third down conversion percentage (11th), passing yards allowed (13th) and turnovers gained (13th).
 
Alex Latow ranked third nationally in tackles per game (13.2) in 2014 and set the school record for solo tackles for a career. Latow (2011-14), Geoffrey Miller (2010-13) and Tyler Bailey (2009-11) all finished their careers on Cornell's top-10 list for total tackles. Bailey was named an All-American in 2011.  

Davis played for Brautigam at NAIA's Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, Wis., and then coached with him for 14 total years at Mount Senario and the University of Dubuque.

Davis, a native of New Auburn, Wis., spent the 2009 season at NCAA Division III Morrisville State (N.Y.) College, where he was defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

Davis had a successful eight-year run on Dubuque's staff headed by Brautigam from 2001-08. He was assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator and coached defensive backs during his stay in Dubuque. Davis helped guide the Spartans to their first winning season in 19 years in 2006, followed by a 7-3 mark in 2007.

At Dubuque, Davis coached the nation's leading tackler in 2006 and was responsible for recruiting 16 of the program's 33 all-conference selections in eight seasons. The Spartans also landed their first Aztec Bowl selection under Davis' guidance.

Davis played for and coached with Brautigam at NAIA's Mount Senario in Ladysmith, Wis. He played three seasons for Mount Senario (1993-95), where he was a three-time Upper Midwest Athletic Conference performer and a two-time Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-American linebacker. Davis led the team in tackles all three years and played a key role in three consecutive UMAC championships.

Upon completion of his playing career, Davis stayed at Mount Senario and worked on Brautigam's coaching staff from 1995-2000. He was recruiting coordinator and had stints coaching defensive backs, linebackers and running backs. The Fighting Saints won five UMAC championships in Davis' six seasons there. Davis coached a first team all-America running back who led the NAIA in rushing two consecutive years.

Davis earned bachelor's degrees in 1995 from Mount Senario in history and business administration. He picked up his master's in business administration from Dubuque in 2005.
 
Duane Orr Image
Duane Orr
Assistant Coach- 4th Season

Orr, the head football coach at Mount Vernon High School from 2007-13, joined Cornell's football staff as linebackers coach in 2014.

Orr led Mount Vernon to the Class 2A Playoffs in 2012, and was part of two other playoff-qualifying teams (2005 and 2006) as an assistant with the Mustangs.

Orr currently serves as associate principal and athletic director at Excelsior Middle School in the Linn-Mar District.

Orr spent four years (2000-03) as head football coach at Lewis Central High School. The team established 17 school records during his time in Council Bluffs.

Orr was an assistant coach at Columbus (Columbus Junction) High School from 1986-98, during which he fashioned a 36-3 record as head freshman-sophomore coach. Columbus reached the Iowa state playoffs seven times – including two semifinal appearances – under Orr’s guidance.

Orr also assisted at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School for two years, helping the Cougars to the playoffs in 1998 and 1999.

Orr received his bachelor’s degree in history education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1986. He earned a master’s in counselor education from the University of Iowa in 1996.

Orr resides in Mount Vernon with his wife, Kathi, and two children: daughter Kyli, 17, and son Marcus, 15.

 
A.J. Rachal Image
A.J. Rachal
Assistant Coach- 3rd Season

Rachal, a former three-year starting lineman for the Rams, is in his third season as offensive line coach on Vince Brautigam’s football staff.

Rachal spent the 2014 season as tight ends coach at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. He helped guide the Red Ravens to a 9-3 record and No. 10 national ranking in the final NJCAA Top 20 Poll. Coffeyville finished second in the Jayhawk Conference and earned a berth in the 2014 Heart of Texas Bowl.

Prior to his stint at Coffeyville, Rachal coached three seasons at NCAA Division I (FCS) Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. He was assistant offensive line coach in 2013, after serving two years as a graduate assistant working with the offensive line and running backs. Rachal earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Northwestern State in 2013.

A native of Hobbs., N.M., Rachal started 29 games at the center position for Cornell from 2008-10. He was named Most Improved Offensive Lineman as a sophomore and selected team captain his senior campaign.  

Rachal earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Cornell in 2011.

 
Jacob Slusher Image
Jacob Slusher
Assistant Coach- 4th Season

Slusher, a 2016 Cornell graduate, is in his fourth season as outside linebackers coach and third as strength and conditioning coordinator. 

The Logansport, Ind., native played two seasons for the Rams during an injury-shortened career. He spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons as a student assistant coach.  

 
Stacy Griffis Image
Stacy Griffis
Assistant Coach- 8th Season

Griffis has been on Cornell's football staff since 2010. He is quarterbacks coach and interim offensive coordinator in 2017.

Griffis was a varsity assistant for five years at Wilton High School, where he played a hand in four consecutive state playoff appearances (2005-08) and three district championships. Wilton went through the 2005 regular season undefeated in Griffis' first year as special teams coordinator.

Griffis was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2006 and helped the Beavers set multiple school passing and rushing records over the next four seasons. He coached three all-state offensive players, all of which participated in Iowa's annual Senior Shrine Bowl.

Griffis is a native of Denver, Colo., and a 1991 graduate of Iowa City High School. He completed his bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Phoenix in Winter 2012.

Griffis and his wife, Melissa, reside in Solon with their son Blayze, 18, and daughter Haley, 15.

 
Preston Ritchie Image
Preston Ritchie
Assistant Coach- 2nd Season

Ritchie, an all-conference performer for the Rams in football and track & field, joined Cornell's football staff as running backs coach in 2016.

A 2015 Cornell graduate, Ritchie earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in psychology.

Ritchie was a four-year letterwinner on the grid iron and garnered first team all-Midwest Conference honors at running back in 2014. The Punta Gorda, Fla., native compiled 2,770 all-purpose yards during his career. Ritchie finished with 1,605 yards and 12 TDs on the ground, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

On the track, Ritchie was a member of three all-conference relays and recognized as Cornell’s Track MVP his final two seasons. The sprinter was named team captain two years.   

 
Zack Brautigam
Assistant Coach- 1st Season
 
Brit Connor
Assistant Coach- 1st Season