Peru State announces hire of head football coach

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat
New Bobcat football coach Casey Creehan in action on the Lyon sideline
last season.

Peru State College President Dr. Dan Hanson and Bobcat Athletic Director Wayne Albury has announced the hiring of Casey Creehan as the 25th head football coach. He will begin his duties on Monday, March 2.

President Hanson said, "We are excited to welcome Coach Creehan to Peru State College and our long football tradition. His commitment to character-driven athletic programs, his passion for the game of football, and his experience as a college and professional coach will lead the program to new levels of excellence."

Creehan commented, "I am humbled and honored to be selected by Peru State College. My wife and I are extremely excited about joining the Peru State family and the Peru community."

"This region of the country offers a wonderful place to work and raise a family. I am anxious to get started with my new assignment and a program of success and pride."

Creehan is a defensive-minded coach with over 20 years of experience at both the professional and collegiate levels. During his years of coaching experience, Creehan has had the opportunity to coach in two of the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup National Championships, 12 CFL playoff games and the NCAA FCS (then I-AA) National Playoffs. He has also coached several all-pro players and collegiate All-Americans.

Athletic Director Albury said, "Peru State is looking forward to having Coach Creehan join us as the next head football coach. Throughout the search process, it was clear he pays attention to detail and will be an energetic leader for the Bobcats."

"Coach Creehan had done his due diligence in researching and reviewing the current status of the football program and provided strategic plans as to what he would do for the team – both athletically and academically."

Creehan currently coaches at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. Creehan led the 2019 Scots team to the 7-3 mark, the most wins in a season in the program's history. Creehan's 2019 team also defeated a nationally-ranked opponent, another first for the program, and led their conference in passing efficiency. Creehan's 2018 team led the conference in quarterback sacks – which was fifth in the NAIA overall.

Creehan received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Grove City College and a Master of Science in health, physical education, and recreation from Emporia State University. In addition, Creehan has completed a sports management intercollegiate athletic administration certificate program from California University of Pennsylvania.

Creehan will be joined in Peru by his wife Lori and children Camille and Weston.

Professional Experience

Prior to going to Lyon College, Creehan was the defensive line coach for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League. The Eskimos compiled a record of 12-6 during the regular season and made it to the Western Division Finals, finishing the year just one game away from the Grey Cup. Under Creehan's direction, defensive tackle Almondo Sewell was named to both the 2016 and 2017 CFLPA Pro Players' All-Star Teams.

Before coaching at Edmonton, Creehan spent two seasons with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, serving as the defensive coordinator and the defensive line coach in 2015 after he spent the 2014 season as the linebackers' coach. Under Creehan, the Argonauts led the CFL in forced fumbles in 2015, moved from last in total sacks to third in the league and were the only team in the CFL that did not allow a 100-yard rusher during the 2015 season. The success on the defensive side of the ball led the Argonauts to a CFL playoff berth in 2015.

During the 2012 season, Creehan served as the defensive coordinator and the defensive line coach for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He came to Hamilton after a one-year stint as the defensive line coach at Eastern Michigan University, where he signed future All-American Andy Mulumba, who went on to play for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League (NFL).

In 2008, the Montreal Alouettes hired Creehan to coach the linebackers and serve as the front-seven coordinator, working alongside former Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman. Creehan turned the Alouettes into the league's second-best team in both rush defense and in total sacks. The Alouettes claimed the Eastern Division Championship and reached the Grey Cup finals. Linebacker T.J. Hill was named a CFL All-Star.

Creehan's first professional coaching position was as the defensive line coach for the CFL's Calgary Stampeders in 2004. The Stampeders would finish as the top rush defense combined during the next two seasons, reach the playoffs in three consecutive seasons and lead the CFL in sacks in 2005. At Calgary, Creehan coached two CFL All-Stars, Joe Fleming (2004) and Sheldon Napastuck (2005), and a CFL Rookie of the Year finalist, Tearrius George (2007).

Collegiate Experience

While at James Madison University from 2003-2004, Creehan served as the defensive ends coach. He coached first-team Atlantic 10 Conference and All-American defensive end Jerame Southern. Southern also participated in the I-AA All-Star Game.

From 2001-2003, Creehan worked as the linebackers coach, special teams coordinator and the strength and conditioning coach at Clarion University. Some notable accomplishments at Clarion included the signing of ten players in two years to National Letters of Intent, reducing the opponent's average kickoff return by 50 percent, blocking seven punts in 2001, and upping that total to 12 during the 2002 season and having several players earn All-PSAC honors as linebackers.

At Southern Illinois University, Creehan coached tight ends and signed the team's Rookie of the Year in the 2000 season.

Creehan took his first coaching position as a defensive assistant at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.) He helped coach the Mountain Hawks to a Patriot League Championship and a berth in the NCAA I-AA National Playoffs.

Creehan has experience in small college football as both a player and a coach. He was a member of the nationally ranked football team at Grove City College (Pa.). At Grove City, Creehan was selected as a team captain during the 1998 season, in which the Wolverines won the Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship. That same season, Creehan set the school record for most tackles in a single season (126) and earned All-Presidents' Athletic Conference and All-Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference honors as a linebacker. In 1997, Creehan led the Wolverines to the school's first postseason appearance in the PAC Championships and earned All-PAC honors as a linebacker.