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Weber State Hires Keele as Assistant

January 24, 1986|STEVE SPRINGER | Times Staff Writer

Tom Keele, head football coach at Cal State Northridge for seven years before he was terminated last month, has been hired as an assistant coach at Weber State College, a Division 1-AA school in Ogden, Utah.

Keele has been hired by Mike Price, the head coach, but still must receive approval from the school's administrative board. The approval is considered a formality.

"We are happy to pick up a guy with experience like that," said Gary Crompton, Weber State athletic director. "We feel we are lucky to have him. Mike Price has a young coaching staff and he needed someone with maturity."

Keele was traveling to Ogden Thursday night and unavailable for comment. Price, who was on a recruiting trip, also could not be reached.

Keele, 52, had a record of 31-42-1 during his tenure at Northridge and produced only two teams with winning records. The Matadors, a Division II school, were 4-7 in 1985.

Shortly after it was announced that Keele was not returning, the NCAA revealed that CSUN had held an illegal tryout for prospective punters in December, 1984. Keele accepted blame for the incident.

At Weber State, Keele will be replacing Bobby Bartkowski, a receiver coach and son of former professional quarterback Zeke Bartkowski. The younger Bartkowski is moving to the University of Wyoming.

Weber State, a Big Sky Conference team, was 6-5 last year.

In Keele, the Wildcats will get a coach who last season adopted one of the most wide-open offenses in football--the run-and-shoot.

But offense is not a problem for Weber State. The school led Division 1-AA in that department this past season, averaging 516 yards a game. Weber State gained 800 yards in one game, an NCAA 1-AA record.

The Wildcats' problem is defense. They often needed to score 40 points just to hang on for a victory last season. Weber State won one game last year, 46-45.

Keele is expected to become a defensive coach.

Keele has done a little bit of everything in a coaching career that started in 1959 at North Eugene High in Oregon and included stops at Oregon City High, Sheldon High and five colleges--Puget Sound, San Jose State, the University of Hawaii, Washington State and Cal State Long Beach. Keele also was a coach with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.

He had been a head coach at the high school level, but never higher until he landed the Northridge job.

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