UW-Whitewater tabs Kevin Bullis as new head football coach
WHITEWATER—Kevin Bullis' job description changed dramatically Friday.
A UW-Whitewater football defensive assistant for the past seven years, Bullis is now the powerful program's leader.
Bullis was chosen from five finalists to replace Lance Leipold as the Warhawks head coach. He takes over a program that has won six NCAA Division III national titles in the past eight seasons and carries a 32-game winning streak into next season.
The expectations that come with taking over a program that has put up 15-0 records in five of the past six seasons don't faze Bullis. He said the philosophy at Whitewater has always been short term, with WIAC titles and national championships the result of daily improvement.
“We need to concentrate on basic fundamentals,” Bullis said Friday afternoon. “If the young man is in the classroom, it's taking the best notes in class. If the young man is in the weight room, it's having the best workout.
“We call it 'the process.' It's getting better day by day. In reality, the wins on Saturdays are purely a byproduct of the hard work they do day to day.”
Leipold, who left Whitewater to become head coach at the University at Buffalo, gave Bullis an enthusiastic endorsement.
“He'll put his own stamp on the program,” Leipold said in a phone interview Friday. “He can make it even better.”
Leipold hired Bullis from UW-River Falls. Bullis had been defensive coordinator for the Falcons and also served as assistant head coach for four seasons.
Bullis also was defensive coordinator at Gustavus Adolphus (1993-1995), linebackers coach at UW-River Falls (1990-1993) and linebackers coach at Minnesota-Morris (1988-89).
He has always planned to become a head coach.
“The beautiful part of it was I've always had very good jobs,” Bullis said. “I've turned down offers. I wasn't going to quit to become a head coach someplace just to be a head coach.
“Some people do that. I was going to be very selective.”
Leipold took four top Warhawk assistants with him to Buffalo: Brian Borland (defensive coordinator), Andy Kotelnicki (offensive coordinator), Daryl Agpalsa (offensive line) and Alan Hensell.
Bullis has been in contact with coaches he would like on his staff, and he was busy making calls after Friday's announcement.
“They're very good candidates,” he said.
He wants to fill the vacancies within three weeks.
Bullis also must finalize this year's recruiting class, which will become clearer after Wednesday's NCAA Division I signing day. Bullis has been the interim head coach, and the school's success is a major recruiting tool.
Bullis is the 21st head coach in the 121-year history of UW-Whitewater football. The program has had only three in the past 60 years—the late Forrest Perkins, Bob Berezowitz and Leipold.
Perkins turned the program into a winner, and the football stadium bears his name. Berezowitz, a former player under Perkins, was head coach for 22 seasons, compiling a 158-73-4 record, and he took the team to the NCAA Division III finals the last two years of his career.
In his eight seasons as head coach, Leipold took the program to unheard of heights, winning six national titles and compiling a 109–6 overall record.
Now the torch is in Bullis' hands.
“I'm very fortunate,” Bullis said. “UW-Whitewater is the premier football program in D3. I'm very excited.”