|Title:||Assistant Coach/Outside Linebackers|
Rick Kirkton joined the Thunder football staff again in August, 2015, as the outside linebackers coach. Coach Kirkton brings eight years of collegiate coaching experience at both Trine University and Hillsdale College. Kirkton also has 13 years of experience as a high school head coach, as well as 12 years as a high school assistant.
From 1996 to 1998, Kirkton served as the Thunder special teams coordinator and defensive line coach, and in 1999, he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. During the 2000 season, Kirkton served as defensive line coach at Division II Hillsdale College. After a head coaching stint at Angola High School in 2006 and 2007, Coach Kirkton returned to Trine as defensive line coach for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons. During his collegiate coaching tenure, Kirkton has coach numerous all-conference and all-American players at both the defensive line and linebacker positions.
A 1979 graduate of Bluffton University, Kirkton played both football and baseball while earning his degree in Business. He also earned his master’s degree in secondary education from IPFW. Coach Kirkton and his wife, Gay, have two grown children- Katie and Thomas.