Matt Land, who has served as head football coach since 2006 and athletic director since 2012, has accepted the new role of assistant vice president for athletics, effective immediately. In this new administrative role, Land teams with other campus officers to coordinate all facets of the athletics program. These collaborative efforts include recruitment and retention of student-athletes, and fundraising, program development and day-to-day leadership for athletics.
Land became the head foobtall coach at Trine in 2006. Coach Land and his staff turned the Thunder program into consistent contenders in the MIAA, with the team averaging eight wins per season since 2008.
In nine seasons, Land's teams compiled a 63-32 record, good for a .663 winning-percentage. Land has the most wins and best winning-percentage among any football coach in school-history. Trine has produced 34 First-Team All-MIAA performers in Land's tenure, including four Offensive and three Defensive Most Valuable Players. Under Land, three Thunder football players have also won the top scholar-athlete award in the conference.
Under Land's leadership, Trine won three MIAA Championships and appeared in the NCAA Division III Playoffs three times. In 2008, the Thunder finished 10-1 and earned their first-ever NCAA Division III playoff berth. They finished 10-0 in the regular season, claiming their first MIAA Championship. Trine finished the season ranked 19th in the AFCA Poll and 20th in the D3Football.com Poll.
Trine kept the winning ways rolling in 2009, capturing a second-straight MIAA title. The team finished 11-1, including 6-0 in league play, capturing their first NCAA Division III playoff victory before bowing out in the second round of the playoffs.
In 2010, the Thunder claimed a third-straight MIAA crown as well as finishing 10-0 in the regular season, 6-0 in the conference. The Thunder were ranked No. 8 in the AFCA Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the D3football.com poll. For a second-consecutive season, Trine captured a playoff victory before being ousted in the second round. Land coached quarterback Eric Watt to winning the Gagliardi Trophy, the Division III equiavalent of the Heisman Trophy.
That season, Land shared the AFCA’s Division III Region Four Coach of the Year honors with Larry Kehres of perennial national power Mount Union College. He also was D3Football.com’s North Region Coach of the Year.
In 2005, Land was named Coach of the Year twice. He led perennial powerhouse South Side High School (Fort Wayne, Ind.) to an 11-3 record, a berth in the state's final four, and was recognized as the Summit Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. During his four years at South Side, Coach Land compiled a 29-19 record, leading his team twice into the Indiana 4A sweet 16 and once to the state semifinals.
Land earned his second Coach of the Year award at the helm of the United Indoor Football (UIF) League's Fort Wayne Freedom. In his first year with the Freedom, the team averaged 267 yards per game, third best in the league, and finished with a franchise-best 14-3 record to go along with a playoff berth. The UIF rewarded him with the honor of Coach of the Year. Land returned to coach the Freedom in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, the Freedom battled the Chicago Slaughter in the CIFL championship game.