Josh Lynn | University of Nebraska-Kearney

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Team: University of Nebraska-Kearney
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Eunice, NM


Josh Lynn was named the 18th head football coach in Nebraska-Kearney history on Jan. 4th, 2017. 

"What I am excited about is the passion of the current athletic administration to continue to build a program for this university and community," said Lynn. "I am committed to ensuring our student-athletes are successful on the field, in the classroom and in the community. My family and I are excited to be a part of the UNK Loper family."

Lynn, who served as UNK's offensive coordinator in 2017, replaces Josh Lamberson. In his first year, he coached the slot receivers and running backs. 

The Lynn era started with a bang as the Lopers upset Missouri Western State, 14-3, in the 2017 season-opener. It marked UNK's first August or September win since joining the MIAA in 2012. 

Kearney went on to beat Northeastern State, 42-27, and Missouri Southern State, 16-6, while battling two-time defending champion NW Missouri State before falling by just a 13-0 score. The Bearcats were ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time. 

On the year, the Lopers were among the MIAA leaders in total defense (368 yards per game), rushing defense (125.4 ypg), fourth down conversion rate (57%) and fewest sacks allowed (19). Seven Lopers were named to the all-league team with 35 making the MIAA Academic Honor Roll (minimum 3.00 cumulative grade point average). UNK also had one player, defensive end Jacob Bartling, named Academic All-District. 

A native of Eunice, N.M., and an Eastern New Mexico graduate, Lynn helped turn his alma mater around, leading the Greyhounds to 27 wins between 2012-16. The 'Hounds also made two C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl appearances and earned a share of the 2013 Lone Star Conference (LSC) title. In seven years as a collegiate head coach, Lynn now has a 40-35 overall record.

Prior to his return to Portales, Eastern hadn't had a winning season since 2004. They recorded four straight winning campaigns and were this tabbed as the top collegiate program in New Mexico (all levels) in 2015 by HERO Sports.

In 2016, ENMU went 7-5 and battled MIAA-member Fort Hays State in the Heart of Texas Bowl. Tying for third place in the LSC, the 'Hounds led the league in total offense (473.4 yards per game) and rushing offense (344.6 ypg) while ranking second in passing efficiency (160.5) and rushing defense (105.3 ypg).

Three ENMU players were named first-team all-conference with Kamal Cass chosen as the LSC's Offensive Back of the Year and also garnering All-American honors.

The 'Hounds' bowl trip in 2013 marked ENMU's first postseason appearance in 30 years, with the LSC title the program's first conference title since 1991. Subsequently, Lynn was named the LSC Coach of the Year, was tabbed as the Region 4 Coach of the Year by two different outlets and was runner up for the Liberty Mutual National Division II Coach of the Year award.

Between 2013-16 the 'Hounds have set numerous school records while ranking among the national leaders in a variety of categories, including total offense, rushing offense, passing efficiency, rushing defense and punt return yardage. At the same time, ENMU had the LSC's highest football team GPA.

"Josh is a proven winner at the NCAA Division II level. Not only is he an excellent coach, but he is resourceful and understands how to make the most of any situation. Above all, he is a players' coach and will sustain our strong Loper family culture," said then UNK A.D. DR. Paul Plinske. "He is the best hire for today and an even better hire for the future of Loper football. He will do great things at UNK."

Lynn is a member of the Division II 2016 AFCA (American Football Coaches Assoc.) Board of Coaches and was the LSC's Chair for head football coaches. A member of the Super Region 4 ranking committee, he helped in fund-raising and the planning to get a $15.6 million dollar stadium back on the ENMU campus.

Prior to returning to Portales, Lynn spent seven years (2005-11) at New Mexico Military Institute. He was head coach in 2011, leading the Broncos to nine wins, a bowl berth and a national ranking of sixth in the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Assoc.).

Working alongside his brother, Jeff, Lynn was NMMI's defensive coordinator for four years before becoming assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2010. From 2005-09, NMMI was New Mexico's winningest collegiate program. The Broncos took part in the 2009 Salt City Bowl in Hutchinson, Kan., the program's first postseason appearance in 11 years.

He also worked in the defensive secondary and with the outside linebackers at Division II power Delta State (Mississippi) in 2004. Lynn began his coaching career at his alma mater where he was a restricted earnings coach and then a graduate assistant. He worked with the 'Hounds receivers, tight ends and specialists and was recruiting coordinator for nearly two years.

Throughout his 17-year coaching career, Lynn has coordinated both sides of the ball and coached every position except the defensive line.

In his playing days, Lynn was a two-time first-team all-conference tight end who helped ENMU win back-to-back LSC South Division titles in 1999 and 2000. His teammates also voted him a co-captain twice during his career.

Holding a B.S. in Physical Education and a Master's in Sports Administration from ENMU, Lynn comes from a football-coaching family. His brother, Jeff, recently was the head football coach at Roswell (N.M.) High School and his father, David, is in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Hall of Honors after a nearly four-decade coaching career

He is married to the former Pamela Zens, herself a standout volleyball for Division I Hofstra (N.Y.) University. They have three children in Bryson (7), Carly (3) and Levi (2).

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