Jim Deere '89 embarks on his seventh season as head coach at Adrian College in 2016, leading the Bulldogs to two Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships in the last four seasons and a 43-19 record (.694) since taking the reins in 2010.
Deere became the 24th head coach in the history of Adrian College Football on Nov. 15, 2009. He has made a smooth transition into the head coaching role as part of a 24-year career on the Adrian sidelines. Deere served as the defensive coordinator for three years (2007-09) and also called the defensive plays up until his promotion.
He and his coaching staff captured the school’s 11th MIAA title in 2014. His 43 wins in six seasons is the best start of any coach in team history.
Last season, Adrian fashioned a 7-3 overall ledger (4-2 MIAA, T-3rd), ending 2015 with a four-game winning streak. Sophomore all-region running back Emmanuel Stewart headlined eight Bulldogs who made All-MIAA teams, plus Dylan Dunn who earned the conference's Pete Schmidt Memorial Senior Scholar-Athlete Award.
In 2012, the Bulldogs tied the school record with nine wins (9-2) and went unblemished in the MIAA standings with a 6-0 record. Adrian outscored its conference opponents, 147-40, and allowed just four touchdowns including only one through the air. The Bulldogs ended the regular season ranked 25th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NCAA Division III poll and hosted an NCAA playoff game for the first time in school history against Franklin (Ind.) College. Adrian’s defense finished the season ranked in the top 25 in Division III in four categories: total defense (7th), scoring defense (10th), pass defense (14th) and rushing defense (25th).
Deere’s second season at the helm saw the Bulldogs finish 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the MIAA. The team finished third in the league standings and lost both games by a combined 17 points, including one of those losses in overtime on the road at Hope College. The Bulldogs started the season with a 7-0 record and were ranked as high as 16th nationally by the AFCA. The team’s first win of the season saw Adrian travel to Husson University, setting a school record for points in a 77-7 victory. The team also had two very exciting road wins: 17-14 at Augustana on a last-second field goal and snapping a long losing streak against conference rival Trine with a 26-7 triumph against the 17th-ranked Thunder in Angola, Ind.
The Bulldogs led the MIAA in scoring offense (32.5 points per game) and scoring defense (14.2 ppg) in 2011. Deere’s defense was once again stellar by ranking seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense (89.28). The team allowed 124.9 yards per game on the ground and ranked 15th nationally in total defense (263.10 ypg). The aggressive nature of the defense was also highlighted by finishing sixth nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.8). In total, the defensive unit led the MIAA in five different statistical categories.
Deere’s first season as head coach featured one of the strongest schedules in school history and the Bulldogs went 5-5 overall and finished in a second-place tie in the MIAA with a 4-2 league mark. Adrian had four first-team All-MIAA players and five more make the second team all-conference. The team ranked second in MIAA total defense yielding 308.2 yards per game. The Bulldogs also ranked second in turnover margin (+4) and rushing defense (124.5 ypg). Deere’s first win came on Sep. 11, 2010, with a 40-14 triumph over Defiance College. Deere’s defense also pitched a shutout on Oct. 9 at Olivet (41-0).
The defensive numbers were staggering over the three-year period under coach Deere before taking over as head coach. The Bulldogs quietly became one of the more feared defensive units in Division III and the statistics tell the story. In 2009, Adrian finished first in the MIAA in five different categories including scoring defense (16.2 ppg), passing defense (162.3 ypg), total defense (281.6 ypg), pass efficiency defense (94.0) and sacks (26 for minus 158 yards). In addition, AC was 16th nationally in pass efficiency defense, 28th in scoring defense and 17th in tackles for loss.
In 2008, Adrian finished fourth in Division III in total defense limiting its opponents to 239 yards per game. In addition, Deere’s crew ranked fourth in scoring defense (12.4), seventh in rushing defense (71.2 ypg) and fourth in tackles for loss (9.1 per game).
The Bulldog defense finished 2007 as one of the best in school history. The defense ranked first in the MIAA in nine different statistical categories and finished the year ranked sixth in total defense in Division III. The Bulldogs allowed just 74.6 yards per game on the ground (10th nationally) and 14.4 points per game (12th nationally).
Along with his experience at AC, Deere coached at Sterling Heights Stevenson High School in 1993 and 1994 and Morenci High School in 1996.
A 1989 graduate of Adrian College, Deere was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs and was a player on the 1988 MIAA Championship team.
Deere resides in Adrian and has three children - Angelica, Danielle and Blake.