MCKENZIE, Tenn. – He is one of the more beloved players who has ever played football for the Bethel University Wildcats. Michael Jasper just completed his third season as an assistant with the Cats. He also served as the Assistant Head Coach and worked with the defensive line. Bethel Director of Athletics Dale Kelley announced Thursday night Jasper is the new head football coach at the school. He replaces Brent Dearmon who resigned earlier this week to take a position on the Les Miles staff at the University of Kansas. Jasper is the 12th head football coach in Wildcat history.
Before joining the Bethel staff Jasper served as Offensive and Defensive Line Assistant at Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, New York. Mike spent three years in the National Football League with the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and the Carolina Panthers. Coach Jasper played for the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2005 and was a starter on their 2006 Ohio Valley Conference Championship team. After redshirting at Middle Tennessee State University, Coach Jasper joined the Wildcats as an Offensive and Defensive Lineman from 2008-2010 and was the first ever Wildcat drafted to the NFL in 2011 by the Buffalo Bills. He graduated from Bethel University with a Bachelor’s Degree in University Studies.
Kelley commented on the announcement, “We are excited Michael has accepted the position as our new head coach. He played here and has been a member of the Bethel family for some time. He brings experience from the NFL and of course from the college level as a player and coach. He is popular with the players and fans, and we feel he will do a great job. He was also a huge part of our success last year as the Assistant Head Coach with Coach Dearmon.”
Associate Athletic Director Brad Chappell said, “I first met Mike Jasper when he was in my Psychology of Coaching class in 2011. I am so proud of the man he has become and even prouder to be here as he assumes the role of head football coach at my and his alma mater. Mike’s NFL career, his credibility in football circles, and his dedication to developing young men will be of immediate impact as he takes the reins. Spending the last year as associate head coach during the Wildcats historic run of 2018 has no doubt prepared Mike for what is to come. I have no doubt that not only will BU football pick up right where it left off in November but will reach new heights under his leadership.”
Coach Jasper said it is an honor to be named coach of the Wildcats. “What an honor to be named head football coach of Bethel University. My history with this university runs deep from my years of playing football for Bethel, being the first player to be drafted to the National Football League, my return back in 2016 to coach offensive line, and mostly recently the 2018 historic, 10-0 season coaching defensive line. The fact that I’m able to lead this program now, means everything. McKenzie has become home for my wife and me. This community has embraced us, and we love it here. My wife, Allison and I are thrilled to continue to pour love and our family values into the young men of character that make up this football program.” He added, “I want to thank Coach Dearmon for the foundation he laid in rebuilding this football program last year. I’m thrilled to take the reins and continue the momentum into a great 2019 season. To President Butler, Dale Kelley and Brad Chappell, thank you for trusting me with this team.
It is business as usual for the football program now. This phenomenal staff has already hit the ground running with our off-season workout program and recruiting incoming freshman. To any recruit that is undecided about whether or not Bethel’s the place for you, I’m telling you that we are about to embark on something special, and #reload1N9 is just the beginning.
Jasper and his wife Allison reside in McKenzie.