Keven Lightner joined Ohio's coaching staff in January 2005, along with colleague Gerry Gdowski, after working with the New Mexico State football program.
Lightner's impact on the Ohio offensive line has been felt immediately. In his eight seasons coaching the Bobcat offensive linemen, he has coached 10 players to All-Mid-American Conference recognition.
This past season, Lightner's offensive line scheme helped Ohio average over 400 yards of total offense for the second-consecutive season. In addition, the Bobcats offensive line opened lanes for running back Beau Blankenship to rush for a single-season school record of 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns.
In 2012, the Bobcat rushing attack surpassed 200 yards on six different occassions, including a season-best 304 yards against Eastern Michgian. Following the year, Eric Herman was named All-MAC Second Team for the second-consecutive season.
Ohio also rushed for 219 yards and four touchdowns in the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl en route to its second-consecutive bowl win.
Following the Bobcats' second-consecutive bowl win, Herman would go on to be selected in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He also became the first Ohio offensive lineman to be selected in the NFL Draft since former Bobcat Al Benton was taken by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round back in 1972.
During the 2011 campaign, Lightner's offensive line paved the way for a single-season school record 6,241 yards and enabled quarterback Tyler Tettleton to set 12 single-season records. The Bobcats' ground game also played a major factor in Ohio's first 10-win season since 1968 as it rushed for over 200 yards on nine separate occasions throughout the year, including a season-best 297-yard eff ort at Central Michigan on Nov. 10.
Flading was named a first-team All-MAC selection by the league's coaches after playing the most snaps of any lineman, leading the squad in average grade, pancake blocks and decleaters. Herman and A.J. Strum would go on to earn second and third team All-MAC, respectively.
In 2010, Strum was named second-team All-MAC, battled injuries in 2010, but still managed to rack up 30.5 pancakes and six decleaters in 421 plays, while grading out a 1.81.
Lightner also tutored Matt Coppage and Matt Miller to first-team honors and Josh Leuck to second team honors in 2007. In 2008, Lightner's charges also blocked for an Ohio passing unit that posted school records in passing yards and passing touchdowns.
In his third season with the Bobcats, his teaching helped Matt Miller become the second Ohio offensive lineman to reach the First-Team All-MAC team in two years.
In the 2006 campaign, Lightner coached Matt Coppage to first-team All-MAC honors, the first such accolades for an Ohio offensive lineman since the 1998 season. From 2005-2007, the Bobcats are the third-best rushing team in the MAC with 3,982 yards. After allowing 55 sacks in 11 games in 2004, the Ohio offensive line has allowed 39 sacks in the last 25 games. The Bobcats ranked tied for 22nd in the nation in fewest sacks allowed per game in 2006, while they were 33rd in the country in that category in 2005.
An offensive line coach throughout his career, Lightner spent two years on the Aggies' staff working with a group that finished 14th and 15th nationally in rushing offense in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Lightner coached former Outland Trophy candidate Steve Subia, an offensive guard at NMSU.
Lightner served as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Western Kentucky for the 2001 and 2002 seasons, helping the Hilltoppers to a combined record of 20-7 and two I-AA playoffs appearances. In 2001, the WKU offense led the nation in rushing. In 2002, WKU posted a 12-3 record and won the NCAA I-AA national championship. Lightner coached three All-Americans in his stint with the Hilltoppers.
Lightner was an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha from 1998-2001 and at Northern State (S.D.) from 1996-98. The 1998 Nebraska-Omaha squad led the nation in rushing. Also at Nebraska-Omaha, Lightner coached Chris Bober, a first team All-America selection and current member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
An accomplished player, Lightner earned first-team All-Big Eight honors as an offensive tackle in 1987 at Nebraska and was selected to participate in the Hula Bowl.
After leaving the Cornhuskers, he played professionally in three leagues before entering the coaching ranks - the NFL (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1988), the CFL (Hamilton Tiger Cats, 1990) and the World League of American Football (Montreal Machine, 1991-92).
Lightner, from National City, Calif., earned a degree in secondary education in 1996 from Nebraska. He and his wife, Erin, have two children, a son, Kade, and a daughter, Alexis.