For the first time since 1995, the Wayne State College football team has earned a national ranking. The 9-2 Wildcats are ranked in a pair of Division II national polls, sitting 22nd in the Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll and 23rd in the Top 25 Media Poll.
The Wildcats have won seven straight games and tied a school record with nine victories this season to qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time in school history. The 9-2 Wildcats visit Chadron State in the first round of the Super 3 Region playoffs.
Listen to head coach Dan McLaughlin as he talks about turning the Wayne State program around and how he’ll use his experience at Nebraska, and other colleges to prepare for this first round playoff matchup.
Before moving to the college ranks, McLaughlin achieved success at the high school level in Nebraska by winning state championships at three different schools. He was the head coach at Millard West from 1995 to 2002, guiding the Wildcats to seven consecutive playoff appearances. His 2001 team went 12-1 and captured the Class A state title. McLaughlin was the head coach at Norfolk High School from 1988 to 1994, leading the Panthers to the Class A state title in 1994. McLaughlin also coached at Broken Bow High School in 1987 and led the school to the Class B state crown in his only season at Broken Bow.
Believed to be the only head coach in Nebraska high school football history to win state titles at three different schools,
McLaughlin compiled a high school coaching record of 110-59.