Just eligible, Coach Cater gains Hall of Fame entry | News, Sports, Jobs

Just eligible, Coach Cater gains Hall of Fame entry | News, Sports, Jobs

Monte Cater stops by a bus on the Shepherd University campus as he waits for his football team to load up for a game in this photo from his tenure as head coach. Courtesy picture

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Monte Cater was at Shepherd University for 31 football seasons.

When he retired, he had the second most wins of any active coach in the country.

He had 30 wins with him from his old coaching job at Lakeland. And then he totaled 245 wins at Shepherd.

Cater was so successful at Shepherd that in his final 13 seasons his record was 127 wins and 26 losses. In those past 13 seasons that ended in his retirement after the 2017 season, he posted six undefeated regular seasons and presided over an appearance for Shepherd in the NCAA Division II National Championship Game. in 2015.

Only four coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this year. The Atlanta-based organization will induct this year’s collection of coaches and players in early December.

Cater’s first season at Shepherd was in 1987 and started out rather quietly, an adjective that could be used to describe the coach’s secondary demeanor and humble ways.

There was no histrionics or grandiosity with Cater. He was humble and kept away from any notoriety that would point his way.

His teams began winning at a near-record pace, but he got no applause or credit, moving on to the next win or the conference championship instead.

If the media or anyone else tried to shine the spotlight on Shepherd’s football, Cater deflected the headlines to others and remained down-to-earth in handling the team’s budding success.

Under Cater’s guidance, Shepherd began winning a high percentage of his West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) games as well as league championships by the hilt.

And along with the conference titles came a succession of national playoff games culminating in an appearance in the 2015 national championship game against northwest Missouri State.

Shepherd actually gained national prominence which continued from season to season.

It has become commonplace to find Shepherd ranking high in national polls. . . then occupying a place in the national playoff field.

Cater received season-ending coaching honors and awards.

And then he was nominated for entry into the College Football Hall of Fame — a not-so-silent accolade for a football coach whose modest ways helped him rise to the top of the game-winning ranks.

Cater’s undefeated regular seasons came in 2005 and 2006, again in 2013 and was most successful and rated in 2015, 2016 and 2017 when the Rams went three straight regular seasons undefeated.

Shepherd had 31 seasons of quiet excellence under Hall of Fame coach Monte Cater.

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